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John S. Earman, ca. 1920s

John S. Earman, ca. 1920s.

From 1918 to 1923, in what is now Lake Park, there was an Earman Post Office. John Sites Earman was voted the first mayor of West Palm Beach when it was incorporated in 1894. Although he lived with his family in downtown West Palm Beach, Earman farmed north of town in the area that is now Lake Park and North Palm Beach.

As preparation for the dredging of the Florida East Coast Canal in 1897, a ditch was dug south of the haulover from Lake Worth Creek in order to help drain the land for farming. Joseph Borman, before he became Palm Beach’s first town marshal, helped to dig “Dimick’s Ditch” by hand, along with Nathan Pitts (Pitts Island), Elisha N. Dimick, and George Lainhart. Borman said in an interview in 1962: “I worked in it all the winter of [18]97, cutting muck down that floated out in the lake.” Today the waterway is known as the Earman River, or C-17 Canal.

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