Royal Palm Beach
Courtesy Florida State Archives.
In the early 1950s, Russian immigrant Samuel Nathan Friedland (1896-1985), founder of the Food Fair grocery chain, purchased 56,000 acres in western Palm Beach County for $19 per acre. Friedland sold 4,200 acres of the land to Lefcourt Realty Corporation in Miami, which incorporated it as the Village of Royal Palm Beach in 1959. At a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Seminole Indians, Chief Billy Bowlegs renounced any claim his tribe may have had on the land.
When Lefcourt declared bankruptcy in 1961, Friedland formed Royal Palm Beach Colony, Ltd. to continue the project. By 1965 Royal Palm Beach Boulevard had been extended northward from Southern Boulevard; by 1967, a golf course, lake, and paved roads had been added, and single-family home sites had been platted. The town expanded from the south end of Royal Palm Beach Boulevard to the east, and then west sides of the road. The village became the fastest growing community of its size in the nation during the 1980s.
The Village of Royal Palm Beach is a bird sanctuary, has a high ratio of parkland, and has earned the Tree City USA designation of the National Arbor Day Foundation since 1990. In 2008 Royal Palm Beach was ranked ninth in Family Circle magazine's list of "Best Towns for Families."