In the 1920s a real estate boom changed the area as new subdivisions and tourist resorts were built. From one winter season to the next the City of Miami changed so rapidly that visitors remarked that it had “grown like magic” and Miami came to be know as the “Magic City.” From Miami-Dade County Website Historical Museum of South Florida By 1920, Miami’s population had grown to 29,571, an increase of 440% during the previous decade. That development was but a prelude to the great Florida Land Boom of the mid-1920s. People from all over the country flocked to South Florida in hopes of getting rich buying and selling real estate. They sent home tales of riches being made when orange groves and swamp lands were subdivided, sold, and developed. From “South Florida: A Brief History” by Paul S. George, Ph.D. at www.historical-museum.org/history/southfla.htm
The Age of the Rail
hen the county was created in 1836, it stretched from Indian K of
Dade County dates to 1836 but local government comes with the arrivaley to J
B the late 1890s there were fewer M
the railroad and incorporation of the City of than 1,000 residents in all of Dade County.
iami in 1896.
The first train to arrive in Miami, 1896
The Roaring 20’ s: The Great Florida Land Boom
T City theM
he In of 1920s, a real estate boom changed the area as that it had “grown like magic” and
iami changed so rapidly that visitors remarked new subdivisions and tourist resorts
iami camebuilt. know as the “M
were to be
Flagler Street, 1920
Americans Take to the Roads
B PeopleM attract motoristshadSouth Florida, the Dade County of 440%
y 1920, from allpopulation to grown to 29,571, an increase
iami’s over the country flocked to South F
lorida in hopes of
duringCommission set asideselling real1929 for a road beautification
the previous decade. money in estate.
getting rich buying and
East Flagler and
First Avenue, 1925
The Parks Department is Born
In W prison labor and $10,000, is hired“Superintendent” A.D. B of the county road
1929 Adrian D. “Doug” B
arnes project to be the superintendent
arnes began to
T program becomes the Dade County Parks Department.
beautificationthat would eventually canopy the county’s roads.
plant trees program.
arks: T K
he eys to our P
Fruit and Spice
Our First Heritage Park
In 1930, M
ammock becomes the county’s first park.
--Commodore William J. Matheson
So spoke Commodore W
illiam J M
. atheson in
“I have of 1929 when approached to
the winterbeen waiting for somebody by county
ask for the H
ammock the property. H
employees interested inand preserve it for
immediately agreed to donate the land for a
The Civilian Conservation Corps adds to the park’ s facilities in 1936.
T Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) was
created by P
resident Franklin D. Roosevelt in
1933 to put unemployed young men to work
during the Great Depression.
The Civilian Conservation Core Arrives!
iami, CCC crews cleared land, engineered paths and roadways, quarried stone,
dredged canals, and built the walls and structures of Dade County’s first parks.
ammock, the CCC began to
clear some of the palmetto scrub, build
bridges, and dredge the area that became
the swimming beach.
A marina was built for private boaters. T
CCC also built a concession stand area from
native rock which now housed the Red
T boat slips for the marina were dug out by
T beach was enclosed early in the park’s development after
barracudas became a threat to swimmers.
T swimming area quickly became popular with bathers. T original concession stand is
today a formal restaurant.
A. D. Barnes Looks to the North of the County to Build a Park
In the early 1930’s, A.D. B
arnes, realized that M
iami was expanding
northward. Now B
arnes was looking to create a park to serve people in
the northern part of the county.
..an old rock quarry near the Oleta River
A.O. Greynolds owned an old rock quarry near the Oleta River in Ojus, Florida. B
struck a deal with Greynolds—if he donated his quarry for a park, it would carry his
arnes presented W
hillips, the landscape architect, a challenge—take a
scraped, tract of rock pits littered with machinery and make a park that people in M
would be willing to drive a distance to use.
here was not enough money to haul away
the heavy machinery and boulders left
hillips decided to bury it all under
the dirt and slag dredged up during the
creation of the lakes and waterways.
hillip’s solution created an “observation
mound,” 42 feet above sea level, the
highest point of land in the county at the
hillips also created a boating and swimming lake with a timber and stone boat house at
Visitors could swim in the lake, rent a horse for $1.50 per hour, or rent a row
one end. A natural island rookery populated by nearly 3,000 egrets, herons, and roseate
boat or canoe for 25 cents an hour.
spoonbills became a central feature.
Around the perimeter of the park, Phillips laid out a roadway lined with native oaks and
other local species, providing motorists with a scenic drive to picnic areas and horseback
So many people came from all over the
county and outside F
lorida that picnic
shelters, parking areas, and restrooms had to
be doubled after the first year of operation.
In the 1930’s, the town of
omestead considered a
number of ideas to promote its
development. One of their
ideas was to create a public
park on the bayfront.
ames Sottile, owner of South Dade
Farms, donated 1,200 acres of
bayfront for the park project.
uch of the land originally set
aside for H
ark was eventually annexed
into neighboring B
ark, including the
land were the visitor center is
An existing canal was dredged and widened to improve boat access.
An atoll tidal pool was created, modeled after the swimming atoll in M
ammock Park, and areas were cleared for roads and a parking lot.
Development was delayed by W
orld W II. T Army Corps used the park as a
base for rescue boats. German U-boats seriously disrupted our coastal shipping.
T park reverted to civilian use after the war. In 1947, bonds were issued to complete the
park and marina construction. A two-story building was renovated as a concession stand and
living quarters for the P
Six thousand people attended the official
opening on J
anuary 28th, 1951.
