The history of Delray Beach began with the Orange Grove House of Refuge, one of the buildings constructed to rescue and shelter ship-wrecked sailors, in 1876. The house was named for the groves of sour orange and various tropical fruit trees found at the site. Settlement of the area began around 1884 by African-Americans who purchased the land and began farming. The first school in the area was established by the settlers in 1894.
William Linton, a US Congressman, purchased the land in the area and began selling plots in 1894. The community was initially named after Linton. Settlers in Linton began to achieve success with trucking of winter vegetables for the northern market. A hard freeze in 1898 was a setback for the community and many of the settlers left. In an attempt to change the community's luck, the settlement changed it's name in 1901 after the Detroit neighborhood of Delray which is Spanish for "of the king". The area received it's charter as an incorporated town in 1911.
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