A Woman to Know: Julia Tuttle

It may seem strange to you, but it is the dream of my life to turn this wilderness into a prosperous country. — Julia

(image via Wikimedia Commons)

Miami, the only major American city to be founded by a woman. And not just any woman -- the forward-thinking, gutsy, entrepreneurial Julia Tuttle.

When Julia moved from Cleveland in 1886, she purchased 600-plus acres of wilderness along the Miami River. She was widowed, raising her daughter and fighting mosquitoes, but she homesteaded her own plot of land, the very beginnings of Miami. Within a few years, she convinced her friends Henry Flagler and John Rockefeller to build railroads around the fledgling city, and soon her own hotel, The Royal Palm, drew tourists and traders to the warm weather destination. And at Julia's death in 1898, Miami was on the map -- not just as a beach town or a tourist attraction, but as a bustling port for North America-South America commerce.

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