In Honor of Mother’s Day:
I-95 Exit 1b in FL To: US 41, SW 7th, SW 8th, Brickell Ave [~ 1 mi to Exit 1a, ~ 0.46 mi to Exit 2a] near Miami
A major melting pot and the unofficial commercial capital of Latin America, Miami is a uniquely American City. Even its conception was not typical; the fathers of the city were in fact two mothers. So Miami was not the result of the machinations of men but instead the dream of two lovely ladies.
Mary Brickell moved to southern Florida from Cleveland, Ohio in 1871. She and her husband William opened a trading post and post office on the south bank of the Miami River, near the site of abandoned Fort Dallas. The Brickell family bought up large tracts of swamp stretching from Coconut Grove to the Miami River.
Across the Miami River on the north side, their Cleveland neighbor, Julia Tuttle, settled with her family.
Quite the looker, Julia Tuttle is credited with attracting the attention of John D Rockefeller’s co-founder in Standard Oil. Also a Cleveland native, Henry Flagler had made hundreds of millions in oil. But by the last decades of the 1800’s, he sought to diversify. Flagler was convinced that Florida would become America’s Riviera. He ran railroads down into the top half of Florida’s panhandle and anchored them with hotels and seaside resorts. Also important to his railroad’s success was an exploding citrus industry and its shipments north of fresh winter produce.
Originally Flagler had planned his railroad to stop at Palm Beach — which city he is credited with creating — but when frigid air swept down the panhandle in the winter of 1894-95, Flagler decided he needed to send the iron snake further south.
Enter Julia Tuttle. Always considered something of a lady’s man, Flagler allowed Julia to convince him that Miami never froze — which is not altogether true.
Temperatures below freezing generally reach Miami once every 3 years. Julia sweetened her offer with 100 acres for him to build a railroad terminal and a hotel. Flagler happily extended the railroad another 100 plus miles with its terminus right between the Tuttle and Brickell’s homestead.
Eventually both Brickell and Tuttle contributed significant land to the Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway, which brought explosive growth and development and put Miami on the map.
After William Brickell's death, widow Mary became one of the young city's prominent real estate developers and managers. Her namesake Brickell Farm was originally platted for mansions and large homes, which thus led to the name "Millionaire's Row." Today the mansions have been replaced with Bank Towers and Financial Buildings. The Brickell area is known as the “Wall Street of the Latin America”.
Today, diversity and equality are Miami’s most notable distinctions. No doubt it harkens back to the fact that mothers were the forefathers of this city.
Happy Mother’s Day!
#Miami #JuliaTuttle #MaryBrickell #HenryFlagler #MiamiBeach #HappyMothersDay #PalmBeach #FortDallas #CoconutGrove #StandardOil