City of Plantation Historical Timeline

Additions or Corrections?

2018 – City Council approves Wood Stone Plantation 311 N. SR 7 project. City of Plantation turns 65! February 24th, Plantation Historical Museum opens 65th Anniversary exhibit. March, Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic announces retirement at end of current term. May, Council Member Jerry Fadgen dies suddenly; his council seat will remain vacant until the November election.

2016 – Jerry Fadgen, Mark Hyatt are elected to the City Council. Demolition of Fashion Mall begins.

2015 Lynn Stoner, Peter S. Tingom are elected to the City Council. Judge John K. Olson of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Florida rules on the auction sale of the Plantation Fashion Mall.

2014 Plantation Historical Museum Everglades Diorama unveiled February 4th. November 4th residents vote to keep Strong Mayor form of government, to require candidates for Mayor and Council to reside in the City for one year prior to the opening of the qualifications period for elected office & to move City Elections from March to November.

2013 – Chris Zimmerman, Jerry Fadgen are elected to the City Council. City begins 60th Anniversary on February 7th with publication of Plantation History Book. Laney Stearns appointed Fire Chief (2013-Present). April 30th City turns 60. Deicke Auditorium renovated, reopens September 19th.

2012 – City’s population is 84,955. City’s annual  budget is $177,927,134. Plantation Community Center, built in 1963, is demolished. City converts structure at water treatment plant into IT Bunker.

2011 – On March 8th Diane Veltri Bendekovic is elected Mayor (2011-Present). Ron Jacobs, Lynn Stoner, Sharon Moody are elected to the City Council. “Nature in the Woods” opens at Plantation Woods. Plantation is name “100 Best Communities for Young People” for the 3rd time. First issue Plantation Now! E-newsletter sent in May.

2010 – Construction on the new I-595 Express Project begins on February 26th. Plantation Woods at the Kennedy Community Center opens June 25th. Happy Tails Dog Park is named “Top 10 Dog Parks in the United States” by Plantation once again named “100 Best Communities for Young People” by America’s Promise Alliance. City’s annual budget is $77,901,707. Joe Harris appointed Fire Chief (2010- 2013).

2009 Diane Veltri Bendekovic, Dr. Robert Levy and Pete Tingom are elected to the City Council. The newly expanded Liberty Tree Park opens in September and is renamed Rae Carole Armstrong Liberty Tree Park. On May 8th the new Public Works Fleet Maintenance Facility opens. Howard Harrison appointed Police Chief (2009-Present).

2008 – West Regional Library opens on October 26th. The Plantation Historical Museum expansion groundbreaking is held on November 7th. Plantation named “100 Best Communities for Young People” by America’s Promise Alliance. Plantation Historical Museum expansion opens on September 18th.

2007 – Sharon Moody and Jerry Fadgen are elected to the City Council. The Plantation Library’s new Multipurpose Room and Book Sale Room opens on January 27th. Country Club Park opens March 10th. Plantation’s Central City Linear Park Trail is recognized as part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System in February. Plantation Preserve Golf Course and Club designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary

2006 – The Fashion Mall closes. Park East Trailhead dedicated on February 4th. The Plantation Preserve Golf Course and Club opens with an invitation only dinner on April 21st and a grand opening to the public, complete with a walking tour of the Preserve Linear Park, on April 22nd. The Shade Brigade, a tree advocacy group, is formed. A groundbreaking ceremony for the Plantation Library’s new multipurpose room and book sale is held on February 13th. Plantation begins broadcasting on it’s own radio station: 1620 AM. Police Department is expanded. The first annual City Calendar is previewed.

2005 Diane Veltri Bendekovic, Bruce Edwards, Dr. Robert A. Levy are elected to the City Council. Rico Petrocelli was elected to Bruce Edwards’ Council Seat in a special election. Hurricane Wilma hits Plantation on October 24th causing significant damage. Plantation named one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance. Skate Board Park opens at Central Park. Plantation Equestrian Center opens April 2nd.

2004 – Veltri Tennis Center expanded. Camp Everglades at Volunteer Park opens December 21st.

2003 – Jerry Fadgen, Sharon Moody are elected to the City Council. The City Celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary with an 8 day celebration in April. Country Club Circle Linear Park opens May 31st. City purchase Golf Club of Plantation. Practice Tennis Wall constructed at Veltri Tennis Center. Plantation Midtown District begins. The City purchases the Elk Club property with the intent of expanding Liberty Tree Park. Larry L. Massey appointed Police Chief  (2003-2009).

2002 – Population grows to 84,500 and is made up of 55 diverse cultures. Plantation Elementary moves to new school site. Jim Ward 16,000 sq ft (1,500 m2) Community Center on site of old Plantation Elementary School opens January 12th.. Plantation Gateway Development District formed. Jack Carter Harmony Park opens on January 18th. Happy Tails Dog Park opens on March 2nd. Central Park is expanded to include new soccer fields and a new entrance on Cleary Blvd and 91st Ave. Parkway Christian School opens.

