77 SF THE JOURNAL OF THE HISTORICAL
ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
Editor: Charlton W. Tebeau
NUMBER XXXI 1971
The Coconut Grove School 3
By Gertrude M. Kent
The Wreck of The Three Sisters 19
By Arva M. Parks
Marco, Florida, in 1925 29
By Mary S. Lundstrom
Glimpses of Antebellum Florida: Tampa Bay, 39
Key West, North Florida
By Bartlett C. Jones
Sailing in South Florida Waters in the Early 1880s, Part I 43
Edited by John F. Reiger
List of Members 67
Officers and Directors 74
COPYRIGHT 1971 BY THE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
le te : is published annually by the Historical Association of Southern Florida.
SCommunications should be addressed to the Corresponding Secretary
of the Society, 2010 North Bayshore Drive, Miami, Florida 33137. The Association does
not assume responsibility for statements of fact or opinion made by contributors.
This Page Blank in Original
The Coconut Grove School
By GERTRUDE M. KENT*
What was Coconut Grove, Dade County, Florida like back in 1887?
At that time it was just a small bay settlement of a half-dozen homes
hidden in a wilderness of dense tropical growth. Although in the same
state as St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States (1565), it had
remained undeveloped while the original thirteen colonies had grown into
a nation of thirty-eight states with Grover Cleveland, the 22nd President,
in office. Soon there would be added the western states following the ex-
pansion of the railroad, while Dade County still remained inaccessible
except by boat!
Now Dade County in 1887 included all the land from the northern
tip of Lake Okeechobee south to the Monroe County line. If that descrip-
tion doesn't get through to you, would it help to know that in subsequent
years four counties were formed from Dade: Martin, Palm Beach, Broward
The earliest record of any organized effort to establish a Dade County
School system is in the minutes of the Board of Education dated at Miami,
Florida on June 27, 1885. Present at this first meeting were C. H. Lumm,
Superintendent, and Messrs. W. H. Benest, Joseph F. Frow and Adam C.
Richards, members of the Board. The business discussed concerned the
dividing of Dade County into four districts. Lake Worth was to be District
#1; Miami, District #2; Coconut Grove, District #3, and Elliott's Key and
all other islands or keys, District #4. The superintendent was instructed
"to ascertain the number of children in each district and report to the
Board at the earliest possible time on the most eligible sites for erecting
the school buildings." He was instructed to "purchase a book to keep a
record of the transactions of the Board." (We are quoting from this book!)
The next year on April 3, 1886, the Board "excepted [sic] a site
*Gertrude (Mrs. F. A.) Kent, a resident of Coconut Grove since 1926, wrote this
article as part of a projected history of Plymouth Congregational Church.
for a school in District # 1," and Lake Worth had the honor of the first
school building in what was then Dade County.
At the above meeting a site for a school in District #2 at Miami was
also accepted. After the school was built the board refused to pay the
contractor until "the roof be put on according to custom." The minutes
That there is not sufficient paint
That there is no shelf for books
That there is not sufficient bracing
to resist a common hurricane.
Evidently the contractor was a fast worker, because just four days later
they met and agreed to pay him seventy dollars for his labor (Nov. 6,
1886). This was the last official meeting of the first board. They had
established one school at Lake Worth which was being taught by Miss
Susie Brown. No teacher was hired for the Miami School. For some un-
known reason they just stopped functioning!
While the Board is not functioning, let's find out what "Cocoanut"
Grove and its environment was like in 1887. The spelling was "corrected"
to Coconut in 1919 when it was incorporated. Here is the description by
Commodore Ralph M. Munroe, renowned sailboat designer, as he de-
scribes it in The Commodore's Story:
"It is instructive to note the points of interest considered worth pic-
turing in 1887. They were almost entirely natural features, the works of
man being represented only by a few primitive houses and small sail boats.
The Everglades were still an unexplored wilderness ...
"The 'Hunting Grounds' of Cutler were still the haunt of deer, bear
and panther. Indian Creek was a desolate lagoon, haunt of the wild duck
"The Miami River was a mangrove bordered stream, with four or
five small buildings on its whole length. There was no Coral Gables, no
Miami Beach, no race track, no golf course, not a single orange or grape-
fruit grove, nor even the suggestion of a truck farm. There was not a mile
of road anywhere, the water of the Bay being the only highway."
The life of the Grove revolved around the comings and goings at
Bay View House, the only hotel in the Bay area. It was built about four
years earlier by an Englishman, Charles John Peacock, his wife Isabella,
and their three sons as their home. In those first years Commodore Ralph
Munroe became their star boarder every winter. His enthusiasm for their
GERTRUDE M. KENT
green turtle soup and warm hospitality combined with his wide acquain-
tance of boating enthusiasts caused their home to evolve into Peacock Inn.
The year 1887 was their first important tourist season. Besides the Com-
modore and five of his relatives, there were Count Jean deHedouville of
Belgium; his friend, Count James L. Nugent of France; the botanist, Isaac
Holden; Rev. Charles E. Stowe, son of Harriet Beecher Stowe; Mrs. Abbey
Goodell Sheppard, granddaughter of Dr. Goodell of missionary fame;
writer Kirk Munroe and his wife; and Miss Flora McFarlane.
Coconut Grove would never be the same again. Commodore Munroe
decided to make his permanent home here; the two counts became exten-
sive land owners and developers; while Mr. and Mrs. Kirk Munroe (he
was a writer of adventure stories for boys) moved into their new winter
cottage on the Bay-which they dubbed "The Scrubbubs." Mrs. Kirk
Munroe and Miss Flora McFarlane became life-long friends who thereafter
determinedly directed the life in the Grove with firm hands. They could
always count on the generosity of Isabella Peacock to help them in spite
of her many duties as proprietress of Peacock Inn.
Isabella Peacock, affectionately called "Aunt Bella," not only
"mothered" the whole village, but she went to great lengths to accomplish
her personal goal-which was to see to it that in spite of the fact there
was no church the children should have Sunday School lessons.
When the Peacocks first came from England they lived at Fort Dallas
in Miami, where she came to know the William Brickells and J. W. Ewan,
known as the "Duke of Dade," and his mother. After the Peacocks built
in the Grove, Aunt Bella and Mrs. Ewan organized Sunday School picnics
which were held in Miami on the ground where now the duPont Plaza
Hotel is built. In this situation can you imagine the amount of effort and
time it would consume just to go to Sunday School! First, weather per-
mitting, everyone would have to sail up to Miami. The meeting would
open with spirited gospel singing led by one of the Brickell girls, followed
by the lesson prepared by Isabella Peacock. Then the moment the men
had been waiting for would arrive: the picnic baskets would be opened
and all hands would enthusiastically devour everything in sight.
After Mrs. Ewan's death the Sunday School picnics at Brickell's
Point were discontinued. Also, by the year 1887 the Peacocks were having
their first important tourist season. Now Aunt Bella was to accomplish her
goal: she collected donations from her guests toward a Sunday School
fund. She even sent members of her family out to collect from boats an-
chored off shore! Before the year was ended she had persuaded the men
folk to build a Sunday School room on her property. Legend has it that it
was built of lumber from a shipwreck. At last she had a permanent place
where the children could go to Sunday School and the grownups could be
corralled for services by visiting ministers. Thus, our little one-room school
building was born.
Two new families settled in the Grove that year. Mr. and Mrs. Caleb
Trapp and their son, Harlan, came from Iowa to join her uncle, Samuel
Rhodes, who lived on the ridge opposite Dinner Key. They were the first
to build their home of native rock cut from the bluff. The George Roberts
family came a little later. He was a fisherman, who married Kitty, the
daughter of Simon L. Frow, who had come as lighthouse tender for "Uncle
Sam" at Cape Florida on Key Biscayne in 1859. This is her description
of Coconut Grove in 1887.
In the year of July 4, 1887 our little family moved to Coconut
Grove and our first home was a log cabin situated on what is now
Bayshore Drive near the present site of the Pan American Air-
ways building [now known as Miami City Hall]. Little time elap-
sed before litigation over the homestead caused us to move a
short distance away where another home was built.
Our little settlement at the time 1887 consisted of about a half-
dozen wooden structured homes on the ridge spaced about Vi
mile apart and the population totaled roughly thirty souls, includ-
ing the children.
At this time the district was no more than a vast wilderness of
palmetto and pine trees and the inevitable wild life creatures of
the frontier days. Wild cats, coons, possums, the red panther,
and a variety of snakes, mostly harmless, but also numbering
among them the deadly cottonmouth and rattler as well as the
coral snake . the Grove's only store, or semblance of one
was operated by and at the Bay [View] House.
Now let us return to the history of the School Board. When the
winter had passed without anything having been done, orders were sent
down from Tallahassee in May appointing a new five-man Board, of which
Samuel Rhodes of Coconut Grove was a member. They were advised to
meet at some point between the extremes of Miami and Lake Worth so
as to make it more convenient and less expensive to have the meetings.
The first meeting of the new board was held in July in Lake Worth.
That was why Joseph Frow had to walk the seventy grueling miles of
sandy beach to Lake Worth to register the ten pupils necessary for a
school in the Coconut Grove district. There were really only nine children
of school age: The two children of "Jolly Jack" Peacock, Annie and Harry;
GERTRUDE M. KENT
the four Pent children, John, James, Trinnie and Mary; and his own three
children, Lillian, Grace and Charlie. To qualify for ten pupils he included
his youngest son, "Little Joe," who was not yet six years old!
I must tell you about Little Joe. When he was a baby his mother
discovered one day that he had a high fever accompanied by convulsions.
There being no doctor, she had to rely on her own home remedies to cure
him. After a few days the convulsions and fever left. Little Joe was well
again except for one thing-his right foot was twisted. At the time the
mother thought he had caught his foot in the crib. But it never straightened
out. The family later decided that he must have had polio.
At the next board meeting in September, 1887:
School District No. 3 was taken up and Joseph Frow, Samuel
Rhodes and R. A. S. Peacock unanimously appointed Trustees.
A request that Mrs. C. L. Trapp be if possible employed as
teacher in the district and signed by most of the parents having
children of school age therein was submitted. Also the application
of Mrs. C. L. Trapp (Samuel Rhodes' sister) for the position.
