Fort Lauderdale History
Incorporated on March 27, 1911, the City of Fort Lauderdale is situated on the southeast coast of Florida, centrally located between Miami and Palm Beach. Encompassing more than 33 square miles with a population of 170,000, Fort Lauderdale is the largest of Broward County's 31 municipalities and the eighth largest city in Florida. Embraced by the Atlantic Ocean, New River and a myriad of scenic inland waterways, Fort Lauderdale truly lives up to its designation as the "Venice of America."
The City of Fort Lauderdale is named for a Second Seminole War fortification built on the banks of New River in 1838. In that year, Major William Lauderdale led a detachment of Tennessee Volunteers south along the east coast of Florida to capture Seminole agricultural lands and battle the elusive Indian warriors. Altogether, three forts named after Major Lauderdale would be constructed: the first at the fork of New River; the second at Tarpon Bend; and the largest on the beach at the site of Bahia Mar. None of the forts survives today.