Perrine, Florida was an unincorporated community in Miami-Dade County about midway between Miami and Homestead. It is located at The community was named after Dr. Henry Perrine, who in 1839 had been granted a survey township of land in the area by the United States Congress in recognition of his service as United States Consul in Campeche, Mexico, and to support his plans to introduce new plants from tropical countries into cultivation in the United States.
While waiting to hear if Congress had approved his grant, Dr. Perrine took up residence with his family at Indian Key, Florida, in 1838. This location was considered safer than the southern Florida mainland, as the Second Seminole War was still in progress. On August 7, 1840, Indians attacked Indian Key. Several people were killed, including Dr. Perrine, but his family escaped.
Dr. Perrine's son, Henry Jr., and one of Dr. Perrine's business partners, Charles Howe, made various attempts to exploit the grant, with little success. Eventually homesteaders began to encroach on the grant, and in 1886 families that had started farms in the grant area formed a squatters' union to fight eviction from their farms by the Perrine heirs. Two railroad companies, including the Florida East Coast Railway, joined with the Perrine heirs, and the courts eventually awarded 2,000 acres (8 km²) to the squatters, 10,000 acres (40 km²) to the Perrine family, and 5,000 acres (20 km²) each to the railroad companies (part of the original grant had been sold earlier).
The community that became known as Perrine started as a railroad camp during the construction of the Florida East Coast Railway extension from Miami to Homestead. The first school in Perrine was opened in 1909. The community developed in a very segregated fashion, with the area to the east of the railroad all white and the area to the west of the railroad all black. Perrine incorporated as a city in 1948. A year later a black was elected mayor. The all-white city council and the first mayor requested the Florida Legislature to dissolve the city, and it did.
Perrine was a Census-designated place (CDP) in the 1990 U.S. Census, with a counted population of 15,576. In the 2000 Census, Perrine was divided into two CDPs, East Perrine and West Perrine. East Perrine became part of the incorporated municipality of Palmetto Bay in 2002.
Population History from the U.S. Census Bureau
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
- A brief history of Perrine - accessed June 29, 2008
- Dr. Henry Perrine of Indian Key - accessed January 12, 2006
- Land Area, Population, and Density for Places in Florida: 1990 - accessed January 12, 2006