Delray Beach began as a small agricultural community settled by black families coming from the Panhandle of Florida in the early 1890s. A few years later, William Linton, the postmaster of Saginaw, Mich., visited the area in response to an ad for acreage for sale and wound up purchasing 160 acres for $25 an acre. Linton sold plots to other homesteaders and named his settlement after himself. A hard freeze in 1898 drove Linton and some of these settlers away. In an effort to start fresh, the community changed its name to Delray. The new town thrived, led by its black residents, who had already established a school and would soon organize Delray's first civic association. After World War I, the area's profitable tomato and pineapple farms gave way to an onslaught of new residents more interested in fun than farming. Though now a booming resort known as Delray Beach, the town has held on to its long history through the preservation of many of its homes and public buildings.
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