Boca Raton


In Spanish “Boca” means “mouth” and “Ratón” means “mouse” (not “rat” as is it is commonly mistranslated.) However, in nautical terms the word “Boca” refers to an inlet. The original name “Boca de Ratones” appeared on eighteenth century maps associated with an inlet in the Biscayne Bay area of Miami. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the term was mistakenly moved north to its current location on most maps and applied to the inland waterway from the closed inlet north for 8.5 miles (13.7 km), which was called the “Boca Ratones Lagoon”. The word “ratones” appears in old Spanish maritime dictionaries referring to “rugged rocks or stony ground on the bottom of some ports and coastal outlets, where the cables rub against”. Therefore the abridged translation defining “Boca de Ratones” is “a shallow inlet of sharp-pointed rocks which scrapes a ship’s cables”. The first settler was T. M. Rickards in 1895 who resided in a house made of driftwood on the east side of the East Coast Canal south of what is now the Palmetto Park Road bridge. He surveyed and sold land from the canal to beyond the railroad north of what is now Palmetto Park Road.  No currency issuing banks or scrip is known from Boca Raton.  Drink tokens and trade tokens are listed for Boca Raton under our token sections.

The first post office, “Bocaratone,” was established on May 16, 1899 with James C. Richards as Postmaster. See Advertising Covers for Boca Raton under the Postal Covers Category. 

See Tokens, Drinks A-G, Tokens, Amusement, and Trade Tokens A-G for Boca Raton. No currency issuing banks or scrip is known from Boca Raton,


boca resort

1974 Boca Raton "Bicycle Post" uncut sheet of Postal Stamps

1974 Boca Raton “Bicycle Post”
uncut sheet of Postal Stamps


Originally spelled Bocaratone from 1899-1923 when it was reincorporated to a new spelling of Boca Raton.