This accumulation of styles is a remarkable aspect of the county's architectural history. But in addition to the imported styles, often modified for South Florida conditions, Dade County produced architecture that was specific to the region.
Florida became a state in 1845 but the settling of Dade County was a slow, painful process. The Everglades formed an inland boundary and the port at Key West was the principal means of access to the rest of the eastern seaboard. The wars against the Seminole people lasted until around 1860 and, though they were fought mainly in central Florida after 1850, settlement was periodically disrupted during the period 1825-1858. In 1858 the settlers were finally deemed to be safe from attack and Fort Dallas was closed for good. But in 1861 the Civil War intervened and settlement of the region did not resume its quick pace until 1865. Over the next 30 years the county's plantations flourished and the first wealthy visitors arrived--some to stay.
The architectural vernacular of southern Florida developed specific traits from its beginnings. The use of local materials had considerable influence in this area. The local pine was extremely hard and resistant to moisture and termites while the local oolitic limestone--which was nearly always quarried at the building site--was a durable and common material as well. The soil p