royal palm hotel

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.”


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…