Lantana, Florida

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Lantana is a town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The population was 9,437 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 10,389.[3]



The first settlers came to the area after Congress passed the Armed Occupation Act of 1842 at the end of the Seminole Wars during the Administration of President John Tyler. The M.B. Lyman family is credited with founding the town. Lyman arrived with his family in 1888 and within a year started several enterprises including a general store, Indian Trading Post and a post office. As postmaster, Lyman named the post office – Lantana Point – for the wild Lantana plants that grew in abundance in the area. The word Point was later dropped.[4]

One of the other Lyman businesses was the Lantana Fish Company. In the early 1900s the gathering and marketing of oysters became the town's leading industry. The Town of Lantana was incorporated in 1921 with 22 residents voting in the first election. At the time of incorporation, the area of Lantana was one square mile with a population of 100 residents.[4]

After World War II, Lantana, like the rest of South Florida experienced a tremendous building boom which continues to this day. Interstate Highway 95, which was completed through Lantana in the mid-1970s, brought a surge of commercial development to the town.

From 1950, the town has been the home of the A. G. Holley Hospital,[5] the last of the old state-run sanitariums for patients with tuberculosis. The facility now treats about fifty patients at a time, those with the most obdurate forms of the disease.[6]

From 1974 until 1988, Lantana was home to the tradition of hosting the largest decorated Christmas Tree in the World. Every year, a huge tree would be shipped from the Pacific Northwest to Lantana by rail to the grounds of the National Enquirer, adjacent to the Florida East Coast Railway tracks. The event would attract thousands of visitors every night, and grew to be one of the most spectacular and celebrated holiday events in South Florida. This annual festivity ended in 1989 due to the sale of the National Enquirer following the death of founder Generoso Pope Jr. at age of 61 in October 1988.[7]

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