2001 Diane Veltri Bendekovic is elected to the City Council. Ground broken for Happy Tails Dog Park. Multicultural Garden opens in Park East community. Plantation Tram, Community Bus Service begins October 1st.

2000 – Population 84,500 and 55 diverse cultures; Presidential election delayed; Plantation Elementary moves to new school site; ground broken for Jim Ward Community Center.

1999 – Rae Carole Armstrong elected as Mayor (1999-2011). Jerry Fadgen and Ralph D. Merritt III are elected to the City Council. Roller Hockey Courts at Central Park open January 27th. 11,500-square-foot (1,070 m2) Volunteer Park Community Center dedicated December 5th. K-9 Unit added to Police Department.

1998 – Fire Administration building and Firefighters’ Memorial Park dedicated.

1997 – Bruce Edwards, Lee Hillier and Ron Jacobs are elected to the City Council. Population reaches 78,000. City budget exceeds $80 million. Central Park Training Pool and Hydro-Playground open on October 22nd. Fire Station #6 on W Sunrise Blvd. opens

1996 Olympic Torch Run weaves through Plantation. Town Mall fire on September 7th is largest fire in Plantation’s history.

1995 – Rae Carole Armstrong and Jerry Fadgen are elected to the City Council. Tennis Center at Central Park renamed the Frank Veltri Tennis Center. City operated Emergency Medical Service (EMS) begins.

1994 – Population reaches more than 73,500. Sunset Park opens October 18th.

1993 Martin Dishowitz, Ralph D. Merritt III and Larry Freilich are elected to the City Council. Ron Jacobs was elected to Martin Dishowitz’s Council Seat in a Special Election. Kemper National Services opens operations in Plantation. Deicke Park opens on October 10th. Bennett Community Hospital becomes Westside Regional Medical Center.

1991 – Rae Carole Armstrong and Ed Weiner are elected to the City Council. Hartford’s Cornerstone, Phase 1 opens. Tara Park opens on February 23rd. Plantation Fire Room at the Historical Museum opens on October 20th.

1990 – Population reaches 65,000. City budget is $64 million. Central Park Elementary School opens. C.E. Sharrett, Jr. appointed Police Chief (1990-2003).

1989 – Ralph D. Merritt III, Larry Freilich and Martin Dishowitz are elected to the City Council. Interstate I-595 opens. New Fire Station #3 on W. Broward Blvd. (replace old station on 125th Ave). Robert S. Pudney III becomes first paid Fire Chief (1983-2010). Midtown Business District formed.

1988 – Fountains Shopping Mall opens (450,000 sq ft). Fashion Mall at Plantation opens (660,000 sq ft).

1987 – Rae Carole Armstrong and John Gibbs are elected to the City Council. Construction begins on the Public Works Complex.

1986 – Veterans Park opens .

1985 – Larry Freilich and Martin Dishowitz are elected to the City Council. Plantation Historical Museum opens on June 2nd.

1984 – First P.L.A.N.T. Awards.

1983 – John Gibbs and Rae Carole Armstrong are elected to the City Council. Construction begins on a new Police Station. Robert S. Pudney III appointed Fire Chief (1983-2010).

1982 – Population reaches 50,000. City budget is $12 million. Deicke Auditorium adds third bay. First female firefighter joins Plantation Fire Dept.

1981 – Neil LaHurd, Ralph D. Merritt III and Larry Freilich are elected to the City Council. Plantation Library is renamed the Helen B. Hoffman Plantation Library. Tennis Center at Central Park opens on June 1st. Morris Meek appointed Police Chief (1981-90). St. Gregory the Great Church is rebuilt and opens in March.

1980 – The Plantation Historical Museum was founded. Population is 48,653. Fire Stations #4 and #5 open. Dick Steele appointed Fire Chief (1980-83).

1979 – John Gibbs, and Thomas Armstrong are elected to the City Council. Construction is started on Pine Island Park. An addition is added to the Plantation Library. 77 acres are purchased to build Central Park. St. Gregory the Great Church destroyed by fire on September 14th.

1978 – Broward Mall opens (1 million square ft). City Celebrates its 25th Birthday. The Plantation Horse Arena is dedicated as part of the Birthday Celebration.

1977 – Neil LaHurd, Michael G. Shayne and Ralph D. Merritt III are elected to the City Council.

1976 – Plantation declared a “Bicentennial City”. City Fire Hydrants painted with patriotic themes. A large tree, symbolic of the original Liberty Tree in Boston, dedicated to the
principle of liberty, is planted at Plantation Liberty Tree Park. Donald VanDerLinde appointed Fire Chief (1976-1979). Ramat Shalom Synagogue opens.

