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After World War I, an unprecedented building boom began in Palm Beach County. The Roaring ‘20s was a time when a person’s wealth and success were measured by what he or she owned. However, by the mid-1920s, people lost everything as the land boom went bust.


Henry M. Flagler.


Henry Flagler’s death in 1913 did not diminish the popularity of the winter playground for the wealthy that he had created in Palm Beach, nor did it slow the growth it precipitated in southeast Florida. An ever-growing flow of visitors and residents produced a need for businesses, entertainment facilities, and an expanded infrastructure of schools, houses of worship, services, and transportation routes. The resulting small building boom in the early teens, paused during U. S. involvement in World War I from 1917 to 1918, when the government restricted the use of building materials.

Following the end of World War I, growth in Palm Beach County exploded. The 1920s Land Boom was a period of extremes in wealth, development, and weather. By the end of the decade, it all came crashing down just as quickly as it had begun.


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