Julia Tuttle

Captain Vail Floating Hotel in March of 1896.

Captain Vails Floating Hotel

Captain Edward E. Vail was more than just a Miami pioneer. His experiences on the sea and as an entrepreneur provided him with several lifetimes of fascinating stories. He was considered one of the more interesting raconteurs in early Miami….


NE Second Avenue Entrance in 1988.

History of Miami City Cemetery – Part 1 of 2

As a native Miamian, my introduction to the historic Miami City Cemetery came “late” in life for me.  It was the mid-1970s, and I had returned to Miami, temporarily, after completing my Ph.D. in history at Florida State University. I…


Brady's Grocery & Bank of Bay Biscayne on Avenue D in 1896.

Miami’s Christmastime Fire of 1896

As joyous as the holiday season of 1896 was for the South Florida community, there was foreboding on the part of its lone newspaper, the Miami Metropolis, over the damage a fire could bring to its wood frame buildings, and…


Royal Palm Hotel under construction in 1896

MIami’s First Christmas in 1896

Christmas 1896 in the newly-incorporated city of Miami was euphoric for many of its estimated 1,000 residents, who exhibited feelings of pride in for the transformation of a wilderness into an instant municipality in less than one year. In fact, some were already calling it the “Magic City.”


Soldiers Drilling at Royal Palm Park in 1898

Miami and the Spanish American War – Part 3 of 3

As noted in the previous installment of this study, conditions in Camp Miami in the summer of 1898 worsened for 7,000 soldiers under the onslaught of heavy rainstorms, high temperatures, and humidity.  One solider complained: “Here at Miami we have…