The Calusa Indians were the first to inhabit this area of Florida, finding the natural resources plentiful in Boca Raton and the Everglades. The area known today as Boca Raton (which, in Spanish, means "mouth of the rat")  came to be known as such in 1838, despite its previous attachment to a Biscayne Bay inlet. A mapmaker in 1823 accidentally placed the inlet, named 'Boca Ratones, too far north on his drawing. The name stuck.

    In 1895 Thomas Moore Rickards became the first to build a house in this land. Rickards, a civil engineer, opened a general store which was facilitated by daily train deliveries, with the completion of Henry Morrison Flagler’s East Coast Railway in 1896. Thanks to this newfound transportation, families began to come to Boca Raton from Georgia and South Carolina, and a small settlement began to take shape. They spent their days doing the strenuous work of growing oranges, various vegetables, and pineapples

    However, hurricanes, crop failures, and unforeseen freezes eventually forced Rickards and others to leave Boca Raton.

    A Japanese NYU graduate businessman named Jo Sakai tried to head up the colony in Rickard’s place, but did not find much success. Between disagreements among Sakai and the other settlers and a pineapple blight, the colony did not get far.

    It would be in the 1920s, with the incorporation of the town and the efforts (and money) of architect Adison Mizner, that Boca Raton would start on its way to becoming the well-known city it is today.