Frog Alley natives hope their neighborhood will be designated as an historic district in Delray

Neighborhood has history, but not yet the title

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Vera Farrington has a soft spot for a few city blocks just south of Delray's Atlantic Avenue. It's known as Frog Alley. When she was young, it was a low lying area prone to flooding and home to countless frogs.

"There were times I had to go to school in the water, I was jumping from stone to stone," said Farrington.

Some 70 years later, Vera is working to make Frog Alley an historic district, compiling the names of those who settled the area. She doesn't want the neighborhood to be lost in the past.

"We do need to look back and thank the forerunners for allowing us to achieve this kind of life," said Farrington.

Bahamians first built Saint Matthews Church in 1911, and other homes date back to at least half a century, including Vera's childhood home.

The floodwater and most of the frogs are gone thanks to an update drainage system installed several decades ago. 

In order to get the historic designation, applicants need to prove architectural, historical or cultural significant. Vera argues Frog Alley's rich past has all three.

A designation can lead to tax exemptions for some residents, and often increases property value.

For Vera, it's more about preserving the past.

"We need to know from whence we came. We take so much for granted and never thank those who made it possible for us to be here," said Farrington.

This story was updated to clarify the name of the church

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