Whereupon, it was ordered that the trustees be hereby authorized
to employ her to teach school for the term of five months for
School District No. 2 was taken up. A similar request that Harlan
A. Trapp, [Mrs. Caleb L. Trapp's son] be employed to teach
teach this school together with the application of Harlan A.
Trapp . whereupon it was ordered that he be employed for
said district for the term of five months."
On December 8, 1887, the new Superintendent, Alien E. Heyser,
visited School No. 3 (he was paid $2.50 for the trip) and reported:
Twelve on roll. Temporarily taught in house belonging to Samuel
Rhodes. Place central, but not suitable. Prospect of soon being
removed to Sunday School building at Cocoanut Grove. [Italics
by author] Progress of children remarkable. Some text books
In these school minutes we have the earliest documentation we can
find of the existence of our Sunday School building. The Samuel Rhodes
house which was being used was a log building erected in 1876 when he
filed for his homestead. Joe Frow told me it had a palmetto-thatched roof.
The Superintendent's recommendation to move the school was not
carried out at that time. Mrs. Caleb Trapp was hired again. On August
26, 1889 the School Board met at Juno, Florida, which had now become
the county seat of Dade. It was voted that 3Vz mill tax be levied for
school purposes. It was also voted that "in District No. 3 in Cocoanut
Grove, J. F. Frow be appointed Supervisor."
At the October 7th meeting "a bill of $12.00 for rent of house for
school purposes in District No. 3 was approved and ordered paid." So
Samuel Rhodes received $12.00 for the use of his house for one school
The School Board met at Lake Worth on November 29, 1889. It
was voted that: "Miss (written with old style script Mifs) Flora McFarlane
be employed as the teacher for District No. 3 at $40.00 per month." 'Miss
Flora', who had voluntarily taught several pupils at the Peacock Inn, was
now the official school teacher of District No. 3. From now on, she would
gently assume the leadership of her adopted community. Her English
background was a great help. Her father, Henry, was an English sea cap-
tain who had sailed the Atlantic many times, often accompanied by his
wife. After the birth of their seventh child, the family left England and
settled in Rocky Hill, New Jersey. Their eighth child, Flora, was born
in the United States. Now the McFarlanes and the Munroes, who had
known each other back in England, resumed their friendship.
Years later it was only natural that when Flora's mother died in
November, 1886, that Commodore Ralph Munroe offered to bring Flora
to Florida as a companion for his mother. That year they lived in a little
frame house that had been renovated for their quarters. Beginning in 1888
they lived on the upper floor of his boat-house, and had their meals at
the Inn. This arrangement proved so satisfactory that Flora came with
them each winter.
So this official school year opened with Miss Flora teaching in Aunt
Bella's Sunday School building. Our little room suddenly found itself in a
whirl of daily activity. On Sunday the organ and chairs would be carried
over from Peacock Inn. Services would be conducted by various itinerant
preachers. Most important, Aunt Bella would make sure that the young
had a Sunday School lesson. From Monday through Friday the children
would come trooping in to be taught the "3 R's." Miss Flora also insisted
that the boys sweep the school yard every day. They accomplished this
task by brushing the ground with large palmetto fronds which they also
used to whack each other with spirited fervor when not chasing the girls
squealing with feigned fright! At noon while the children were having
lunch she taught a young mother who still wanted an education.
GERTRUDE M. KENT
I asked a former pupil, Mrs. Maude Black, (ne6 Maude Richards)
what she took for her lunch, and she answered matter-of-factly, "Oh, I
didn't carry a lunch-I always went over to Mrs. Peacock's!"
To round out our story for this winter, we are fortunate to have an
eye witness account from the diary of Mrs. John R. Gilpin, who took the
boat trip with the tax collector in his calls down the East Coast of Florida.
In the days of the homesteaders a tax collector actually collected the taxes
personally-it was up to him to seek out the taxpayer to extract the money.
Saturday, April 12, 1890.
Sail down further to Cocoanut Grove to anchor for Sunday. Mr.
Ralph Munroe comes out to speak to us; he is Commodore of
the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club stationed here. He has a small
boat "Egret" and a large boat "Presto." Mr. Thomas Hine has
his boat "Nethla." Mr. Kirk Munroe has his boat "Allapattah"
[accent on last syllable as it is the Indian name for alligator], and
there are several other members. They have leased the old light-
house on Cape Florida, now abandoned, for the B.B.Y.C. head-
quarters. The Commodore invites us to come ashore this evening.
He comes over for us, and we are taken to the rooms over his
boat house, where his mother, and a friend, Miss Flora McFar-
lane, have their quarters. The latter take meals at the Peacock
Inn, and the Commodore and Mr. Dick Carney of Red Bank,
New Jersey, live aboard the yacht. The sitting room was very
snug and homey, and we had a delightful evening there.
Sunday, April 13, 1890.
Beautiful day, strong wind, cool. Walk through Commodore's
grove, an old plantation of large trees; is clearing out some and
planting new things bamboo and royal palms. Go to Mrs.
Peacock's house, and meet a cheery, motherly Englishwoman.
Go to the little school house, built in the pine woods, [author's
italics] where divine service is held by a young Methodist min-
ister, Mr. W. W. Rife. Mrs. Thomas Hine plays the organ for
them, and all sing with vim. They have a houseful of hearers,
and many young men among them. On the way back stop to see
Mrs. Peacock's new baby, a grandchild born on Easter Sunday
-a week old today. What a life of isolation and self dependence
-no doctor to call upon short of Key West!
Friday, April 18. . Miss McFarlane teaches the District
school here, which will be over in three weeks, when she and
Mrs. M. will go north also. The evening wind dies down, and we
anchor for the night.
Saturday, April 19. get our bread off Mr. Peacock, and
prepare to go over to Florida Cape for a picnic with the ladies
and the school children; wind ahead for our up-coast trip. Half
an hour later we start, and sail nearly over, when the wind
changes to S.E. ahead for the Cape. The men are anxious to
avoid a rough blow, and a norther is still predicted by the
weatherwise so the Heron changes her flight and steers for Bear's
Cut, on we sail, and out, and our Biscayne cruise is over. I feel
much disappointed at not landing at Cape Florida and the old
She was not the only one who was disappointed because she missed
the school picnic. The former pupil, Mrs. Maude Black, now in her nine-
ties called it one of the greatest disappointments in her life. The event
had been discussed and planned weeks ahead. But when the gala day
arrived, her mother was suddenly called to take care of a neighbor who
was "expecting" (no doctor yet in the Grove). So Maude had to stay
home to take care of her younger brother. She brooded over her bad luck
for weeks. The lady who was the cause of it all tried to assuage her grief
by giving her a present-a vase! But how could a vase compensate for the
excitement of a picnic?
There was not only the well-filled picnic baskets to set the mouth
watering, but just imagine the thrill of the whole class shoving off and
shouting to each other as the boats raced across the Bay to the Key.
The men of the Grove gladly took the day off to sail everyone over and
help Miss Flora keep everything under control. There would be games
on the hard, sandy beach, swimming in the clear water climaxed by ex-
ploration of the Old Cape Florida Lighthouse. One of the games enjoyed
the most was a contest to see who was the fastest runner. This was de-
termined by one of the men acting as timekeeper. He clocked each per-
spiring pupil on the time it took to race up and down the winding stairwell
of the old lighthouse tower.
The minutes of the School Board on October 8, noted that "the
application of 'Mifs' Flora McFarlane was accepted at Cocoanut Grove."
In The Commodore's Story, Ralph Munroe wrote that, ". . in
November, 1890 my mother and Miss McFarlane sailed with me from
New York to Key West. Dick Carney met us there in "Presto" and we
were soon settled in Coconut Grove. Mother had come early from the
North on the advice of her physician, in the hope that the Southern climate
GERTRUDE M. KENT
would better matters. She did not improve however, and within a few
weeks passed away at Peacock Inn."
In the death of the Commodore's mother, Miss Flora not only lost
a friend, but it also meant that she would have to find added means to
support herself if she were to be able to stay in her beloved 'Cocoanut
Grove'. Could her loyal friends have whispered to the School Board of
her plight or was it luck that at the next meeting on the sixth of December
the members voted to increase her salary to forty-five dollars per month.
"... being a proportionate salary according to attendance."
Miss Flora didn't waste any time worrying about her future. She
devoted herself to the task at hand. In spite of unruly boys it is to her
credit that "no one ever saw her out of temper or rude. She seldom criti-
cized anyone or anything, and yet she was a woman of strong character
and opinions. The things she worked for she believed in."
Now it was the Christmas season again. The children's spirits leaped
at the thought of all the excitement Miss Flora had planned. She taught
them ingenious ways to decorate with what was available. A program was
put on mostly by the girls who vied with each other for the honor of reciting
while the boys waited impatiently for the climax-a special gift of a sack
of hard candy to each one which Miss Flora had thoughtfully brought
with her from the North. To some it was the only Christmas token they
When the New Year began, Miss Flora found that she had free time
after school hours, so she decided to do something for the ladies of the
village. Accordingly, on Feb. 19, 1891 she invited six women to come
after school to discuss organizing a woman's club. Let the minutes speak
"The first meeting of the Club was held in the Sunday School
building February 19th, 1891 with a membership of six as fol-
lows: Miss McFarlane, Mrs. Charles Peacock, Mrs. Charles John
Peacock, Mrs. Joseph Frow, Mrs. Benjamin Nuble and Mrs. Kirk
Munroe. All but Mrs. Charles Peacock were present. Miss Mc-
Farlane, the originator of the Club, was chosen President; Mrs.
Kirk Munroe, Secretary; Mrs. Joseph Frow, Treasurer. It was
decided that it would be best to make a small fee necessary for
membership, and the sum was fixed at 100 a quarter or 40 cents
a year, the first quarter beginning March 5th.
That Housekeepers either here or elsewhere may become mem-
bers at any time by paying the necessary dues to the Club Treas-
urer Mrs. [Joseph] Frow and by sending their name to the Club
Secretary (Mrs. Kirk Munroe) to be entered on the Club books.
That the Club meet every Thursday from three to five during the
That only members be allowed to vote on club matters.
That the Club will always welcome visitors and be glad of sug-
gestions and gifts from anyone interested.
