royal palm hotel

Hotel Miami in 1897

Hotel Miami on Avenue D

In early 1896, Julia Tuttle and her son, Harry, were intent on opening the first hotel in what would become the city of Miami on July 28, 1896. The mother and son duo decided to expand a building that was…


Preparing Grounds of Royal Palm Hotel in 1896

Preparing the Grounds for the City of Miami

In the Fall of 1895, John Sewell was in Palm Beach, Florida, working for Joseph A. McDonald who was the head of the construction arm of the Florida East Coast Railway. It was during a brief meeting that McDonald informed…


Captain Vail's Floating Hotel in 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….


Aerial of downtown Miami in 1921

Aerial of Flagler Street in 1921

The aerial photo of downtown Miami in 1921 provides a glimpse of what the area looked like on the eve of the great building boom of the mid-1920s. The photo was taken prior to the construction of most of the…


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.”