Facebook Twitter

Cooper City

Someplace Special
Photo montage: butterfly, bicyclists on a trail, a father and daughter playing outside, and sunflowers

Interesting Facts

In Pioneer Days mosquitoes were so thick in the South Florida area that they were a threat not only to humans, but to crops, animals and poultry. They were known to have killed unprotected animals according to Blanche Forman, early pioneer resident.

Beach access was difficult in the early years due to no bridges. Trails were cut and prospective bathers had to cross the Intercoastal by way of rowboats kept along the banks.

Indians continued to paddle in dugout canoes along the South New River Canal (C-11 Griffin) as late as 1930 -- reservations were not yet established.

Not until after the devastating floods of 1947-1948 did the government establish the
Central and South Florida Flood Control District (1949) -- it was 50 years in the making.

In 1959, Cooper City's homes sold for $11,900 - $15,900. With the recession of 1962, those same homes sold for an average of $10,000.  Today, Cooper City's homes average approximately $300,000 in value.

Morris Cooper advertised Cooper City for sale in the Wall Street Journal when the bottom fell out of the real estate market in the early 1960's. As we know by its continued name, there were no takers.

Tom McPherson, former State Senator, was the first popularly elected Mayor of Cooper City in 1963. Prior to that, the post was developer appointed.

Griffin Road was not paved until 1963. It was called Halloween Road because of its dips and potholes. Stirling Road was paved to 100th Avenue in 1967.

The first City Hall and Police Department were located in the present McPherson's Mini Mall where the convenience store and Johnny's Bar conduct business. The complex was designed by Robert House. The present City Hall complex was completed in 1974.

Cooper City maintained a Volunteer Fire Department until 1986. As late as 1971, it depended upon Davie's Volunteer Fire Department. In 1998, the Fire Department consisted of 36 certified fire fighters, all with EMT certification and 25 cross-trained as paramedics, 1 Fire Code Official, and 2 support personnel. On October 1, 1999, the City implemented its own Emergency Medical Service.  On February 14, 2004, the Cooper City Police and Fire Departments merged with the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The first baby born in Cooper City on January 19, 1960, was named Cooper Allen Sinz in honor of the New City's founding.

A multi-million dollar tourist attraction called Pioneer City was operated west of Davie. This old west theme park was to be South Florida's answer to Disney World, but it went bankrupt in 1968. Today, it has long since disappeared.

On the site of the city's Recreation Center was Playpatch, a recreational facility and city pool built by Morris Cooper.

The first community newspaper, the Neighborly News, began publication in 1960.

For $250,000, Morris Cooper constructed the town's only water plant (adjacent to the City Hall) which was privately operated.

After many years of negotiation, Cooper City purchased the utility plant in 1983 by authorizing the issuance of $13,100,000.00 in bonds. Voters had continually denied the purchase before that time.

For months after the City's founding, the only phone in a Cooper City residence was Mr. Beauer's, an employee of the telephone company.

Early city maps record 90th Avenue as being Morris Cooper Boulevard.

There are many parcels of land within the Cooper City limits that are not a part of the City.

The population of Cooper City in 1959 was 85 residents. The 2000 U.S. Census counted 27,939 residents of Cooper City, 19,184 of which are over the age of 18.  The estimated population for 2008 is 30,074.

Cooper City's police force amounted to 1 marshal, who was developer appointed in 1959. In 1969, it consisted of a 5-man police force. The number of sworn officers today amounts to 56, with 21 support personnel.

The area between 106th and 114th Avenues (known as Sunshine Acres and Rio Ranches) belonged to Cooper City until de-annexed by Tom McPherson in the early 1960's.

Suellen Fardelmann, the first woman mayor of Cooper City, was elected Police Commissioner in 1978 and served her first term as mayor in 1983. She served 22 years as mayor and was the longest serving elected official in Cooper City. 

Cooper City Memorial Post 321 began in 1971, with 44 charter members. Today, the Legion has 455 members, 156 auxiliary members, and 84 who belong to the
Sons of the American Legion.

The site of present day
Nova Southeastern University and Broward Community College was the former Forman Naval Air Station. The establishment of this educational complex gave hope to Cooper City residents plagued by the 1963 recession. Prospective educators were "wined and dined" in an effort to get them to purchase in the City.

Early Cooper City organizations included the Civic Association, Women's Club, Garden Club,
American Legion, Junior Civic Association, Taxpayers' Association, Citizens for Better Government, Optimist Club and other service and social clubs.

Commissioner salaries were $1.00 a year until 1981; in 1981, salaries were $300 per month. Today each Commissioner receives $1,000 per month and the Mayor receives $1,200 per month.

Class I crimes (homicide, robbery, assault, larceny, etc.) are lower in Cooper City than in Davie, Pembroke Pines or Plantation.

 

Next

 
Official website of Cooper City, Florida