History of Port of Miami

Port of Miami in 1920s

Cover: Port of Miami in 1920s

This podcast episode discusses the early history of the Port of Miami. From the first channel dredged by Henry Flagler in 1897 to the move of the port to the Dodge Islands, the overriding theme throughout the history of this most important institution was “Watch the Port of Miami”. What began with the start of steamship service from Royal Palm Docks to transport tourists from Miami to Key West, grew into one of the largest port operations in the nation by the 1930s.

When the port moved from the mouth of the Miami River to today’s Maurice Ferre Park (aka Bicentennial Park), it was not well received by many of Miami’s civic leaders. The fear was that the beauty of the shoreline along the bay would be overtaken by the industrial operations of the port. From the onset, city leaders had a plan to move the port from the shoreline to somewhere else. Finally, beginning in the late-1950s, the Metro Dade County government partnered with the City of Miami to bulkhead and connect the chain of Dodge Islands to create one of the busiest ports in the world.

Tune into this week’s podcast episode to hear more about the Port of Miami. You can access this episode on your favorite podcast platform (iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Spotify), or listen directly on the Miami-History website. Please remember to click on the subscribe button and to provide a rating and comment on any of the aforementioned platforms.

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Further Reading:

  • Tequesta Magazine: “Watch the Port of Miami” by Arthur Chapman, published in 1993.


  • Cover: Port of Miami in 1920s. Courtesy of Casey Piket.
  • Embedded in Video: Port of Miami in 1980. Courtesy of Casey Piket.