1975 – Frank Veltri elected Mayor (1975-99). Donald King, Thomas H. Armstrong and Ralph D. Merritt III are elected to the City Council. American Express moves Southern Region Operations Center to Plantation. Population 40,200. City budget is $4,229,569. Fire Station #3 built.

1974 – Plantation Historical Society founded in December by Genevieve Veltri, Dorothy O’Hare, Lois Brickhouse, and Marilyn King. Bennett Community Hospital opens. Fire Station #2, on 65th Ave, is dedicated on January 20th. Non-fiction wing added to Plantation Library. William E. Greene appointed Police Chief (1974-81).

1973 Frank Veltri, Neil LaHurd and Michael G. Shayne are elected to the City Council. Plantation City Hall is dedicated on December 2nd. Deicke Auditorium dedicated on May 6th. Melaleuca Isles and Plantation Acres are annexed in to the City. South Plantation Playing Field (now Pop Travers) opens.

1971 – Jack L. Carter is elected Mayor (1971-75). John Gibbs and Donald King are elected to City Council. Jacaranda Golf Course and Country Club opens.

1970 – Gulfstream Land and Development Company purchases 5,400 acres (22 km2) for Jacaranda community development; population reaches 23,000. South Plantation High, Plantation Middle and Tropical Elementary Schools open. Friends of the Library founded.

1969 – Frank Veltri, Neil LaHurd and Winslow Freeman are elected to the City Council. Motorola opens facility in Plantation. First Jaycee Christmas Parade is held on November 29th.
City begins “blue bag” garbage system begins in December. Mirror Lake Elementary School opens. Lago Mar Golf Course opens.

1968 – New Plantation Library opens. James Flynn appointed Fire Chief (1968-75). Lawrence W. Sullivan appointed Police Chief (1968-74). Plantation Town Mall opens.

1967 – John Spellacy and John B. Dye Jr. are elected to the City Council. Arnold Schrieber appointed Fire Chief (1967-68).

1966 – Plantation General Hospital opens. Plantation High School and Plantation Park Elementary School open. In June plans are made for extending Sunrise Blvd. from US 441 to Plantation High School.

1965 – Allen R. Gurley and Jack P. LaMarr are elected to the City Council. Plantation Elementary opens. American Heritage opens Plantation school. Population reaches 6,500.

1964 – City purchases 12 acres of land from Fred Peters for city facilities. Fred C. Peters dies on July 18

1963 Jack L. Carter and John Spellacy are elected to the City Council. Community Center designed by Russell Pancoast is dedicated on May 11th. The Plantation Library moves to the new Community Center. City’s motto, From the Wilderness, this City is made official and a city seal is adopted. Phillip Amman appointed Fire Chief (1963-67).

1962 Edwin Deicke donated $100,000 for the expansion and renovation of Hoffman Building later renamed the Deicke Auditorium. Chamber of Commerce founded. Populations grows to 6,500. Doctors General Hospital opens in July. First Girl’s Softball team organized by Genevieve Veltri. PAL field dedicated in October. Robert Browning appointed Fire Chief (1962-63). Plantation Chamber of Commerce founded.

1961 Samuel Hirsch Jr., Winslow Freeman and William Bergey are elected to the City Council. The Plantation Library (established by the Plantation Woman’s Club) opens in Room 24 of Peters Elementary School with Mrs. Helen B. Hoffman as chairwoman. St. Gregory the Great Church dedicated on January 8.

1960 – P.A.L. formed in February. First Fire Station built. In September Hurricane Donna hits South Florida. In March Plantation becomes eligible for home delivery of mail. In the US national election 1504 of the 1575 registered Plantation voters voted. Robert Blakely appointed Fire Chief (1960-62). City creates a Recreation Department. Westgate Shopping Center opens. Plantation Junior Woman’s Club founded. PJWC plans first annual Cabaret show. St. Gregory the Great School opens on September 6.

1959 – James Ward Jr. elected Mayor (1959-71). James P. Downton, Howald Humphries and John Tiedmann are elected to the City Council. First school, Peters Elementary School, dedicated on December 6th. In March residents begin planning for the development of Fig Tree Park. Bus service is extended west to the intersection of Broward Blvd. and US 441. Frank Veltri appointed Fire Chief (1959-60). Hank Donath becomes Plantation’s first Police Chief (1959-68). St. Gregory the Great established on July 23rd, first mass held at Peters Elementary School cafeteria on August 15th.

1958 – Population reaches 1,600. There are 450 occupied homes. A Pony League baseball program started for boys 13–15. Better Boys Bridge constructed. Fire Station #1 built on Broward Blvd. Fred Peters gives ten acres to the school board to build the Berenice Todd Peters Elementary School. Frederick Peters appointed Fire Chief (1958 – 59).

