On November 12, 1899, the Hotel Miami burned to the ground, along with several other businesses including the Miami Metropolis. This was the second major fire in Miami’s brief history. The Hotel Miami was less than three years old when it caught fire in 1899.
The construction of the Hotel Miami was started by Julia Tuttle and her son in early 1896. Their hope was to complete the first land based hostelry in Miami following the agreement for Henry Flagler to extend his railroad to the area.
However, Salem Graham, who arrived from Palatka in 1896, opened Graham’s Hotel in a house leased to him from William Brickell. Graham became the proprietor of the Hotel Miami on July 10, 1896. He was also the founder of the Miami Metropolis.
The fire destroyed the following businesses on Avenue D: The Hotel Miami, the Metropolis Office, Greer’s Grocery, Mrs Knapp’s Boarding House, Flagler Machine Shop and Hainlin’s Laundry. The fire was started in one of the rooms from a blue flame oil stove.
On borrowed presses, the Miami Metropolis told the story of Miami’s second major fire in its November 17 edition. Julia Tuttle did not live to see her hotel burn. She died in September of 1898.Click Here to Subscribe
Read more information at “Miami: The Way We Were” (pages 44-45), by Howard Kleinberg.
- Featured: Hotel Miami in 1896. Courtesy of HistoryMiami.
- Figure 1: Julia Tuttle