The Beginning of Deerfield
The Role of the Railroad
Before it became Deerfield Beach, our town was simply called Deerfield. It was Henry Flagler’s railroad that brought the town of Deerfield into being in the 19th century. Even before it was called Deerfield, this area was called Hillsborough.
In 1898, C.E. Hunt, a Civil Engineer for the Florida East Coast Railroad, came upon the Hillsborough River. He platted 12 acres between the railroad tracks and the intracoastal waterway and named it Hillsborough ( named after the Earl of Hillsborough).
At the time, the permanent population was about 20.
Over the next several years, the railroad continued to move south and the number of passengers increased. Both local engineers and the train passengers on the railroad were struck by an abundance of deer as they passed by. The reputation grew and the name was changed to Deerfield.