Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Floyd L Wray: A Man for Port Everglades

Floyd L. Wray: A Man for Port Everglades
 A Story of the Beginnings of Port Everglades from the
Flamingo Gardens Archives

Floyd Wray is known for growing citrus and founding Flamingo Groves, but few people know that Wray was elected one of the first commissioners of Port Everglades in 1931.  He was an unwavering force in transforming Bay Mabel Harbor into a major international facility at Port Everglades in five short years.  Wray was reelected by a landslide for the following term, but the election results were disputed and political upheaval tied up the port for close to six months until June 1935. Ultimately Wray never served a second term, despite his tremendous contributions to Port Everglades.
Floyd L. Wray 1931

Friday, June 9, 2017

Eye-witness Account of the Great Hurricane of 1926

The Great Hurricane of 1926
with a riveting eye-witness account and photos from the
 Flamingo Gardens Archives

Hurricanes are always in the news this time of year, reminding us of Hurricane Andrew’s anniversary and the need to be prepared.  There is a long history of hurricanes in South Florida, but the Great Hurricane of 1926 stands out from all others.

The disastrous Hurricane of 1926 had a profound effect on South Florida and its residents, including Flamingo Gardens' founders, Floyd L. and Jane Wray.
Hollywood, Florida, September 20, 1926
The Wrays were living in Florida for less than a year.  He was selling real estate in Hollywood.  They weathered the storm with friend D.L. Gregory who wrote the riveting eye-witness account that follows.  It describes what they were doing before, their efforts to fight the storm, and the aftermath. When the storm subsided, there were 30 sleeping in the house including neighbors whose homes were destroyed.  

As bad as it was, up north the destruction was greatly exaggerated.  The New York Times reported a thousand dead and "scores of towns razed or flooded."  A Philadelphia newspaper ran a headline: "Southeastern Florida Wiped Out."  

Wray knew there would be no real estate business for a long time to come. The storm led him to a new career in citrus.  By 1927, he had established Flamingo Groves, which was to become the Flamingo Gardens we cherish today.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

90th Anniversary Celebration

2017 is the 90th Anniversary of Flamingo Groves, the forerunner of Flamingo Gardens. The founders, Floyd L. and Jane Wray, moved to Florida in 1925.  They were thrilled with their new home and the beauty of South Florida.  He had a good job selling property in Hollywood-by-the-Sea.
Wray, Hollywood Florida

Then came 1926.  It was not a good year for South Florida or the Wrays. The real estate boom was ending, and on September 19, a devastating hurricane made landfall.