Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Florida History: We are going after oil under Miami - Oil fever in the 1920s

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By Jane Feehan

This advertisement from the Fort Lauderdale Herald (January, 1922) touted the possibility of oil riches lying near Miami.  Capitalized with $100,000, the Miami Petroleum Syndicate was trying to sell shares for $100.  Ads – and news – dropped off about attempts to either raise funds or find oil under the Magic City within a year.

Oil fever also struck Fort Lauderdale.

In 1928, when Fort Lauderdale was in the throes of a land bust, methane and ethane gases were thought to be rising from the New River.  A lease was obtained to drill and a rig went up in Croissant Park.  The city was so enthusiastic about it and the possibility of climbing out of economic stress that tax bills went out briefly bearing an image of an oil well. Attempts to find liquid "gold" were abandoned at 3,000 feet when funds were depleted. After World War II, the well was exploded.
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Sources:
Weidling, Philip J., and Burghard, August. Checkered Sunshine. Gainesville: University of Florida Press (1966).
Fort Lauderdale Herald, February, 1922

Tags: Florida history, Fort Lauderdale history, South Florida history, oil in Miami, oil in Fort Lauderdale,film research 

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