The Legend Lives On
The details can be debated but Al Capone plays a part in Deerfield’s history.
Legend has it, the fish packing house that later became the Riverview Restaurant was used by Al Capone as a gambling casino, brothel and for shipping illegal booze. Across from this location is a little secluded 52 acre island. It was purchased in 1930 by attorney Vincent G. Giblin for Al Capone to use and build a private home.
Capone was arrested for tax evasion in 1932 and the home was never built. The name Capone Island stuck. It wasn’t until 1955 that the island became Deerfield Island Park operated by Broward County.
In 1934 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used the island as a dumping ground for spoils generated from dredging the Intracoastal Waterway. The site was further changed in 1955 when the Arvida Corporation dredged the Royal Palm Canal to expand the Royal Yacht and Country Club.
At this time the members of the Deerfield Beach Chamber Commerce got word that the City Boca Raton was looking to incorporate the Island to expand the Royal Palm Yacht and country Club. In an effort to prevent this some of the Chamber leadership drove up to Tallahassee to get the Island annexed into Deerfield Beach. After succeeding in this they arranged to have the Island transferred to Broward County to be operated as a county park.