Baby name story: Dania

In the fall of 1976, Los Angeles couple Kenneth and Kathryn Champlin visited south Florida.

The following spring, they welcomed a baby girl.

“Remember that little city we drove through?” Champlin asked his wife. She did. And they are now parents of Dania Ann Champlin.

The director of Dania’s Chamber of Commerce responded: “This is an honor…I know they wouldn’t have named her Fort Lauderdale.”

So how did the city of Dania (pronounced DAYN-yah) get its name?

Initially, the settlement was known as Modello, because it was platted in the late 1800s by a civil engineer working for the Model Land Company (of which “Modello” is a contraction). But early settlers — primarily Danish immigrants recruited from northern states (Illinois and Wisconsin) — chose to change the name to Dania when the town was incorporated in November of 1904.

The city has since lengthened its name to Dania Beach, but many still refer to it simply as “Dania.”

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