As the object of the Club is:
First to bring together the mothers and housekeepers of our little
settlement, and by spending two hours a week in companionship
and study, learn to know each other and thereby help each other,
Second: To add to the new Sunday School Building fund. There-
for it was voted that the members make several articles of cloth-
ing with the club's money to be sold at a fair, and the money
obtained from such sales be given, as before stated, to the New
Sunday School Building fund. That all articles should be sold
cheaper to members.
It was also voted that some member should read aloud house-
hold articles at each meeting while the others were busy with
needle and thread.
It was also voted that some motto should be chosen each week,
something that would help us in our daily life and remind us of
each other. [The first one chosen was "Lend A Hand."]
It was also proposed that the secretary, Mrs. Kirk Munroe,
should collect from the members cooking 'receipts' for a House-
keepers' Cook Book which the club will publish and have ready
for sale as soon as possible." [They finally got around to it in
The second meeting was on February 26, 1891, ". but only the
President and Secretary were present as the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club
Regatta day, February 23rd, and other entertainment coming as they did,
interfered with attendance."
The third meeting, March 5th, 1891, there were twelve women pres-
ent. Rules were suggested and accepted. The Club was now a reality.
Every Thursday for the rest of the year in spite of bad weather and mos-
quitoes the women would tramp over the rough and rocky ground to our
little Sunday School building to enjoy the fellowship while working to
improve the life in the community.
GERTRUDE M. KENT
It was in this month that Flora made the most important decision
of her life. She decided to homestead some public land. No other single
woman in the village had ever attempted to brave such a hardship, but
she was determined to leave no stone unturned so she could stay here.
To homestead, one had to reside upon and cultivate a portion of the land
in the homestead entry for a period of five years. After settling on the
land for a period of six months it could be purchased for cash. On the
other hand, the homestead would be forfeited if the settler was absent
for more than six months.
Of course, Miss Flora would not have been so brave if she had not
had the help of the Peacock family. Alfred Peacock built her shack,
referred to later as the "Bandbox," on land that is now the southwest
site of Day Avenue and Douglas Road. The homestead of Alfred's brother,
Charles, joined Flora's on the north, so she could always count on her
neighbor if she needed help. Richard Carney's homestead joined her on
the south, and both of their claims extended to what is now known as
When Miss Flora filed her homestead papers she stated that she
took up residence there on March 16, 1891. Just think what a walk it
would be for her every day to get to and from school over the rocky
ground! After the school term was over she would still have to walk to
the club meetings every week.
In the first quarterly report of the club it was stated that there had
been thirteen meetings held in the Sunday School room. It 'also mentioned
that ". .. on April 15th, the members bound fourteen fans with braid for
the Sunday School use (gratis)."
Now on June 4th the Club held the first "Tea" in the Sunday School
building. "The children: Charlie Frow, Leonard Newbold, Mary Pent and
little Albert Victor Peacock [the baby who was born on Easter] were sent
out to gather palmetto leaves, field ferns and wild flowers to decorate the
room. President Flora McFarlane and Mrs. Charles Peacock received.
Guests were served Tea, sandwiches and cake. Only the club members
present-each member being allowed to invite her husband only, except
the President, who was allowed to invite the Bachelors of the Bay on the
tickets of absent members. There were twenty-three people present. The
Tea was the social success of the season."
The Club met the entire summer in the school building. Mrs. C. L.
Trapp was dropped from the Club roll for non-payment of dues (. ."per-
haps she has dropped us as she has taken no notice of our invitation to
tea for nearly a month now.")
There were three items of interest in the School Board minutes for
1891. On June 1st, a motion was carried that all schools commence on
the first Monday in October which meant that the school term would now
be for a period of seven months instead of five. The application of 'Mifs'
Flora was accepted for the coming year. On December 17th rent for school-
house in District No. 3 of $12.00 was paid to Charles Peacock.
Miss Flora was paid $45.00 per month this school year. Mrs. Emma
Swanson was paid $20.00 for substituting.
On March 12 the Housekeepers Club held a Bazaar in Kirk Munroe's
boathouse. After expenses were paid they gave $86.70 toward the new
Sunday School Building Fund.
Our little Sunday School building received national coverage in 1892
when an article appeared in Harper's Bazaar about the Housekeepers Club.
The first paragraph describes Cocoanut Grove and the beauty of Biscayne
Bay. The last line of the second paragraph states:
"Of course there is a hotel, post office, store and Sunday School
In the same article there is another reference to "the faithful band
of women who gather every Thursday afternoon in the little Sunday School
building and join heart and hand in helping each other to enjoy and im-
prove the two hours a week rescued from their household cares. The
originator of the club is its President, Miss Flora McFarlane, of New
Jersey, who has proved herself in every way capable for the life she intends
leading, having homesteaded a hundred and fifty [sic] acres of government
land, which she has gone bravely to work to clear and improve." The
closing paragraph explains ". . that resident members are elected by
means of a vote cast with black and white beans!" (Mrs. J. W. Carey was
the first member to be elected by black and white beans. Mrs. Carey re-
ceived no black beans!)
On June 9, 1892, there was no meeting of the Housekeeper's Club
because the President was "proving up" on her homestead. To do this
she had to appear before the U.S. Commissioner with her two witnesses,
Alfred Peacock and Richard Carney, to file her final papers. She had
decided to exercise her option to pay cash for her land instead of working
on it for five years. It cost her $1.25 per acre for the 160 acres. She was
forced to make this decision because of her health. Miss Flora had been
working too hard. There was still no doctor in the Grove so she went back
to New Jersey to see her family doctor.
GERTRUDE M. KENT
While Miss Flora was up north Isabella took over the club meetings.
During the long, hot, mosquito-plagued summer, only five or six brave
souls came each week. But this had no effect on Aunt Bella. On August
16, 1892, she called for a special meeting. There were seven members
present. The significant motto chosen for the day was:
"Do noble things, not dream them all day." What noble things were
they doing? The minutes state: "The Housekeepers met on this day instead
of the 18th for the purpose of providing dinner and tea for 18 men who
came to work on the new church land. The dinner was given by Mrs.
C. Peacock, Mrs. [George] Roberts, Mrs. [Benjamin] Nuble, Mrs. Lillie
Pinder and Mrs. [John] Pent."
Aunt Bella had gotten permission to build the new chapel on land
owned by Commodore Munroe. The grave of his first wife was on the
front corer of the lot. She had the $86.70 from the Bazaar. The 18 men
donated their labor. How could they refuse when all her life Aunt Bella
had cheerfully befriended one and all with no thought of the cost in time
or strength? So now Isabella had once again provided a Sunday School
building. This one was larger to take care of the growing village. From
then on it would be called Union Chapel, because it was open to all de-
nominations. The Housekeepers' Club would have to work two more years
to pay off the debt. It is Union Chapel which became the Union Congrega-
tional Church in 1897 ... now known as Plymouth Congregational Church.
When Fall came and Miss Flora was still under doctor's care up
north, the School Board approved the application of Emma Swanson to
teach in her place. Emma was Mrs. John H. Swanson, the daughter of
Mrs. C. L. Trapp. She taught the entire school year at a salary of $45.00
On January 5, 1893, there was a tea held in the Sunday School room
for the benefit of Union Chapel. At their regular meeting on January 19
four members of the Housekeepers' Club sewed on curtains for Union
At their annual meeting on March 30, Emma Swanson was elected
to succeed Miss Flora as President of the club. In the absence of Miss
McFarlane, the annual report of the Housekeepers' Club was read by
the secretary. It stated:
With this meeting the Housekeepers Club of Cocoanut Grove
enters upon its third year. It was said by some that the Club
would not last, that gossip would soon take the place of reading
and sewing and that the Club would fail. Those who said this are
today ready to take off their hats to us.
We have accomplished no great work this year for there has
been no call for it, but we have done what some few said we
would not do and that is we have stood together. Not a meeting
was missed during the entire summer although twice there were
but 2 members present. On the 18th of Aug. the Club gave a
dinner to the 18 men who were clearing the land for the Union
On May 11, 1893 the certificate for the Homestead of 160 acres to
Miss Flora McFarlane was signed by Grover Cleveland. She was especially
proud of the President's signature because he was a friend of the family-
her brother Will and the President having gone on many hunting trips
together. He had even visited Peacock Inn.
Miss Flora's health improved that summer so she was able to return
in October and resume her teaching.
The last meeting of the Housekeepers' Club in our little schoolhouse
was held on January 4, 1894. There were 14 present. Miss Flora was
appointed general manager of a fair to be held in February at the time
of the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club Regatta. (If you can't lick 'em, join 'em!)
So, on January 11th, the Club held their first meeting in Union
Chapel to work for the Fair. They actually cleared $120.00 at this affair,
which was given to help pay off the debt on Union Chapel.
The move from the school building to Union Chapel was certainly
well timed, for at the School Board meeting on February 7 at Juno,
Florida, Supt. E. R. Bradley was ". . directed to issue circular letters
to all Supervisors restricting the use of school buildings to School, Re-
ligious or Literary purposes and meetings." The chairman, W. H. Parkin,
was authorized to order twenty single desks from Cleveland, Ohio for
Coconut Grove, which clearly indicates the number of pupils. At this
meeting Miss Flora McFarlane was voted a ten dollar increase in salary.
But time was running out for our little Sunday School building. The
Club no longer met there and the larger Union Chapel was used by the
itinerant ministers for religious services. The growth of the Bay area now
made it imperative that a larger school be built. Samuel Rhodes offered
to donate the land for a new school. Richard Carney, Supervisor of 'Cocoa-
nut' Grove District No. 3 was informed that the Board voted an appro-
priation of $200.00 to build a school. It was later changed to $250.00-
"... said amount to be used for purchase of material only, the inhabitants
of said district to erect the building."
GERTRUDE M. KENT
At the August 7th meeting a warrant was drawn payable to E. L.
White for $250.00 for erecting a suitable schoolhouse at 'Cocoanut' Grove.
And so that fall, school opened in the new building which was located off
Tigertail Road on Lincoln Avenue. Miss Flora did not teach in the new
school. From then on she gave private lessons.
We can find no record of events in our Sunday School Building until
the year 1902. At that time it became a residence, when Charles Peacock
sold the property for $400.00 to George Richardson. One of Richardson's
daughters, Katie Perkins, worked at the Coconut Grove Library, an equally
famous early institution, which had been built just around the corner
The Richardson family and their heirs kept the property until 1944.
Then it passed through the hands of several investors until 1969, when
it was purchased by Ryder Systems for $75,000.
