Dana Albert Dorsey and Fisher Island

Dana Albert Dorsey and Fisher Island

Coldwell Banker - Residential Real Estate

Fisher Island Blog

Dana Albert Dorsey and Fisher Island

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Tags:   Jill Hertzberg

Way before Carl G. Fisher and the Vanderbilt family became associated with Fisher Island and its history, there was Dana Albert “D.A.” Dorsey, one of the first African-American millionaires not only in Florida but in all of the American South. During his life, Dorsey served as a businessman, philanthropist, and a banker, not necessarily in that order.

Dana Albert Dorsey was born in 1872 in the city of Quitman, Georgia. As the son of former slaves, he was the first child in his family who was not born into slavery. Despite his incredible success later in his life, his formal education was only at a fourth grade level, though he continued to teach himself.

It was in 1896 when Dorsey arrived in what we now know as Miami. During his time here, he worked for the Henry Flagler Florida East Coast Railroad as a carpenter. It was also during this time that he determined black workers needed housing, spurring him to purchase a parcel of land in what is now Overtown. He would go on to build a number of rental houses, going as far as Fort Lauderdale.

In the early 1900s, Dorsey and his wife sold some of his land to the City of Miami, resulting in the creation of Dorsey Park. Two years later he would go on to sell the barrier island of Fisher Island to pioneer Carl G. Fisher, and the rest is history.

D.A. Dorsey passed away in 1940, leaving behind a monumental legacy that includes the several buildings named after him like the D. A. Dorsey Educational Center and the Dorsey Memorial Library.

This information about Fisher Island is provided by The Jills, the number one team in Florida comprised of Jill Eber, Jill Hertzberg, Felise Eber, Hillary Hertzberg, and Danny Hertzberg. Call 305-341-7447 for more information about The Jills team, Miami Beach real estate, or the community of Fisher Island, Florida.


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