The meaning of the name Boca Raton, while commonly thought to simply mean “rat’s mouth”, is actually a navigational term describing a rocky inlet. The original location of Boca de Ratones; which was later shortened to the present day name Boca Raton, was close to Miami Beach at Biscayne Bay. It was only by accident that the city’s name was applied to current day Lake Boca Raton.
The Tequesta Indians were the first to make this area their home, left alone until the eighteenth century. In the 1890’s the area was made accessible to pioneers with the construction of the Florida East Coast Canal and with the coming of the Florida East Coast Railway. It didn’t take long after that for the area to become a growing agricultural community.
The Town of Boca Raton was incorporated in 1925 during Florida’s land boom. Addison Mizner was commissioned to plan the city, with the intention of it becoming a world-class resort community. His architectural style can be seen throughout the city and its neighborhoods, most notably in the Boca Raton Resort & Club; originally known as the Cloister Inn.
In the 1930’s and 40’s Boca Raton was still a rather small city, known mostly for its winter vegetable crop, but that changed in 1942 when the Army Air Corps established a war-time radar training school in the city. Thousands of servicemen and their families came pouring in to the little community.
The city continued to grow, experiencing another boom in the 60’s. Redevelopment of the city’s downtown area in the 1980’s and 90’s brought about the restoration of many of the historical properties in Boca. Today the city of Boca Raton is the core of the south Palm Beach Country community. Unmatched in quality of life and economic opportunities, this city has grown from a tiny village in 1903, to a thriving, vibrant city of over 200,000.