Only the land now had any commercial value. The building was obso-
lete and abandoned. But it had great historical value. The Rev. Dr. David
J. Davis, who at the time was pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church,
was anxious to save it because of its early association with the religious
life of the homesteaders. James Ryder, head of Ryder Systems, was a
member of the congregation, and he gladly turned the structure over to
the church. It was moved to the nearby church grounds and restored.
This Page Blank in Original
The Wreck of The Three Sisters
By: ARVA MOORE PARKS*
The wind finally began to wane. The squalls that had buffeted the
coast for five days and had turned the sea into an angry adversary had
finally passed over the area leaving a trail of fallen trees and floating
debris. It was not the destruction brought about by the storm on October
21, 1870 that made the startling change in the scene but the addition
of a large brig' stuck hard on the sand bar in Bear Cut just off Virginia
Key. Bilged and abandoned and listing heavily to one side, The Three
Sisters, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, had become another victim of
the treacherous reef surrounding the South Florida coast.
Across Biscayne Bay on the mainland, the few inhabitants2 of what
would later become Miami, Florida began to emerge from their palmetto
thatched homes. Learning to live with the unpredictable weather, common
in the tropics, especially in the fall, was just one of the many problems
one had to overcome if he was to survive on Biscayne Bay in 1870. Al-
though a week of bad weather was no happy experience for the people,
the calm after the storm usually meant more than just sunshine and happy
dispositions. The return of good weather signaled the beginning of the
inevitable trip to Key Biscayne to see what had been deposited on the
beach by the fickle sea. Because of its location, Key Biscayne acted
somewhat like a giant net to snag goods that floated free from the frequent
wrecks on the reef a short distance away. It was not uncommon for
settlers to find useful items strewn along this seaside supermarket for
beachcombers. But a whole ship, stranded on a close in sand bar in
full view of the mainland and abandoned by her crew, happened only
once or maybe twice in a lifetime. The scene was set for a drama without
parallel in the early history of Miami.
It was no surprise that Dr. J. V. Harris, latest in the series of
owners of the Old Fort Dallas property, was the first one on the main-
land to sight the Three Sisters. From the porch of his two story home3
*Mrs. Robert L. Parks is a native Miamian residing in Coral Gables who began the
study of Coconut Grove while a graduate student at the University of Miami.
IA brig is a two masted sailing vessel square rigged on both masts.
2The census of 1870 was taken in August of that year. At that time there were eighty-
five inhabitants recorded in all of Dade County which at that time included twice as
much area as it does today. Of this number there were 32 adult males.
3IHis home had been completed by the soldiers stationed at Ft. Dallas during the Second
Seminole War for use as officers quarters. It had been started by Richard Fitzpatrick
in the 1830's, but left unfinished when the Indian threat began. Its most famous inhabi-
tant was Julia Tuttle, who made it her home in 1891.
near the mouth of the Miami River, was an unobstructed view of Virginia
Key. The islands in the bay that block the present view are the work of
men many decades later. Harris, joined by Harrison Drew and Luke
Nicholson, was anxious to be first aboard. Although he had only lived in
South Florida for a year he had learned the efficacy of "first come first
served" in the determination of who was to be the "wreckmaster." Because
of this, Harris was unwilling to leave the area to return to the mainland
for supplies. Discovering that the hold was filled with lumber, he could
not risk allowing someone else to get first chance at such a prize. Drew
and Nicholson therefore returned to the mainland alone to bring supplies
and left Harris onboard the Three Sisters to protect their claim.
Shortly after the two men returned to the Miami River and had
collected the necessary supplies, they realized to their horror that the
weather was changing rapidly. A new squall was blowing in from the
northeast causing the bay to become too choppy and the wind too brisk
to hazard returning to the grounded brig and the now threatened Harris.
It was not until four days later that the weather had moderated
enough to allow the men to return to the unfortunate Harris. Not know-
ing what to expect, they were relieved to discover Harris alive but in a
state of semiconsciousness, mumbling incoherently about the imaginary
captain and his ship. But, being young and healthy, Harris survived this
rather unusual experience and remained undaunted in his determination
to get his share of the spoils.
During the four days that Dr. Harris was stranded, the word of
his predicament began to spread from one end of the bay to the other.
Soon almost everyone knew that a ship was aground in Bear Cut. With
the coming of clear weather the residents, singularly and in parties,
climbed aboard the nearest thing afloat that would get them to the scene.
In the days of no sawmill, there was no greater prize, save gold, than
lumber. And there was enough lumber aboard the Three Sisters to double
the number of dwellings in the vicinity!4
After arriving at the sand bar the men lashed enough boards to-
gether to make several rafts and then loaded the rafts with as much lumber
as possible short of sinking. It was then relatively simple to float or tow
the rafts home, planning all the time the amount needed to build such
and such a house, if all went well. Before the brig was stripped, no less
than twenty-one residents floated their prize home.
From the "Hunting Grounds" near Cutler and Richmond Road,
4According to the census there were twenty-one dwellings in the entire county.
ARVA M. PARKS
came forty-one year old John Addison, former scout in the Second Sem-
inole War, and resident since 1865. Addison, his wife Mary and his two
dogs, Rock and Butler, lived on one of the finest homesteads on the bay;
Addison being one of the few homesteaders to raise livestock.5 He had
recently been elected a County Commissioner in the newly reorganized
Joining Addison was his closest "neighbor," forty-two year old Isiah
Hall, who lived with his wife and six children at "Hall's Creek" just south
of the wading beach at Matheson Hammock. Hall had settled there in
1858 and had become, by this time, a well known pilot and guide. He
had been elected Representative to the State Legislature in 1868. While
uneducated, he was respected by his peers for his strong sense of right
Francis "Jake" Infinger, current Sheriff and Tax Collector of Dade
County and former County Commissioner, arrived on the scene from his
home near the present Cocoplum area. Infinger and his wife and step-
children7 along with the Halls and Addison made up the entire white
population of South Dade. A few years later, Addison met his death
from a rattlesnake bite, another hazard of early pioneer life.
Just north of Infinger was the area later to be known as Coconut
Grove. Edmund Besly had homesteaded in the Grove in 1868 and had
lived in the area since the 1830's. "Alligator Besly" had lived through
and had been a part of many events in the history of the young settle-
ment. But this time he would have to remain behind because of infirmities
brought about by his advanced age. Besley's neighbor, Edward Pent, who
along with his brother John Pent was squatting on the land they would
later homestead,8 was the Grove's representative at the "rafting party."
Ned Pent was one of the most delightful "characters" living on the bay.
He was one of a few who at this point in time boasted of having "grown
up" in the area. His father, the late Temple Pent, had been in the vicinity
since the 1820's.9 Ned Pent was as expert a pilot as his father before him
SEven though it is not named on present charts, a dangerous shoal in the bay off of
Addison's property is known locally as Addison's Shoal.
6The county had been reorganized in 1868 for the first time since 1859. This meant that
an election had been held for county officials and representatives in the legislature.
7His stepdaughter Martha Snipes later married John Thomas Peacock, early settler in
Coconut Grove, and another early sheriff of Dade County.
SIn 1883 John Pent homesteaded 160 acres north of Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove.
He failed to "prove it up" or complete the time, so his brother Edward applied for
the same quarter-section and the patent in 1894.
9"Old Squire" Pent, as he was known, had tried to claim a Spanish land grant in 1821
between the Polly and Johnathan Lewis donations. He served as a representative in the
Territorial Legislature and was keeper of the Cape Florida lighthouse between 1852
and 1853 and again from 1866 until his death in 1868.
had been, as well as one of the most well known carpenters and "barefoot
mailmen" on the bay.
From his vantage point atop the Cape Florida lighthouse it was
easy for John Frow, lighthouse keeper, to see the many boats arriving
in the vicinity. The lay of the keys undoubtedly blocked the actual wreck
from his view or Frow instead of Harris would most likely have been
the first on the scene. Like Pent, Frow was a life-long resident of Biscayne
Bay. He followed his father Simeon Frow's' footsteps in the lighthouse
service. Besides his job as lighthouse keeper, he was also a county com-
missioner. A few years later he purchased the Besly homestead and
joined the Pent family in the Grove.
Frow's assistant, Sam Jenkins, and Jenkins' brothers, Washington and
Joseph, followed Frow to the scene of ever increasing activity around the
Three Sisters. A few years later Washington Jenkins became Sheriff of
Dade County and moved to Fort Lauderdale where he was appointed
House of Refuge keeper. Sam joined the ranks of County Commissioners
and Joe, who at this time was still a teenager, was appointed Inspector of
Charles E. Barnes, thirty-three, lived on the south bank of the
river directly across from Harris' dock. He was undoubtedly one of the
first on the scene because of his proximity to Harris. Like Harris he
had been on the bay only a short time. Barnes had the distinction of
owning and operating the only store on the bay. He also ran a schooner
to Key West and was Postmaster of the small settlement."
From up the Miami River at Wagner's Creek near N.W. 12th Ave-
nue and the River, came William Wagner and his son William, Jr. Wagner,
Sr. was a former soldier who first saw Dade County while stationed at
Fort Dallas during the Second Seminole War. He had been a resident
for almost fifteen years and built the first church in the area at his home.
On Musa Isle, near Wagner, lived sixty year old John Holman. He
was another of the more colorful characters in the area. He was a native
of Hanover, Germany, and like Wagner a veteran of the Second Seminole
War. "Long John," as he was known, was one of the earliest "barefoot
mailmen" in the area.
loSimeon Frow, a native of Majorca, was keeper at Cape Florida from 1859 until it was
darkened during the Civil War.
liThe post office in the Miami area changed about as often as the weather. The name
had been changed from Miami to Biscayne in June, 1870 so at this time Barnes was
actually postmaster of Biscayne, Florida. Barnes served as postmaster for only four
months because Lt. Governor Gleason had it moved to his home in the Miami Shores
area where it remained until 1874 when it was returned to the Ft. Dallas area and
ARVA M. PARKS
There were also several homesteaders north of the Miami River
in 1870. Most were also involved in the salvage of the Three Sister's
cargo. In the vicinity of what would later become Buena Vista, (N.E.