In 1941, Charles Crandon, a county commissioner, had a bold idea. T county would offer to build a
causeway from the mainland if the M
atheson family, owners of most of the island, would donate the
beach area for a public park. T deal was struck in 1941 but was delayed by W
orld W II.
ventually, in 1947, the E
ddie Rickenbacker Causeway was opened by the war hero himself and
Commissioner Charles Crandon, whose vision and dedication earned him the honor of having the
new park bear his name.
New attractions were added to entice people across the causeway—
cabanas, a zoo, trams, trains, and a carousel.
In this 1950’s photograph, B B
ill aggs State Park is at the bottom of the island. J above is the
Village of K B
ey iscayne, with Crandon P
ark at the top. B
eyond K B
ey iscayne, continuing north, is
ey, the undeveloped Fisher Island, and M
A world class golf course was added in 1972. T state-of-the-art tennis center draws international
crowds for tournaments. T bayside marina gives boaters access to B
iscayne B and provides a
beautiful venue for dining and sunset watching.
In 1924, the government dredged H
aulover Cut, creating open access to the sea.
aker, a Civil W Veteran and prosperous K
eys sponge fisherman hacked
through the mangroves clearing a portage, then set up a shack and charged fishermen to
“haul over” their fishing boats across the narrow neck of land separating the bay from the
T 1925 photo shows the recently dug H
aulover Cut at bottom. T inlet and path to the
ocean, center, constitute “B
In 1935, the county bought undeveloped lots to form H
each. In 1939 the
ighthouse Restaurant was purchased along with another 72 lots.
Docks were built making possible the development of commercial
fishing and charter sport fishing.
ocal skippers served as “sub-spotters” during W
orld W II, reporting German U-boat
sightings to the Coast Guard stationed at H
Seeking relief from the heat on
abor Day in 1948, bathers
flock to H
A 1948 storm sends waves crashing over the old A1A bridge at
aulover Cut. E
rosion has been an ongoing problem in the park.
ark is known worldwide for its international sport fishing tournaments and
its “clothing optional” area the only official “naturist” beach in South F
T Sea T
atchery at H
each protects endangered sea turtles. In 2003, more than 30,000
hatchlings returned to the sea, making the hatchery one of the largest sea turtle rescue programs in
Surrounded by thousands of acres of tropical farmland, the park is a showcase for South Florida's
agricultural community. An active exchange program with botanical gardens and parks in Central
America, Southeast Asia and Australia ensures the quality and variety of species on display.
T park is the product of one woman’s vision: M
ary Calkins H
wanted to display the variety of produce that come from the Redland
district where her family settled when she was a child.
ary Calkins was the driving force behind the establishment of the
Redland Fruit and Spice P
ark and was the park’s first superintendent and
primary planner beginning in 1944. She remained superintendent until her
retirement in 1959.
T Redland Schoolhouse was built in 1906.
T Redland W
omen’s Club bought the
building in 1916 after the children
transferred to the Redlands Consolidated
T building was destroyed by H
Andrew in 1992. A replica of the
schoolhouse serves as the park office and
In 1944, the Fruit and Spice P
ark was set up in the Redlands as a
showcase for South Florida’s agricultural community.
In 1980, the park’s name was changed to the P
reston B B and M
einlein Fruit and Spice Park.
In 1992, H
urricane Andrew caused massive damage to the park gardens
T annual Redland Natural Art F
estival—in its third decade –attracts more
than 15,000 visitors each year.
T park store stocks horticultural supplies, books on cooking and gardening, reference books
on tropical fruits and vegetables, and a variety of spices, tropical jellies and specialty items.
T Fruit and Spice P
ark is a unique 35-acre display of tropical and subtropical plants from
around the world, where visitors are invited to taste their way through ripe displays.
here are guided and self-guided tours, a tram ride, picnic tables, agricultural classes, workshops
and festivals. T park is the only tropical botanical garden of its kind in the United States. It has
over 500 varieties of exotic fruits, herbs, spices and nuts and the largest collection of bamboo and
banana varieties in the country.
One of the wealthiest men of his age, Charles Deering was an astute art
state is named after Charles Deering, a 20th-century industrial mogul.
collector, a scholarly reader, and a passionate amateur naturalist. H loved
the subtropical, Florida climate and was dedicated to its conservation.
T very distinctive houses—the Stone H
ouse and Richmond Cottage—
represent the one hundred year span of E
uropean settlement. Richmond
Cottage was built by pioneers on the edge of the wilderness in 1896.
T Stone H
ouse was built by Deering in 1922.
Charles Deering moved to M
iami in 1914. H first built an estate on the
iami waterfront, but sold out during a housing boom to purchase
the remote Richmond Cottage.
Deering bought as much adjacent land as he could to save the native hardwood
hammock from future development.
A large section of the Ingraham H
ighway, the original coast road from Coconut Grove, runs
directly through the park.
Deering moved the road and built the Chinese B
ridge on the bypass as a
tribute to his years in Asia as a U.S. Naval Officer.
T Deerings lived first
in the Richmond
Cottage, named for the
family who built it.
T Stone H
ouse was constructed as a
residence and gallery for Deering’s priceless
art collection, much of which is now in the
Art Institute of Chicago.
Convinced that the draining of the E
verglades would have a negative
impact on the South Florida climate, he had weather-measuring
instruments installed on the property.
Charles Deering died at the Deering E
state in 1927. H was 75.
T estate remained in the family until it was purchased with county and state funds in
1985. T park is owned by the State of F
lorida and operated by M
In 1992, Deering E
state was devastated by H
urricane Andrew. Reconstruction lasted