Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce
140 NE 1st Street,
Delray Beach, FL 33444

Phone: 561-278-0424

Snow in Delray Beach?

The white sandy soil that the early settlers from the North encountered here in the 1800s sure looked like snow to them.

We know better, of course—and soon, so did the settlers. It turns out, Delray had a rich soil that was good for agriculture, with lots of warm, sunny weather. And no snow. Bliss!

Today, even though there’s not much agriculture, Delray has something just as valuable as that rich soil was: a climate that warmly welcomes businesses, and draws more and more families to plant their roots in Delray Beach.

Here’s a bit of our history.

1894

In anticipation of Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway, U.S. Congressman William S. Linton buys some land in what is now Delray, naming the town for himself.

1895

Linton’s first commissary opens, with Seminoles among the people who came to trade.

1897

Black settlers establish Mt.Tabor, the precursor to the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

1898

The U. S. Post Office changes the town’s name to Delray.

1902

The Inn hotel and McRae’s Pharmacy open.

1904

The Ladies Improvement Association builds the Town Hall. Wuepper’s General Store opens near to it two years later.

1905

Delray gets its first doctor, J.R. Cason Jr.

1910

Delray’s population is 904. The town gets its first concrete block building.

1911

The Town of Delray is incorporated. J.S. Sundy is elected mayor.

1912

In October, local leaders form the Boosters Club to oversee the town’s growth. The Bank of Delray opens.

1915

The Boosters Club becomes the Board of Trade, with membership from nearly 100% of businesses.

1920s

Florida’s real estate boom gets Delray growing. Population: 1,501 and growing. A number of visitors decide to stay for the winter, and an artists’ colony springs up. Several famous cartoonists, as well as the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, flock to Delray.

1925

The Board of Trade becomes the Delray Chamber of Commerce.

1927

Delray Beach and the Town of Delray merge to become the City of Delray Beach.

1930s

Delray Beach enters its golden age of architecture, ranking tenth in the state for number of building permits. Population: 2,333.

1946

African American civil rights activists found the Delray Beach Civic League and the Naciremas Club (“American” spelled backward, with an s added).

1947

A hurricane wipes out most of the farming community. Delray had become known as a major producer of gladiola flowers.

1950

Population reaches 6,312.

1960

The population nearly doubles in a decade, to 12, 230.

1962

“Delray Affair,” the annual arts festival, begins.

1970s

Go west! The City looks west to continue its growth.

1980

Delray’s population surpasses 30,000.

1987

Pineapple Grove blossoms into an arts district.

1990s

Old School Square is revitalized and now houses the Crest Theatre and the Cornell Museum of Art and History, plus indoor and outdoor event venues.

1993

Delray Beach wins the “All-America City” Award.

2000

The population doubles in 20 years, to 60,000+.

2001

“All America City” is awarded to Delray for the second time.

2004

The Delray Beach Tennis Center hosts the Davis Cup

2010

The U.S. Tennis Association nominates Delray as one of the top 10 tennis towns in the U.S.

2012

USA Today Travel names Delray “America’s Most Fun Small Town.”

2013

In November, the Chamber moves to its present home on NE 1st Street. Like Delray Beach itself, it’s bright, welcoming, forward-thinking and business-friendly.