36th Street), lived County Commissioner Dan Clark. Clark had come to
the bay from England before the Civil War. He had one of the earliest
homesteads in the whole county. He was affectionately called the "pig
man" because of the pigs he raised.'2 Living with him at this time was
fellow Englishman William H. Benest, another of Dade's early Sheriffs
and State Representatives.13 Living in a shack near them was "Aunt
Lizzie" Freeman, a seventy year old former slave who cooked for the
Immediately west of Clark lived Octavius Aimer (Symor), a black
man from South Carolina, and his large family. He homesteaded in 1870
and was probably the first black man to do so."
Further up the bay near Little River lived Michael Sayers (Zahr)
and his son George. They had come to the area from France prior to
the Civil War. "French Mike" had become a popular figure in the settle-
ment after he had run the blockade during the Civil War to bring supplies
to the few remaining families. His large home, amidst a grove of coconut
trees, became a voting precinct for the southern end of the county. Both
Sayers later served as County Commissioners. Living with them at the
time was William Rigby, a seaman from the Bahamas who joined in the
trip south to Virginia Key to aid in the salvage.
After several days, the brig Three Sisters lay empty with all the
lumber removed. Mysteriously she was set ablaze and burned to the
waterline. No one knew for sure who set the fire but many believed it
to be the work of Doctor Harris, who not only was the first to board her
but the last to leave her. Thus nothing remained of the brig Three Sisters,
late of Nova Scotia, except her priceless cargo, a part of which was stored
in about every dwelling in the county.
Those involved in the great lumber haul were obviously aware of
the strict rules set down by the Federal Government regarding ship-
wrecks. "Wrecking" was a licensed and well regulated profession. The
fact that someone burned the ship indicates that there was an understand-
t1Clark homesteaded in 1867. A legend is told that Clark, not able to read or write,
often signed documents with the footprint of his trusty dog Genevieve. His signature
became the best known in South Florida!
O3Many years later, Benest as an old man was found dead in Brickell Hammock. Many
believed that he became confused and was unable to find his way out. This anecdote
gives some idea of the density of the Brickell Hammock. A little of the hammock
remains at Simpson Park and Vizcaya, with scattered patches between.
14IHis homestead was west of Clark's between 20th and 36th Street On the census he is
listed as a mulatto but counted as one of the thirteen "colored" in the county in 1870.
ing of the need to destroy all evidence of her existence in the area. The
participants obviously believed that for once their isolation would be
to their advantage. Surely no one in far away Key West would know or
care about the incident. At least this is what they believed until early
December when William Allen, Assistant U.S. Marshal, armed with a
court order made his appearance.
On November 28th, John Jay Philbrick, acting consul for the Port
of Key West, had filed a libel for restitution in the District Court of the
United States, Southern District of Florida. In it he named J. V. Harris,
William Wagner, Charles E. Barnes, Daniel Clark, William Benest, Samuel
Jenkins, Washington H. Jenkins, Joseph Jenkins, Francis Infinger, John
A. Addison, William Rigby, Michael Sayers, George Sayers, Isiah Hall,
William Wagner, Jr. and John Holman as parties to what he alleged was
illegal seizure of the cargo. The court had ordered the lumber attached
and the alleged participants in the salvage were required to show cause
why they should not be held liable for restitution.
Allen searched the area and attached all the lumber he could find.
Some buildings had already been constructed out of the lumber and some
of the lumber was hidden too well to be found. Allen recovered ninety-
five thousand feet out of an alleged one hundred twenty-five thousand
feet listed on the manifest. While this was a sizable amount, it left thirty-
five thousand feet unaccounted for. There is no way to know how much
remained on the bay, but obviously it was a great deal. To the original
list of sixteen cited by the court, he added Octavius Aimer, Luke Nichol-
son, John Frow, Edward Pent, Harrison Drew and William Wagner, Sr.
On February 23, 1871, the twenty-one men named, through their
attorney, filed their answer to the Libel.
While admitting that they did take out the lumber
"with much time, exposure and arduous labor" they
agreed that "they knew that their labor and exposure in
resqueing (sic) this lumber from impending total loss
gave them a greater vested interest in it than other
parties possessed and they desired to appeal to an ad-
miralty tribunal to award them salvage; but no such tri-
bunal existed in this district and they felt under no obli-
gation to charter vessels to freight the lumber to Key
West, a course that would only accumulate needless
expense. That they did not and do not possess boats
or vessels to bring the lumber to Key West, but they did
preserve it and kept it safely except a small quantity
used by some of the respondents and of which a strict
account will be given. They ask the court to dismiss the
said Libel and to decree to them a certain portion. .."
ARVA M. PARKS
The laws regulating salvage were quite explicit. The most basic
regulation was that all salvage came under the direct jurisdiction of the
Court, and the Court alone could decide the amount of compensation
to be awarded for recovery of the goods. This regulation included or-
dinary citizens such as the men from Biscayne Bay who discovered
derelict or abandoned property at sea, as well as professional "wreckers"
who made a living from the wrecking trade. All persons had to make a
formal claim and come to the court with "clean hands" or with full dis-
closure of the circumstances and goods involved. It looked like the boys
from the bay were in trouble!
The hearing was set for the Spring Term of May 1871, but many
of those summoned either out of ignorance, believing once the lumber
was attached it was all settled, or fear, did not come to Court. The
residents had led a laissez fire existence for so long it was difficult to
understand or to believe that the great bastion of civilization, the U.S.
District Court, meeting in Key West, would really insist that the maverick
inhabitants of Dade County come to Key West for trial. To further
complicate proceedings and delay the trial, the presiding judge died. It
was not until the spring of 1872 that the trial was finally held. By this
time it is safe to assume that many of the twenty-one had left the area
But in the spring of 1872 William Allen again made his appearance
on the bay and "rounded up" the libelees and persuaded them, many
against their will, to come with him to Key West. He provided free trans-
portation as added incentive to assure the delivery of the recalcitrant de-
fendants to Key West.
Unfortunately the transcript of the testimony at the trial was not
recorded in the court records. But from the final decision, rendered
January 3, 1873, one is able to piece together the final disposition of
All of the petitioners except one had their claims for salvage dis-
missed because of "fraud and misconduct . alleged and proved by
testimony." Only Charles E. Barnes was granted salvage in the case." One
can only guess why he was singled out from the others. Perhaps he was
the "informer," a position that not only would give him "clean hands"
but also most likely a bounty. He did own a schooner and could have
transported the lumber. Unfortunately, Barnes would have little oppor-
15Three other men, Samuel Baker, Henry Baker and John R. Sawyer, were awarded
salvage totaling $37.53. None were mentioned in the Libel or were listed in the Dade
County Census of 1870.
tunity to spend the $57.42 he was awarded because within six months
he died of yellow fever.
The biggest winner in the case was the U.S. Government which re-
ceived over a thousand dollars in duty because the Three Sisters was a
foreign vessel. William Allen, Marshal, was awarded $630.88 for ex-
penses. Obviously, this was a very large sum of money for 1870 and indi-
cates the difficulty Allen had in carrying out the court orders in far off
Miami. The owners of the brig were awarded the residue of $351.71 after
all claims were paid.
An eye witness told that three of the men, William Wagner, Sr.,
Isiah Hall and Sam Jenkins, spent two months in the Munroe County
jail and were fined one hundred fifty dollars. No record of this can be
found and because the trial was a civil matter and not a criminal one it
seems that if this were true, the most likely offense would have been
contempt of court. Regardless of the reason for incarceration, William
Wagner was known to have said that two months of grits, black strap
called syrup and dirty water called coffee were enough for him. He would
never again, after that time, trouble himself with any more wrecks.
The wreck of the Three Sisters and the subsequent trial involving
as it did most of the residents, county officials, and assorted "passers-
through," was probably the biggest event of the decade. The story was
told to visitors with a sense of pride and braggadocio because even
though the citizens lost in Key West, the Three Sisters House had sur-
vived as a monument to their labor. Something had been salvaged after all.
The first clue to the "House of the Three Sisters" is found in the
Commodore's Story by Ralph Middleton Munroe. Munroe first visited
the area in 1877 and found "Old Johnny Frow" living in a house built
from lumber taken from the Three Sisters. The house was typical of the
small dwellings built by the pioneers. It had one room that was about
fifteen by twenty. It was of board and batten construction and originally
most likely had a palmetto thatched roof. It had no fireplace, making it
necessary to do cooking outside over an open fire. The site of this house
was on the former Besly homestead in Coconut Grove. Frow had just
purchased the entire 160 acres from the widow Besly for one hundred
dollars. This included most of the business district of Coconut Grove
and a mile and a half of waterfront. Although Frow had been involved
in the salvage operation, it is unlikely that he actually built the house
for himself but moved into the already existing dwelling, built probably
ARVA M. PARKS
in 1870 of lumber from the wreck.16 Frow did not remain owner of the
house for long because he almost immediately began selling portions of
his property to others becoming the first sub-divider in the Grove.
Around 1882, Charles and Isabella Peacock, who arrived from
England in 1875, purchased thirty-one acres of land from John Frow.
This included the area from immediately south of the Coconut Grove
Park to Mary Street and Grand Avenue. They lived in the then unoccu-
pied House of the Three Sisters while their own home, "Bay View House,"
was being built. The Bay View House, later known as the Peacock Inn,
became the first hotel and tourist center in the Miami area. The hotel
was so successful that by 1886 the House of the Three Sisters was reno-
vated and a porch and rough stone fireplace added to it so the overflow
crowd from the inn could be accommodated.
The same year Ralph Munroe purchased forty-two acres from Frow
immediately south of the Peacock property. Somehow the House of the
Three Sisters ended up on his land where it remained from that time on.
This was probably the original site of the house because there was also
a coral rock well dug there.
At first Munroe used the House of the Three Sisters as a guest cot-
tage for numerous visitors who came to "The Barnacle," the home Munroe
built in 1891. In 1903 a "co-operative kitchen" was organized to fulfill
the void left by the closing of the Peacock Inn the year before. A kitchen
was added to the original one room and the many winter visitors who
had previously taken their meals at the inn were served at the House of the
Three Sisters. From this enterprise came the idea of Camp Biscayne, a
rustic camp opened by Munroe the following year across from Charles
Avenue on the bay front. For the next decade and a half the Grove again
had a drawing card for sophisticated northern visitors.
