Most people are amazed and attracted by the beauty of Miami, but not so many know a lot about the history of the beautiful city. Well, before Miami became a new city with several skyscrapers and modernized buildings, it was a riverside settlement and native land. For more than 10,000 years, Miami has welcomed people from all kinds of regions and nationalities, some of whom are an important part of Miami’s history.
The Early Times
The Miami River was a host to plantations, Tequesta Indian settlement, the home of modern Miami’s “mother” (Julia Tuttle, Spanish missions, and the Royal Palm Hotel belonging to Henry M. Flagler. In the year 1896, Flagler made a move that saw the Changed Miami. He accepted land offers from Tuttle and the Brickell family and brought his Florida East Coast Railway to Miami. This was an amazing move that transformed Miami from a tiny river community into a connected city.
Paleo-Indians were the first inhabitants of Miami, besides the animals and plants that have been there for centuries. Afterward, Tequesta Indians joined Paleo Indians in Miami, bringing them to a total of about 350,000. That was before the Spanish arrived in 1513. A couple of years later, 250 years to be exact, the Indians became virtually extinct, leaving Miami to the Spanish.
Florida remained under the rule of the Spanish for three hundred years, with just a slight influence of British rule as the eighteenth century was coming to an end. Later on, in 1821, the Spanish sold Miami to the United States for five million dollars, allowing Americans to officially take control of Florida. This allowed wealthy families from the United States to build magnificent structures and homes such as the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
The Arrival of Miami’s Pioneers
The effect that the Seminole wars had on Florida was quite devastating, especially to the state’s population. There was quite a sharp decline in the population, but a change came by 1891 when the pioneers of Florida such as Mary Brickell as well as Julia Tuttle and William moved to the state.
After the pioneers built homes with their families, further development came when John D. Rockefeller and Henry M. Flagler extended their railway into Florida. With the railroad moving all the way to Miami, there was enough facilitation to allow the establishment of cities and trade centers where the railway passed through.
During the era of the first world war, Miami had earned itself the title of one of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida. The visitors became interested in building themselves a home or second home in Miami, to take advantage of the ample land opportunity as well as the almost perfect climate of the city.
With this new interest, a group of mansions came up along Brickell Avenue whose name was later changed into “Millionaire’s Row”. One of the most amazing buildings of that time was James Deering’s Villa, known as Vizcaya. The villa, which was built between 1914 and 1916, has a Renaissance-era design and is one of the main tourist attractions in Miami today. Currently known as the Vizcaya Museum and Garden, this villa contributed so much to Miami’s economy, bearing in mind that the project employed 10 percent of Miami’s population.
Miami has a great historic architecture with bungalows made of Dade County pine and coral rock, imagination-defying Spanish Mediterranean mansions, and swimming pools that look like Venetian lagoons. To top it all, Miami is home to the oldest structure in the Western Hemisphere. As Miami, FL continued to grow, the construction of PortMiami and a few other key places in Miami laid the much-needed foundation, allowing the city to grow to what it has become now.
Understand Miami’s History in a Mind-Blowing Experience
The history of Miami is tens of thousands of years older than the deco designs at the South Beach. Make a plan to visit the city and learn more about how it evolved to become what it has become. Go back in time and visit the different destinations in Miami that give you a glimpse of how life was like during ancient times.
That way, you will have begun your journey just like nature did thousands of years ago, in the vastness of sea and swamp. By learning more about how Miami came to be, you will appreciate the essence of time, people, and place.