1957 – William Babel, Winslow Freeman and Raymond L. Williams are elected to the City Council. First industrial plant in Plantation – Airpax Products, Co. on Sunrise Blvd. City of Plantation Volunteer Fire Dept. formed. Richard Stephenson is appointed Plantation first Fire Chief (1957-58). In January the Sunshine State Parkway (Turnpike) opens. Plantation Community Church opens July 14th. Parkway Christian Church opens.

1956 – Frederick C. Peters donates land for site of new City Hall. First Annual Fireman’s BBQ held to raise funds for Volunteer Fire Dept. First fire truck (Engine 1) purchased to service the City. James Downton serves as Police Commissioner. City budget is $34,000.

1955 – S. Robinson Estey elected Mayor (1955-59). William Babel, James P. Downton, Clark Baldwin, Paul Stoner and Winslow Freeman are elected to the City Council. Plantation Police Dept. organized, City purchases a police car and one officer (Henry C. Donath) is hired. The first Village Bugle, a monthly newsletter, was published by the Plantation Homeowners Association. A summer Recreation program was begun and was considered a success as 129 children participated. Olympic size pool added to the Plantation Golf Club property.

1953 – April 30th Plantation incorporated as a city. Ellsworth D. Gage appointed first Mayor by Plantation Homeowners Association (1953-55). Paul Stoner, Winslow Freeman, George Bartold, Walter Bartels and W.J. Perry Lohman are elected to the City Council. First City Council meeting held on May 11. Broward Boulevard grows to a four-lane street. Population reaches 475. Old feed warehouse near the intersection of East Acre Drive and Broward Blvd is site of first city hall, first fire station and first police station. Sunset Shopping Center (now Westgate Shopping Center) opens.

1950 – Population reaches 200; Plantation Golf Course and Country Club built to encourage extension of Broward Blvd.

1949 – Plantation Women’s Club founded; Plantation Homeowners organization founded by Dr. Abram Hoffman; 40 homes in the area.  Fred T. Peters and his wife Chris move to Peters Farm in Plantation.

1948 – 12 homes in the area; population reaches 36. Gene Carter, son of Ann and Claude Carter is first child born in Plantation. Plantation Community Church is formed, services held in Fred C. Peters office

1947 – First homes built by Chauncey Clark; property valued at $200 an acre; two hurricanes completely flood the area.

1945 – Fred Peters has a water control system designed for his property that is still in use today. Peters hires Mr. Pancoast to assist him in creating a city master plan.

1931 Frederick C. Peters purchases 10,000 acres (40 km2) for $25 per acre; land had been owned by the Everglades Plantation Company (origin of the city’s name); Broward Boulevard is a two-lane road.

1915 – Broward County Created

1911 – Plantation area known as Old Plantation Water Control District. Sewell Locks, first wooden locks in the state, are built on the New River Canal next to State Road 84. Holloway Canal opens.

1906 – Captain Walter Holloway unsuccessfully attempts to drain the Everglades for farming; major canal runs north-south through Plantation.

1838 – Battle of Pine Island Ridge – part of the seven-year Seminole War.


  1. History Misspells Itself In Plantation Seal’s Latin Motto“. Sun-Sentinel. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  2. Out of the Wilderness, This City: Plantation’s History“. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  3. Nevins, Buddy (2 March 2011). “GOP and Democrats Fight For Control of Plantation“. Confirmed: November 29, 2016 “Bendekovic is a Democrat”
  4. “Florida by Place. Population, Housing, Area, and Density: 2000“. US Census Bureau. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  5. American FactFinder“. United States Census Bureau. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  6. “US Board on Geographic Names”. United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  7. City of Plantation. “Historical Timeline of the City of Plantation“. Archived from the original on April 15, 2006. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  8. There’s Something About Mary film locations“. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  9. US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990″. United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  10. Psychologist Plantation Teen, Family, Marriage Counseling Testing“. Therapy Testing. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  11. Bandell, Brian (April 19, 2010). “Plantation’s Fashion Mall set for auction“. Florida Business Journal. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  12. Bandell, Brian (May 3, 2010). “Judgment paid, Fashion Mall auction canceled“. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  13. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015“. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  14. Census of Population and Housing“. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  15. MLA Data Center Results for Plantation, FL“. Modern Language Association. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  16. Top 50 Radio Markets Ranked By Metro 12+ Population, Spring 2005“. Northwestern University Media Management Center. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  17. Top 50 TV markets ranked by households“. Northwestern University Media Management Center. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  19. Sturgess, Kylie (March/April 2015). “Behind the Magic: An Interview with James Randi”. Skeptical Inquirer Vol 39 No. 2, pp. 38 – 42.
  20. Psychologist Plantation Teen, Family, Marriage Counseling Testing“. Therapy Testing. Confirmed: November 29, 2016.
  22. City of Plantation History Timeline – 1906 to present

    Additions or Corrections?