From the story of the Three Sisters it is possible to see a little of
what life was like on the frontier of South Florida before the railroad
came. The wreck was the focal point of the first community endeavor on
the bay of which we have a record. The House of the Three Sisters
witnessed the beginning of Coconut Grove, the most influential pre-rail-
road settlement on the bay, and housed its most important early settlers
and visitors. It was one of the oldest dwellings in the area to survive
until modem times. In its last days it was being used as a store house
16The Besly home was built sometime between 1870 and 1872. Dr. Harris was the agent
in chareg Harris also put Dr. Horace P. Porter in it as a tenant in late 1872. A post
office was opened in Coconut Grove in January of 1873 with Porter as postmaster. It
could therefore be said with some certainty that the Three Sisters House was probably
the Grove's first post office.
by Ralph Munroe's son Wirth, who lived at "The Barnacle." It was not
until the late 1950's that dry rot, resurrection ferns, and termites wrote
the final chapter and ending to the story of the Three Sisters.
Munroe, Ralph Middleton and Vincent Gilpin.
The Commodore's Story. Reprinted from 1930 ed., Historical As-
sociation of Southern Florida, Norberth, Penn; Livingston Co.,
Pierce, Charles W.
Pioneer Life in Southeast Florida. Edited by Donald Walter Curl,
Coral Gables, Florida, University of Miami Press, 1970.
Lore of the Wreckers, Boston, Beacon Press, 1961.
Hudson, F. M.
"Beginnings in Dade County," Tequesta I (1943), 1-35.
"Lemon City, Miami's Predecessor," Miami Daily News, September
Richards, Mrs. A. C.
"Reminiscences of Early Days of Miami," 1903.
Tract Book, Florida-Township 54, 53, Dade County, Florida.
U.S. Census Dade County, Florida, 1870.
U.S. District Court, Admiralty Docket, 1867-1899, Docket No. 72,
Mr. and Mrs. William R. Catlow, Jr.
Mrs. Wirth M. Munroe
Mrs. Maud Black
Marco, Florida in 1925
By MARY S. LUNDSTROM*
The village of Marco on Marco Island, Florida was a small settlement
of some three dozen families when I arrived from my home in Indiana for
my first year of teaching. My parents had planned to spend that winter of
1925-26 in St. Petersburg and hoped that I too could be there. But the
reply to my application stated that, "We place our Pinellas County residents
first and, as we have more than two hundred on our waiting list, there
would be no use to file your application at this time."
I then wrote to every county superintendent in Florida but the reply
was common, "Please apply again after you have had a year's experience."
Miami, however, was positive and encouraging with the message, "As we
do not employ teachers without experience please let us hear from you
when you have taught a half year. We will then return a contract for your
signature for the 1926-27 school year." Although as a college graduate I
held a Graduate State Certificate, it meant nothing without that year's
It was only a month before school was to open when the letter from
Mrs. Tommie Barfield of Collier County came from Everglades City. She
offered the position of Principal of the three-room, seven months school
at Marco. She included an enthusiastic description of: one of the finest
bathing beaches in Florida; unexcelled fishing and hunting grounds; the
fine climate; and the hotel, near the school, where New Yorkers, and other
Northerners coming down to fish, spent their winters.
The three-day train trip ended in Ft. Myers, a bustling town reminiscent
of stories of the gold rush towns of the West. But in this case the gold was
land, for this was the time of the Great Boom and the Bust had not yet
cast a visible shadow. The sidewalks along the main business street were
crowded with jostling men and women spilling over onto the street, and
my taxi driver had to creep along to avoid them. I was lucky to get him
for my train was late and it was almost dark. There were no rooms to be
had at either of the two hotels or lodging houses, but he knew an elderly
couple who housed a few roomers and they took me in for the night.
The driver came for me in the morning, bringing my trunk which
*Mrs. C. W. Lundstrom, whose name was Mary Samuel when she taught at Marco, now
lives on Key Biscayne, Florida.
he had picked up at the station. He then took me to the bus station where
Mr. Bryan, a member of the Collier County School Board, was waiting
to accompany me on the trip to Marco. He had intended to meet the train
the night before, but when it was late, he had left to attend a meeting. The
message he had left for me had not reached me, but such was the friend-
liness of the small community that it occasioned no serious problems, and
the taxi driver had the message to meet Mr. Bryan.
It did not take us long to drive out of Ft. Myers. In fact I find it
impossible to connect my recollection of it that morning with the city it is
today, although a few of the white frame houses are still standing, on side
streets. The palmettos and pines that dominated the landscape all the way
to the Marco ferry were a continuation of what I had seen from the train
windows, crossing the state from Jacksonville. But there were many more
birds, of species I had seen only in pictures. The lovely white egrets with
their graceful plumage and the wild turkeys were spectacular.
The sand shell roadway, worn to a washboard surface, was not bad
for that time, but the many "bridges" over swampland and inlets were
unbelievable. They were constructed of planks simply nailed to pilings
with the cross planks laid loose. At one so-called bridge two men were
working, for there was a hole large enough for a wheel of the bus to fall
through. We waited until the men threw a pair of planks across the opening.
At Bonita Springs the other passengers left the bus and a group of
rough looking men boarded. The driver explained that they were a gang
sent to work on the road farther south. At the junction past Naples we
overtook a mail truck and stopped for conversation. My "escort" decided
to leave the bus here where he could ride to Everglades City with the mail.
If he went to Marco, he explained, he then would have to take the longer
way home, by boat. He said that I would be in good hands with the bus
driver, and I could tell that I would be when he asked me to take the seat
beside him and then quietly took his gun from its holster and laid it on the
seat between us. But he had no need for it and, when we reached their
road camp, each man told us goodbye politely as he left the bus.
We soon reached the end of the road, and here we saw the lighter,
tied to the pilings at the water's edge. A man was busy with the cables
and a boy of about fourteen was napping on the deck by the wheel. When
we were loaded the man wakened the boy, who did not get up but simply
put his bare feet up on the wheel and guided the boat across the channel
from his reclining position.
We introduced ourselves and Mr. Tomlinson, the captain, pointed out
the school house to me. It was a low white frame building with a belfry
MARY S. LUNDSTROM
to our left, the hotel was straight ahead, and the store was to our right.
Through the trees in the background I could see a weather beaten cabin
here and there. The hotel grounds were spacious and I was soon to learn
that this was very valuable property. It was staked off with new wooden
stakes into small lots and I was told that the price ran a hundred dollars
per front foot. Yet, even with this hint of commercialism to come, it could
not then have been presaged that this quiet little fishing village and its en-
virons would, in less than fifty years, be obliterated by bulldozers.
Miss Mary Lou Lee, from Georgia, was the other teacher and she had
already arrived at the hotel. She had learned that, although there were
three rooms in the school building, there would be only two teachers unless
the enrollment of fifty pupils increased. The sportsmen did not bring
their children of school age, so there was no tourist influx. We inspected
the school house that afternoon and found the large center room and the
smaller one on the north, or channel, side clean and in order. The smallest
room, on the south, was cluttered and dusty, attesting to its disuse.
The dining room at the hotel was not open in the off season, but the
wife of the clerk gave us supper. We then went to our room to unpack but
our trunks had not been delivered, so we decided to take a walk around the
village, hoping to make some casual contact with children or parents. It
was now almost sundown and, as we set off toward the store, I began to feel
needle-sharp stabs on my arms and legs. I could see nothing to cause this
annoyance, there were no mosquitoes in evidence, but Miss Lee was in
pain now too, therefore our walk ended at its beginning. This was my first
massive encounter with the minute specks they called no-see-ums, or sand-
flies-both appropriate names for, on this island, they were surely as
numerous as the grains of sand.
The next morning a Mr. Williams, a school board official, came to
move us to Mrs. Kirk's boarding house, a cottage on the lane back of the
hotel. He explained that we could not afford to stay at the hotel because
the rates went up from $30.00 a month to $30.00 a day during the winter
season. With our combined salaries of $210.00 per month we could not
protest. We each paid Mrs. Kirk $7.00 a week!
Our room, off the dining end of the kitchen, had been hastily pre-
pared for us. It had the only door and lock within the house, the other
rooms having only curtains. Mrs. Kirk explained that she had insisted on
this special privacy for us when Mr. Williams asked her, the day before
our arrival, to put us up for the duration of the school year. Our trunks
were in place, crowding the little room with its double bed and straight
chair and dresser with oil lamp, and the wash stand with bowl and pitcher,
and waste bucket underneath. There were no ceilings to the rooms, the
partitions extending only to the rafter joists, thus giving a spacious area
above our heads and making for better ventilation.
Beside the back door, on a shelf, was the communal water bucket,
with dipper hanging on a nail above. It was a rule of the house never to
leave the bucket empty, thus the duty fell upon the drinker of the last drop
to go across the lane to the cistern for a refill. Everyone depended on these
rainwater cisterns, spaced at fairly convenient intervals, for all water used
for drinking, cooking, and washing.
Mr. Williams told me that most of our pupils would be under age
fourteen, because at that age they could drop out of school and the ma-
jority then worked in the Doxsee Clam Factory, as did many of the
mothers. Most of the fathers were commercial fishermen and they too
sometimes worked for the clam factory. When at times the factory shut
down some of the boys and girls would have nothing else to do but to
attend school, and we should accept them. Also, although he said this
would not be likely, if any pupil who had finished the eighth grade wanted
to continue I would be required to teach the necessary secondary subjects.
This occurred only twice, and was of short duration.
Miss Lee and I went back to the school that afternoon to map out a
course of procedure at least for the next day. We worked everything out
together and I was glad to have the benefit of her two previous years teach-
ing. I had the greatest respect for experience, now realizing its value. It was
good to have some of the mothers and children come in during that after-
noon and we gathered much useful information from them. Others came
to Mrs. Kirk's and we met others at the store when we went for our mail
so that, by the opening of school the next morning, we actually felt at
home on Marco Island.
The first few days were taken up mainly with oral and simple written
tests to determine which classes would be combined, with assignments, and
with physical examinations. It was not surprising that, with no medical or
dental services on the island, almost every child showed some need. But,
on the whole, they were a healthy group of youngsters so, if their parents
were unconcerned, about unfilled baby teeth or hookworm infestation
through bare feet, we concluded that it was not for us to do more than
record and report. However, I was extremely concerned about the fact
that not one of the children had been vaccinated. I sent notes home asking
the parents about their own immunizations, and when almost all answers
came back in the negative I wrote to Mrs. Barfield, asking if a doctor or
nurse could be sent in to rectify this serious oversight. I remembered ten
MARY S. LUNDSTROM
years before when an epidemic of smallpox struck our small town, the
resulting deaths and loss of eyesight and disfigurements.
