Length of Video: 9 minutes and 24 seconds
When a group of twenty-one pioneer women gathered to form the ‘Married Ladies Afternoon Club’ in 1900, they intended to bring culture and civility to a rugged outpost that was recently organized as the City of Miami. It started as a “reading circle”, or a book club as we would refer to it today, and developed into a civic organization that created and maintained Miami’s first public library. The organization was later renamed to the ‘Miami Woman’s Club’.
Twelve years after the organization’s formation, the woman’s club officials convinced Henry Flagler to donate land and money to construct a library building which would also serve as the organization’s clubhouse. The women agreed to stock and maintain the library in exchange for a building that would serve the dual purpose. The one stipulation that Flagler added to the deed was that the property can only be used for those two purposes: a clubhouse and public library. This structure was constructed on the southeast corner of Twelfth Street and Avenue B, which is today’s Flagler Street and SE Second Avenue.
The club and library outgrew this location by the early 1920s which led to the leadership of the club to petition James Ingraham, the head of the Model Land Company, for permission to sell the property so that they could construct a larger clubhouse and public library building in a different location. Ingraham agreed to change the stipulations of the original donation agreement, and the property was sold in 1923, setting the stage for the next building to occupy the historic corner at 200 East Flagler Street.
Click on the play button below to watch a narrated video on the history of the Woman’s Club building on Twelfth (Flagler) Street from 1912 – 1923.
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- Images courtesy of HistoryMiami Museum and Detroit Publishing.
- Introduction music was ‘The Pharmacist from Walgreens’ by Gregg Turner.