“Moonlight on Lake Worth” has been adjudged by competent critics to be the most marvelous and beautiful photograph of its kind ever made. Manv a heart that has throbbed in the proud happiness of worldly possession, will unbend at the sight of this reproduction and for the memories it will recall. (from The Burr McIntosh monthly 1903)
Lake Worth is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States, which takes its name from the body of water along its eastern border, originally called “Lake Worth”, and now generally known as the Lake Worth Lagoon. The lake itself was named for General William J. Worth, who led U.S. forces during the last part of the Second Seminole War.
A Native American tribe known as the Jaega were the earliest reported inhabitants of the section of the Florida Atlantic coast in the areas of Martin and Palm Beach Counties. Remains of shell mounds can be found near the Jupiter inlet, inland in what is now Boynton Beach and just south of the Boynton Inlet, indicating pre-Columbian Jaega habitation.
The city’s first settlers were Samuel and Fannie James, an African American couple and reported to be ex-slaves, known as the Black Diamonds, who settled on the shores of the Lake Worth Lagoon near the current 5th Avenue South in 1885. (The stone monument located at the northwest corner of Lucerne Avenue and J Street inaccurately uses the date 1883, due to a transcription error). The couple made a claim for their land under the Homestead Act in 1885 and received a receipt for their claim on February 1, 1887. Their holdings, originally 187 acres (76 ha), increased over time and came to include an additional 160 acres (65 ha) south of Lake Avenue between M and F Streets, 160 acres (65 ha) in College Park where Fannie ran a pineapple farm, and 160 acres (65 ha) to the south including the traditional Osborne Colored Addition. They were subsequently sold to the Palm Beach Farms Co. in 1910. (from Wikipedia)
- A Tour of Lake Worth Florida its Cottages & Architectural Treasures
- Pioneers of Jewell: A Documentary History of Lake Worth’s Forgotten First Settlers (1885 – 1910)