During the hot September weather the young people enjoyed night
swimming off nearby small beaches on the Gulf, where the prevailing winds
kept the insect pests away. This was actually the only outdoor recreation
one could engage in after sundown away from the smudge buckets. One
evening a group of us was swimming off the westernmost island when one
of the girls was bitten above her ankle. By the appearance of the many
punctures in her flesh the attacker was identified as a barracuda, rightly
called the Tiger of the Sea. Fortunately the fish only set its teeth and then
let go, instead of ripping off the flesh as these dangerous fish more often
do. As it was, the wound was bleeding so profusely by the time the girl
was up on the beach that we feared she might bleed to death before we
could get her home. But someone's shirt was quickly torn into strips for a
tourniquet and the heavy bleeding was stopped. She was out and about the
next day, such is the magic of sea water.
Saturday mornings Mary Lou and I would go to Mrs. Robinson's.
She taught in the school at Caxambas, the other fishing village five miles
south, but lived on the lane north of us. We washed our clothes in the
tubs in her back yard. Her husband would build the fire for the wash
boiler, and we thoroughly cooked all the germs and dirt out of everything
we had worn through the week. The heat made many changes necessary.
My silk lingerie and other unsuitable clothing had been packaged and
mailed home, and I was busy for several evenings making underclothes
and simple dresses out of cotton prints from.the local store, using Mrs.
Kirk's treadle sewing machine. Not much material was needed for those
were the days of flapper styles and skirts were slim and at our knees.
Most of the boarders at Mrs. Kirk's were transient-men working
on the island or passing through on business. They might be at the table
for only a meal or two, or they might room there for a week or longer.
Their quarters were divided by screens and curtains, and the size of the
living room was determined by the number of lodgers at the time. We
might leave the cabin in the morning with the room in its normal state and
come home to find half the furniture on the front porch, with cots lined
up the length of the room. But there was always space for the Victrola at
one side of the front door and the aged piano at the other, each with a
kerosene lamp on its top.
Besides Miss Lee and I there were two other regular lodgers-Mr.
Norcross and his ninety-year-old mother. She had been a brilliant doctor
with her own hospital in New York, but she had become senile and was,
he said, more content here at Marco than anywhere he had taken her.
They were alone in the world except for his son, who was in South
America working on a research project for Harvard University, of which
he was an alumnus.
Other people we came to know who were not natives of the island
were Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Bronson and their small daughter. And there
were the wives of men connected with the two factions which were working
to develop the island-to their own interests. They lived at the Marco
Lodge only temporarily and their names are long forgotten.
In October, after one all night squall, the weather changed abruptly to
comfortable days and cool nights, and the sand flies and mosquitoes dis-
appeared. The following Sunday the parents and other villagers had a
picnic for their teachers. We went in boats to the beach side of the island
west of the village. All the food served was grown on the islands or caught
off their shores, and the cooking was done on the spot. There was turtle
soup; fish, snapper and mullet, broiled over open fires; creamed hearts of
palm; avocado salad; and a variety of fresh fruits.
Every famliy had a boat, varying from a light skiff to a fair sized
fishing boat with a cabin, but there were few automobiles. Even if one
had the money for it a car was a very unnecessary expense for the fisher-
men. Without crossing to the mainland, which cost $1.00 one way on the
ferry, there was no place to drive except over the five mile shell trail
through the woods to Caxambas.
The deputy sheriff, T. S. Maupin, boarding at Mrs. Kirk's at the time
gave Mary Lou and me our first ride to the south end of Marco Island.
We passed several newly-built cabins in clearings near the road, each one
surrounded by a barbed wire fence. They appeared to be vacant and I
asked our new friend about them. He replied that they were built by the
government for road workers who were to have cleared the jungle when
they built the new road. But it seemed that the project had been abandon-
ed, because of some controversy over land rights, and now nothing was
being done by the government anywhere on the island.
It was almost dark when we left Caxambas, but we had seen the
cannery and hotel, and the cottages so like those at Marco. About half
way home, as we were going up a rise of ground, the car suddenly ran up
onto an enormous snake crossing the trail. We could see the great flat
head reared above the left front fender, with the tongue darting frantically.
The air was filled with the dry hollow rattling of the tail that we could see
to the right of the car. I asked Mr. Maupin why he didn't run over the
snake and end its agony and he replied that it wouldn't finish him. If we
MARY S. LUNDSTROM
were on level ground or downhill he could drag the brakes and tear the
huge thick body apart in the sharp shells. But that wouldn't work going
uphill. At last he reached under the seat for the crank. It seemed too small
and light a weapon for such a target, but he leaned far out and the instant
he struck the rattle ceased. He drove the car up and back over the body
several times before we continued on our way. He said the buzzards would
have it picked clean the next morning. The law men and hunters were
constantly trying to rid the island of poisonous reptiles.
Later we had a similar adventure, but much more dangerous, on a
Saturday hunting excursion into the Everglades. The Tamiami Trail in
1925, from the bend north toward Naples, was a rough wagon-trail border-
ed with palmetto scrub and saw grass that led thirty miles east into the
Everglades and stopped. At this point we left the flivver that brought us
across the ferry from Marco and proceeded on foot with our guns. I had
been given the only extra gun that could be found at the time an old
rusty 10-gauge double barreled shot gun. I was instructed to hold the stock
tight against my shoulder when shooting to avoid getting a mighty kick.
We penetrated quite far into the wilderness, firing at various targets
along the way, and I was having such good beginner's luck at hitting
stumps and then smaller distant targets that I expressed the wish to find
some live thing that should be killed, such as a rattlesnake. When we
came to the more dense jungle we turned back and were near the wagon
trail when suddenly the air vibrated with that dry, frantic buzzing that is
like nothing else in the world but a rattlesnake. The air was so completely
filled with the noise that the reverberation seemed to be coming from all
directions, as though there were snakes all around us. I jumped up onto a
stump. Someone pointed, speechless, to the spot I had just left and there,
right beside my shoe print in the dust, under a palmetto shrub stood the
tense coils of the second diamondback I had seen in Collier County. It
was coiled like a strong spiral spring and we never did see the head.
Everyone was now in the small clearing where wood cutters had trampled
the grass flat and we could not get back on the path, for the snake could
easily strike across it. No one now would step into that tall grass again.
Because I was the one who had wished for a snake I must be the one to
shoot it, they said. I was weak with fright and shaking so that the gun was
wobbling in circles when I aimed. I couldn't have held it tight to my
shoulder if I had thought of it. But with the gun's report the noise stopped,
and I was knocked off the stump by the recoil. One of the men fired into
the enert mass again to make certain of getting the head. Someone else
asked if I wanted the rattles and buttons, but I couldn't get away from that
place fast enough. I carried a souvenir for weeks-an arm black from
shoulder to elbow. After this experience I invested in a light 16-gauge one-
shot gun from the Sears Roebuck catalog.
As I recall it was the Bronsons who were responsible for the hunting
experiences. They enjoyed hunting snipes, long legged sea birds always in
abundant supply along the beaches. After a Saturday morning of shooting
we would go back to their place and dress and stuff the birds for roasting,
and have a feast in the evening.
Occasionally an itinerant preacher would come to the village to hold
services in one of the cottages, but there was no church and no Sunday
School. So there were no festivities planned for the children for Christmas
time. We had a week's vacation and my parents expected me at St. Peters-
burg. But Miss Lee was not going home and I decided to stay and help
to organize a real Christmas program. Back then there was no worry about
being arrested if we touched a religious theme in school. We had our tall
pine tree set up in Miss Lee's big room and we held the beautiful celebra-
tion of Christmas there. Each child had a part in the program and each
one received a gift, and it was touching to hear the parents join in singing
the familiar carols.
Mary Lou and I had Christmas Day with my parents after all. We
met at Charlotte Harbor, where we went by bus, and afterward they visited
The first excitement in January was the oyster fishing. We went in
rowboats, in and out among the mangrove islands, reaching down into the
rust colored water to pull the rough shells loose from their moorings.
First, we would eat our fill, opening the shells with strong knives. They
were delectable, salted to perfection by the Gulf waters. Then we would
fill the croker sacks and take them home to be shucked and made into
stew, or fried, or scalloped, or just eaten in their natural state, seasoned
By the end of January "the season" was in full swing. The great
Ringling and Rexall yachts were anchored in the deep pass by the school,
to the distraction of teachers and pupils; the village men were completely
booked up for guiding; every boy's spare time was busy with bait fishing;
and the hotel was filled with northern sportsmen and their wives. Miss Lee
and I were sometimes invited to their evening affairs, and one Sunday we
were included on a yachting-swimming cruise around the islands with a
New York group.
These friendly people in this remote spot were sometimes hard
pressed for the means of making a living for their families. Fishing was
MARY S. LUNDSTROM
not always good or profitable, the clam factory was not always producing
and therefore hiring the women and girls and boys, and the rich New
Yorkers who paid well for guides and bait were there only in the short
winter season. Thus the temptation of fabulous fees for illegal transport of
contraband goods became irresistible to some. Mary Lou and I, accepted
as we were by the native people because we lived as they lived (an ad-
vantage we would have missed had we stayed at the hotel), were taken
across the channel one night to see eight hundred cases of smuggled liquor
stacked up in a clearing in the woods. This was to be transferred, before
daylight, to boats that would take it to Ft. Myers. There, we were told, it
would be snapped up, for a price, by the many bootleggers operating
in the area. The really big loads were sent to Chicago and to eastern
cities for distribution.
Liquor was not the only contraband touching the shores and lives of
this small remote island in the Gulf. More sinister and infinitely more
dangerous was the smuggling of hard drugs, and of human beings, aliens-
Orientals who came from the East via South America, who would pay a
thousand dollars and risk their lives to get into this country. This traffic
was not commonly engaged in by the fishermen, but it was known to them.
We did not learn any details of the workings of these most deadly occupa-
tions but we did hear reports, probably third hand at least, of fatal en-
counters with the Coast Guard.
