West Palm Beach History
When Henry Morrison Flagler first came here in 1893, he called the Lake Worth region "a veritable paradise" and decided upon a dual plan for the area. He would turn Palm Beach into a resort and he would build a commercial city across the lake for his workers. That "worker city" would become beautiful West Palm Beach.
Flagler had his city laid out in November 1893, naming the streets for native plants. Running east and west were Althea, Banyan, Clematis, Datura, Evernia and Fern streets. North-South avenues were Lantana, Myrtle, Narcissus, Olive, Poinsettia (now Dixie Highway), Rosemary, Sapodilla and Tamarind. On Nov. 5, 1894, by a vote of 77 to 1, residents of the little town decided to incorporate the city of West Palm Beach. It soon became a bustling frontier town with storefronts along Clematis and Narcissus streets, and saloons lining Banyan Street. Banyan Street became as wild and well-known as any raucous town in the Wild West. It was so notorious that famed anti-alcohol crusader Carry Nation visited in 1904, wielding her Bible.