October 07, 2013
What were the names of Carl Fisher’s elephants?
In the 1920s Miami and Miami Beach experienced a land boom. During this time, developers had to come up with gimmicks to promote their developments. On Miami Beach, Carl Fisher came up with a rather ingenious plan involving two pachyderms. These young elephants helped propel Fisher to success.Answer: Carl and Rosie
October 01, 2013
What did the Seminoles call the buildings they lived in?
In the early 1800s Creek Indians from Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina started to move into Florida. The Spanish called them Cimarrones, which means lost ones or runaways. This word eventually changed to Seminoles.Answer: Chikees
September 16, 2013
Who told the Miami Realty Board in 1920 that you can’t build a great community by merely attracting the wealthy?Known as the “Great Commoner,” this champion of the small farmer and the common man, was elected to Congress in 1890 and ran unsuccessful
Known as the “Great Commoner,” this champion of the small farmer and the common man, was elected to Congress in 1890 and ran unsuccessfully three times for president on the Democratic ticket. Famous for forceful and colorful oratory, he moved to Miami in 1916 and became a prominent booster of the city and its environs. Tourists as well as residents were attracted by the thousands to his Royal Palm Park Sunday School Class, and later he was hired by George Merrick to speak persuasively at the Venetian Pool in favor of settling in Coral Gables. In addressing the Miami Realty Board in 1920, he declared that you can’t build a great community by merely attracting the wealthy and the sporting element, “We must make Miami attractive for the middle class, folks who are interested in virtue and the higher things of life.”
Answer: William Jennings Bryan
September 09, 2013
Who, having faced financial ruin after the 1926 economic bust in South Florida, left Miami, only to return in the mid-1930s, holding, thereafter, many prominent local governmental and civic offices?
HistoryMiami, Fishbaugh M3995-detail.
Since the death of his father in 1911, this prominent Miami area resident had run the family grapefruit-growing business. By 1921, he had acquired 3,000 acres of land and, influenced by the area's growing real estate boom, began removing grapefruit trees in favor of a large residential development. By 1926, the development has grown to 10,000 acres and included several notable landmarks. In keeping with the adage "the bigger they are the harder they fall," Ruined by the bust of 1926-27 he and his wife moved to the Keys and operated the Caribbee Fish Camp, until it was destroyed by the 1935 Hurricane. He later returned to Miami, becoming chairman of the Dade County Planning Board, chairman of the Zoning Commission, Miami postmaster, board director of Fairchild Tropical Gardens and, to cap it all off, the founding chairman of the board of the Historical Association of Southern Florida.
Answer: George Edgar Merrick
September 02, 2013
What is the real name of a major Miami-Dade urban artery which was once called "The Road to Nowhere"?
Dedicated in 1958, this future urban artery began as a country road going through areas which were decidedly rural. Indeed, lack of development was such that when it was widened in 1964, the undertaking prompted a popular nickname for it: "The Road to Nowhere." Today, it is one of the most travelled urban arteries in Miami-Dade County, with residential communities, malls and commercial operations of every sort lining its extensive progress.
Answer: Kendall Drive
August 26, 2013
When the residents in the Miami River area met to incorporate as a municipality, they chose a name for the new town reflective of the river upon which it sat. What other name was seriously considered?
Where they met. Matlack Collection, HistoryMiami, 245-12-detail.
From the day it first came to print in May of 1896, The Miami Metropolis called for the community's formal incorporation. The paper noted that by July of that year, the population would meet or exceed 1,500 people. With a momentum of growth which would soon allow the area's population to surpass that of Key West, the paper emphasized the need of incorporation, forming thereby "a good, strong municipal government," one which could "frame and enforce such ordinances as are necessary." Sure enough, the City of Miami was incorporated on July 28th, 1896. An unusual feature of this meeting was the inclusion of 162 black residents, participating among a total of 368 registered voters. At a time when most black citizens were denied political participation, especially in the South, African American residents were included in these proceedings to ensure a number of participants adequate for incorporation. According to Isidor Cohen's account, some of those present favored giving the city another name but a majority finally decided on "Miami."
August 19, 2013
The Freedom Tower in downtown Miami and the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables were built as replicas of which famous European edifice?
Postcards of the towers. HistoryMiami, 1995-260-5 and 2000-378-50
Products of the extravagant land development boom of 1920s South Florida, the Freedom Tower (the former Miami Daily News Building) and the Biltmore Hotel were patterned after a famous European tower. The lower part of that historic structure was built between 1180 and 1200. The upper part was completed between 1556 and 1598.
Answer: The Giralda of Seville, Spain
August 12, 2013
What did John Collins do in the years before he turned Miami Beach developer?
At the time of John Collins arrival in 1896, the only regular transportation between what later became Miami Beach and the mainland was a ferry which took Miamians to the island to enjoy the ocean. Seeing the possibilities, John Collins began building a wooden bridge that would connect the mainland with his island property. However, he ran short of funds before the bridge was completed. Carl G. Fisher came to the rescue. Involved in development projects since his arrival in Miami in 1910, Fisher had deep pockets and lent Collins the $50,000 needed to finish the bridge, which opened on June 12, 1913. At two and a half miles, it was reputed to be, at the time, the longest wooden bridge in the world, and greatly facilitated the growth and settlement of Miami Beach, a development organized and promoted by Carl Fisher, John Collins and the Lummus brothers, J.N. and J.E.
John Collins, circa 1920. HistoryMiami, x-0638-1.
Answer: He raised avocados
August 05, 2013
Which of the following is not true of a hurricane: a) Its winds must exceed 74 mph; b) Its winds always rotate in a clockwise spiral; c) Low barometric pressure tends to increase storm intensity; d) Heat energy is its driving force.
A tropical storm with winds exceeding 74 mph, the hurricane rotates around a low pressure center. Warm moist air is drawn into the low pressure system at ground level, spiraling up through the storm's center. In the process, heat energy is released to the storm and becomes its driving force. Likewise, much moisture is released in the form of heavy rains.
National Hurricane Center, 1971. Ed Mervis, photographer. Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, 1995-277-6279.
Answer: Not true that its winds rotate in a clockwise spiral. On the contrary, its winds always rotate in a counter-clockwise spiral.
July 29, 2013
Who donated the land on which the present Miami-Dade Courthouse is located?
In 1904 a 300 feet square site was donated as land for the 1904 Courthouse. Since 1890, the county seat had been up at Juno, which was then still part of a much larger Dade County. By the end of the 19th century, with the arrival of the railroad in 1896, Miami was growing rapidly and had the population and votes to recapture the distinction of county seat. In the opening years of the 20th century, the County Courthouse in Miami was a very unprepossessing two story wooden structure on the Miami River's north bank. Agitation almost immediately arose for a finer, more fitting facility, which was realized in the beautiful 1904 Courthouse designed by William Augustus Edwards. It resided on land on which the present Courthouse now stands.
Dade County Courthouse, 1921. HistoryMiami, 2007-447-1.
Answer: Henry Flagler