The Town of Hillsboro Beach is situated on a small peninsula north of Pompano Beach. It extends 3.2 miles from the Hillsboro Inlet on the south to Deerfield Beach on the north and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Intracoastal Waterway on the west. Its greatest width is about 900 feet. It has but one road, State Highway A1A.
The name is derived from the Earl of Hillsborough, to whom large grants of land were made by the English Crown during one of the periods of English possession of Florida that alternated with Spanish ownership. Florida came under the flag of the United States by purchase from Spain in 1819.
The Hillsboro Lighthouse, completed in 1907, marks the northern end of the Florida Reef. It contains a 5,500,000 candlepower light and is the most powerful light on the east coast of the United States. Its height is 136 feet above the water.
In 1922, Herbert L. Malcolm (later a Town Commissioner for ten years and Mayor for two terms) bought land next to the Inlet and built a school. In 1925 he turned the school into a hotel, which became the present Hillsboro Club.
The Town was originally incorporated in 1939 and remained inactive until 1947 when it was incorporated by a special act of the Florida Legislature. The first meeting towards formal incorporation was arranged by Mrs. Marie McCollum and took place in February 1947, at the residence of Mrs. Ruth Markland. At a meeting held on March 4, 1947, Ernest Wooler was elected the first Mayor. At that time the Town had 17 voters, 9 private houses, 4 groups of rental cottages and apartments, and the Hillsboro Club. Highway A1A was an unpaved, sandy road. A narrow bridge, operated by hand connected the Town with Pompano Beach.
The present Town Hall was dedicated in 1955. The first Town Hall was a tiny wooden building at #957. In that time of war-induced shortages, it had telephone privileges, courtesy of Cap's Place.
The Town is governed by five elected Commissioners. The Town has a Police Department comprised of 16 men. The Town of Hillsboro Beach is serviced for fire by the Deerfield Beach Fire Department. Inland, off Sample Road and over the Biscayne Aquifer, is the Town's wellfield of twenty-two acres, with four wells, pumps and a water treatment plant. Our sewers are connected to the Broward County Sewage Treatment Plant.
In 1973 there were 747 voters in the Town, and the winter population was approximately 1,800. Today there are over 1,500 voters in the Town with a winter population of over 3,000.