Park History & Video

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
HISTORY

Birch State Park is a tropical oasis that was once home to Hugh Taylor Birch, a prominent Chicago attorney, real estate investor, and naturalist, who deeded 180-acres of his hidden paradise to the State of Florida in 1941. Opened to the public as a state park in the early ‘50s, his priceless gift remains an enduring legacy of green for residents and tourists to enjoy. Birch also gave his daughter, Helen, 35 acres to the south of the park as a wedding present and oversaw the construction of what is now Bonnet House Museum and Gardens (later given to Florida Trust for Historic Preservation).

Last but not least, Birch gave the City of Fort Lauderdale its economic engine when he donated almost three-miles of beach with the stipulation that it remain visible and accessible to the public forever. This gift is why Birch was recently inducted into the Fort Lauderdale Hall of Fame and dubbed, “The Father of Fort Lauderdale Beach”.

Clay Bartlett, Hugh Taylor Birch, Helen and Frederic Bartlett - Circa 1924
Clay Bartlett, Hugh Taylor Birch, Helen and Frederic Bartlett - Circa 1924

Tweetsie Rail Road

Historical Images