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North County’s Prosperity

The north-south route of Prosperity Farms Road through northern Palm Beach County

LBBMap004.jpg

Birds eye look at Kelsey City (center along

Lake Worth), Palm Beach Harbor and the

holdings of the East Coast Finance

Corporation, 1924.

originally served the settlement of Prosperity, promoted by Elisha N. “Cap” Dimick and others in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This land company had dug “Dimick’s Ditch,” which became the Earman Canal, and then the Earman River, or C-17 Canal. Prosperity Farms Road originally ran from Richard Road on the south and ended near where Lone Pine Road runs through Cabana Colony today to the north. Prosperity Farms Road was extended northward in the 1930s as a federal Work Projects Administration (WPA) venture to just south of today’s Donald Ross Road, and continued to that east-west thoroughfare after World War II. Donald Ross Road was named for the son of Marjorie Ross, a principal at Lake Park Elementary School, who had lost his life while serving in a tank company during World War II. Ellison Wilson Road, to the east of the Intracoastal Waterway and running parallel to Prosperity Farms Road was also named for a casualty of the war. Ellison was one of eight children of Frank Wilson who had a farm along the Intracoastal Waterway in Prosperity Farms. He was a tank gunner in Europe when he died.

In the teens, the Dixie Highway was established along the west side of the FEC tracks, giving Prosperity’s farmers access to West Palm Beach and the large Palm Beach Hotels to sell their produce. Monet Road (RCA Boulevard) was added east-west, providing the farmers easy access to the railway station called Prairie Siding. When US 1 (the Federal Highway) was built one mile east of Prosperity Farms in the mid-1920s, Monet Road was extended east to meet it, and a bridge was built across the East Coast Canal, but the bridge was destroyed in a hurricane in 1946 and was not rebuilt.

In 1919 Harry Seymour Kelsey bought out some of the farmers and all of the unsold land at Prosperity, plus most of the land south to Riviera. He established a large modern dairy farm and encouraged various kinds of farming in the fertile muck surrounding Prosperity, and in parts of his planned community, Kelsey City.

A schoolhouse at Monet Road and Prosperity Farms Road served the children of the Prosperity, Monet, and Prairie settlements, who were bused to Kelsey City Elementary after it was built in 1923. A group of Christians started a Sunday school at the Prosperity school in 1918, which evolved into Lake Park Community Church.
 

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