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In the late 19th century, reports described the area as a promising wilderness.

The Great Freeze of 1894–95 hastened Miami's growth, as the crops of the Miami area were the only ones in Florida that survived.

Quigg, for example, "personally and publicly beat a colored bellboy to death for speaking directly to a white woman." The collapse of the Florida land boom of the 1920s, the 1926 Miami Hurricane, and the Great Depression in the 1930s slowed development.Miami and its suburbs are located on a broad plain between the Florida Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east, which also extends from Florida Bay north to Lake Okeechobee.The elevation of the area never rises above 40 ft (12 m) above mean sea level in most neighborhoods, especially near the coast.Miami is noted as "the only major city in the United States conceived by a woman, Julia Tuttle", a local citrus grower and a wealthy Cleveland native.The Miami area was better known as "Biscayne Bay Country" in the early years of its growth.

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