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A Brief History Of Highland Beach | Highland Beach Real Estate

a brief history of highland beach

Highland Beach - A town of less than 4,000 headquartered on a tiny shimmering strand of coastline that stretches barely more than a mile. This beautiful and unique town is almost entirely residential, featuring sprawling beachside mansions dotted by a handful of municipal structures. With Delray Beach directly to the north and Boca Raton due south, some may be wondering why a separate town exists at all. Read on to learn more - from our first historical discoveries to the state of the town today! Here is a brief history of Highland Beach.

Pre-Settlement History

calusa indian territory

Before the arrival of Spanish settlers, and well before the flight of Seminole Indians southward due to the Seminole Wars, this area was dominated by the Calusa Indians. The Calusa tribe were the first humans to be encountered and recorded and likely developed from centuries of archaic Everglades peoples. In their native tongue, Calusa translates to "fierce people," a reputation they backed often. 

Also known as "shell Indians" much of their crafts utilized the small and larger shells found throughout the region. In fact, the term "conched" on the head may have stemmed from the mace-like weapon Calusa Indians would wield - a stick with a vine-tethered shell of a lightning whelk. This jagged conch-like mollusk leaves behind a shell that is perfect for this purpose. A Calusa dart was responsible...