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South Bay

The North New River Canal Lock Number 1 at South Bay

The North New River Canal Lock
Number 1 at South Bay, ca. 1920.

The City of South Bay is known as the “Crossroads of South Florida,” because it is situated at State Road 80 and U.S. Route 27, near the southeastern shore of Lake Okeechobee. The settlement began at the North New River (L-18) Canal, completed in 1912. Only 12 families lived at South Bay in 1917. During the 1920s, the town filled out along with Pahokee and Belle Glade to the north. As smaller settlements disappeared, these three became known as the Glades Communities. South Bay was incorporated in 1941.

Clarence Anthony, mayor of South Bay

Clarence Anthony, mayor of South
Bay from 1984-2008.

During the 1980s, South Bay was the third fastest growing major metropolitan area in the nation. In 1997 it became the only city in Palm Beach County with an all-black city commission. Clarence Anthony, mayor from 1984 to 2008, was president of the Florida League of Cities and second vice president of the National League of Cities, which brought South Bay into the public eye.


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