Fredrick C Peters - Plantation, FL
N 26° 07.772 W 080° 13.788
17R E 576996 N 2890256
Quick Description: Located on the front of the Historical Society, this Great Floridians 2000 plaque commemorates the founder of the city.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 4/18/2012 7:40:48 PM
Waymark Code: WME8M7
In 1931, the founding father of Plantation, Frederick C. Peters, and his family moved to South Dade County (modern day Miami-Dade County) from Missouri. They introduced the popular Florida Red Potatoes, which are remembered by the catchy slogan "Peter's Patent Potatoes Peel Pretty". As the family became more accustomed to the new Florida lifestyle, Mr. Peters developed an interest in cattle, predominantly Polled Herefords. This directed him to look for more space for grazing the cattle in undeveloped and relatively inexpensive land. He discovered that the Plantation area had a subterranean irrigation system consisting of layered muck sand and rock. This type of condition is ideal for plowing and the necessary cultivate for the growth of crops and grass. Broward County was still relatively uninhabited until the 1940s.
In the 1940s, similar to the rest of the nation, Broward County was experiencing radical changes due to World War II and the increased economy. People were attracted to the tropical climate and lifestyle of South Florida. Broward County was an ideal location, since it possessed undeveloped and inexpensive land and had a canal system. The current US 441, which connected Palm Beach and then, Dade County was isolated and far west of any development. Along the two-lane highway, "chickees" could be seen in the oak forests. Along the highway, signs advertised land for "$10 down, $100 a month". In 1941, Frederick C. Peters took advantage of the cheap land and bought 10,000 acres for $250,000. The area was practically undeveloped and large alligators, snakes and other wild animals inhabited the land. The land was partially drained due to the construction of the Holloway Canals, but there was not any facility for irrigation. Although the City of Plantation was not even a conception yet, the area was nicknamed Plantation because many large tracts of land were purchased by city dwellers, who called them "plantations". Also, the area had been called the Old Plantation Water Control District as a result of the construction of the irrigation and drainage district in 1911. The Peters family was instrumental in the discovery of "Plantation Pride". Plantation Pride is a variety of sorghum that is used as livestock feed worldwide. It was considered to be one of the contributors to the reduction of world starvation due to it being inexpensive and nutritious. It still remains in global use today.
"Out of the Wilderness" (1940s)
In mid 1940s, Peters hired an engineer to develop a water control system for the western part of the Peter's land holding. The water flowed to the North New River Canal by using gravity. Russell T. Pancoast was hired to assist Peters in developing master plan for a city. The first construction took place on East Acre Drive by Chauncey Clark, and his family members moved from Dade County. The original selling point was to entice people to buy "long acres", which were one-acre lots with 2/3 of the land dedicated to gardens and fruit trees. The plan was to create a co-op farmer's market" where residents could pool their produce and sell it for a profit. The property was selling for $200 an acre in the mid-40s. The dream was nearly devastated in 1947 when two hurricanes hit the area within a short span of one another. This led to high floodwaters that cut the Plantation development off from the eastern parts of Broward County. Armed soldiers were positioned on several dikes to ensure that others did not try to blow the dikes up to drain the flooded areas. If that occurred, the village would have been destroyed totally. Instead, Chauncey Clark, despite financial ruin, repaired or restored every home that was damaged at his own expense.
In 1949, the Plantation Homeowner's Association was formed by Dr. Abram Hoffman. They were considered the unofficial government of Plantation and lived and led by their motto, "Unity-Vigilance-Security". At that time, there were about 40 homes in the Plantation area. A country store, named Branches, was an intricate part of the town. People would come here to get their mail and visit with others. The area had no streetlights, telephones, paper or mail delivery and was surrounded by pastureland. The Plantation Woman's Club was created to pass along information and to welcome newcomers to the Plantation area. In the early 1950s, the Plantation Country Club was built to encourage the extension of Broward Boulevard to the west. Each hole was given a Native American name. This became the center of social life in Plantation.