School had been in session over five months when we first met the
woman who hired us, Mrs. Barfield. One of the Doxsee children brought
the message his father had taken at the clam factory before school one
morning in February. Miss Lee and I were to drive to Ft. Myers with Mrs.
Tommie Barfield the following week to attend the three-day Educational
Conference. The school was to be closed for that time.
We met Mrs. Barfield at the ferry landing at daylight on the morning
she had stipulated, and then began a most interesting acquaintance 'with
this dynamic and public-spirited pioneer. She told us that she often drove
to Ft. Myers alone at night, in order to be there by the time offices were
open in the morning. By traveling at night she could take care of business
in Ft. Myers without being away from home for more than a day. She said
she was not afraid because everyone knew she was handy with her gun.
On the final day of the conference Mrs. Barfield received a telephone
call from Marco telling her that smallpox had broken out on the island.
She was in touch immediately with the Lee County Board of Health,
which had to serve the relatively new Collier County, and they promised
to send a doctor and nurse at once. Mrs. Barfield recalled my letter con-
cerning the vaccinations and apologized for not replying. She explained
that she knew of the situation and didn't consider it serious because it was
common to the area. She had never known of an epidemic on the island in
all her years there, and illnesses were almost always light. The people
were not accustomed to having a doctor and would not have cooperated
in having the inoculations. But now the circumstances were changed and
we must get every man, woman, and child immunized.
We left at once and were much relieved when we reached Marco to
find that there were yet only two cases. Mrs. Barfield went on to Caxambas
that night and then on to Everglades City the next day to determine the
extent of the disease. It had not spread and, although another case had
developed by the time the doctor arrived, Mrs. Barfield was right, the
cases were light.
The doctor, a young northerner, had just finished his internship and
had taken the position with the Health Board as his first assignment. I was
asked to assist him until the nurse would arrive. We set up operations in
the office of the clam factory and this was convenient for the busy workers
there. No one on the island refused the shot.
A month later, shortly before school closed, the promised nurse ar-
rived, stopping on her way back to Ft. Myers from her home in Miami.
She had received word from the Board of Health office to do this and, as
there was nothing in the message to indicate urgency, had assumed that
this stop was to be at the end of her vacation. She stayed over night at the
Marco Lodge and gave each child in the school a check up. Mary Lou and
I enjoyed her visit and I was to renew the acquaintance the following year,
for my contract to teach in the Miami schools had come the end of
When I met my parents for the drive home to Indiana I told them
that the term had been a priceless experience, never to be forgotten.
Glimpses of Antebellum Florida:
Tampa Bay, Key West, North Florida
By BARTLETT C. JONES*
Certain picturesque and significant insights into antebellum Florida
may be found in two unpublished diaries in the Winterthur Library.'
Neither diarist wrote extensively about Florida nor became prominent in
her affairs-one, indeed, remains unidentified. These facts partially ex-
plain why the diaries have not been used by students of Florida.
John M. S. Hoxie came to Florida sometime prior to 1820. He re-
corded his accounts and commodity prices, then began a diary which
intermittently ran from September 30, 1824 to November 19, 1825. His
early economic activity included cutting and shipping timber. (On Sep-
tember 30, 1824 he noted that a schooner carrying 800 feet of his timber
was feared lost at sea.) By June of 1825 he had located on an island on
"Hillsborrough River," and had begun erecting a salt works in Symrnea.
That September, when salt production began, he was deeply involved in
preparations for raising oranges and other fruit. Believing himself the first
in Florida history to cultivate mangrove marsh, Hoxie wished to make his
island a successful fruit farm ensuring wealth, pleasure and "as little com-
munications with my fellow men as circumstances will permitt" [sic] Al-
though he seems to have had no experience in raising citrus and knew of
no "compilation" on orange trees, he had explored contemporary agricul-
tural lore sufficiently to acquire the belief that caustic lime would counter
the salt in the soil. The hurricane of October 1 and 2, which ruined his
plantation including 150 small orange trees and 67 almonds in boxes,
convinced Hoxie that his island could never become a profitable fruit
farm. He considered moving to New River and raising tropical fruit.3
*Dr. Jones is an Assistant Professor of History and Social Sciences, an American
Studies specialist, at the University of Florida. The Winterthur Museum gave per-
mission for the quotations from manuscripts in the institution's library.
IWinterthur, formerly the home of Henry F. DuPont near Wilmington, Delaware, houses
the finest collection of American decorative arts ever assembled. The home became a
museum, and an M.A. program in early American culture was established cooperatively
with the University of Delaware in 1955. I am endebted to Winterthur for a fellowship to
attend a summer institute in August, 1970.
21 surmise that this river flowed into Hillsborough Bay, near contemporary Tampa; but
could not determine which stream, the North or South, was meant. I can find no
reference to Smyrnea in early maps or histories of Florida.
3The New River, flowing through Liberty and Franklin Counties to the Gulf of Mexico,
would today be considered too far north for tropical fruit. Disastrous freezes of the late
19th and early 20th centuries drove the Florida citrus industry further south.
Discouraged with his salt business, disgusted with his fellow Floridians,
Hoxie decided in November to begin cane planting. The conclusion of the
diary at this point leaves us a portrait of an ambitious, hard-working and
ingenious individual who had yet to find a secure place in the primitive
economy of Florida.
Two portions of the diary and sketchbook of an unidentified Boston
artist depict a pleasant, simple Florida society. During a visit to Key West
(March 3-17, 1851), the artist sketched the following scenes whose precise
lines suggest training as an engraver: "Key West-Sandy Key--Sea View,
boats, cook's house"; "Key West--Sandy Key-Sea View, boats, old mule
in water"; "Key West-Sandy Key-House and cocoa-nut trees"; "Key
West--Sandy Key-Gager's House"; and "Key West-View of part of
town."4 The Key West Art & Historical Society might also be interested
in the visitor's random observations, quoted here in full.5
Monday 3d We saw the land at a distance last night, & todayy are
passing quite near it, & close to the celebrated reef where the wrecks
occur-Saw the lighthouse buildings on Carysfoot reef which seems to
stand in the open sea-The color of the water is constantly varying &
often as green as emerald.-At six o'clock we stopped at Key West, & I
was glad enough to shake hands with Mr. Lewis, who took me up & in-
stalled me in very nice quarters with Capt. & Mrs. Curtis-"so far, so
Tuesday 4th Walked with Lewis to an observatory to see the Island,
& then across to see marks of the great hurricane in 1846, Oct. 11th. Saw
on the way some large banana trees in a garden, some queer wild fig trees,
also the gum-eleme, the cocoa-nut, the papaw, the tamarind & many others
for the first time.-the weather is warm enough for thin clothes, though a
Norther' has blown all day.
Wednesday 5th Found an old mule standing in the water before
breakfast & sketched him vid. p. 27th & at nine o'clock took the boat &
stood over to Sand Key, throwing my breakfast on the way. The island is
the queerest place imaginable, without a vegetable of any kind, with a
hole in the centre dug for the lighthouse, where the tide ebbs and flows.-
Lewis has quite a nice house & fittings, & we lived well-The pelicans are
abundant about there and one was shot for a youngster who went out with
4These sketches, like those in footnote 8, were either water color, pencil, or sepia-wash.
sCourtesy, Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Joseph Downs Manuscript Collec-
tion, No. 69 x 206.1, pp. 27-29.
BARTLETT C. JONES
us as bird collector-Saw plenty of sardines caught, & examined the iron
Thursday 6th Fried the sardines & found them excellent & at noon
saw Greupper & snappers & ate the latter-good-P.M. sketched vid. p.
26th Cook's house.
Friday 7th Came up & P.M. began the sketch of a curious wild pig.
Sunday 9th To Church & heard pastor Adams, a Puseyite;' the
people looked very well, with an air of more style than our country con-
gregations-some rather pretty. After church Lewis saw his schooner come
in & was soon in a nice pucker.
Monday 10th Went after breakfast to see them land cattle from a
little vessel, which brings them over from the main, & a queer sight enough
it was; they are hauled out by the horns, & come up all spread out-I then
sketched on a block of gum-elleme tree near the barracks, & P.M. com-
menced sketching vid. p. 28th the house & cocoa-nut trees.-Eveng Capt.
Howland & Mrs. Hackley here-supped on oysters.
Tuesday 11th Visited Hackley to make arrangements-Sketched in
Wednesday 12th A wreck came in & prevented Hackley from going,
and I was obliged to borrow a little sail-boat from Tift, & started with
Williams at noon-we had a delightful sail among the Keys, and landed
at five at Henry Gager's, & found his old negro Bob there-Walked out
and examined the lagoons, found nothing to shoot, & supped on fried
pork & cold sweet potatoes; turned in on an old stretcher, with a stool to
keep my legs from going through Waked up cold once or twice, but did
Thursday 13th Roused up Billy at daybreak. & found the nigger off,
& after breakfast lost some time in searching for a piece of gold I dropped
between the cracks of the floor; found it, made a sketch vid. p. 29th of
Gager's house, & started. Passed through Bocca Chica with the North
East trade, shot at a Comorant on the way & came in to Key West in two
hours & a half-Lewis was here, & took me in the evens to a party given
to Governir Brown by Mr. Wall, which ended by nearly all the men getting
March, 1855. When he left, there were 102 communicants, 30-40 candidates for confirma-
tion. See Walter C. Maloney, A Sketch of the History of Key West, Florida: Facsimile
Reproduction 1876 Edition (Gainesville, 1968), p. 33. Edward B. Pusey (1800-82) was a
central figure in the Catholic revival (Oxford Movement) within the Church of England.
See James Hastings, ed., Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, X (New York, 1955),
fiddled in Champagne, singing a wrecking song, & toasting a wreck a
week.7 2 o'clock.
Friday 14th Finished my wild fig-tree. Even Mr. & Mrs. Campbell
Saturday 15th Hunted Billy Williams in conjunction with Capt. Cur-
tis;-having run him down we took Clapp's boat & went to Sand Key;
Mr. Lewis was actively engaged in superintending, & in the evens the new
apparatus was up-come home in a brilliant moonlight, with just breeze
enough to bring us in to the wharf.
Sunday 16th A good sermon from Mr. Adams. Even' to the Lan-
caster's with Lewis.
Monday 17th Finished the gum-elemi, & called at Wall's, where Miss
Elisa told some queer stories. P.M. made a sketch, vid. 30th of a part of
the town, Tufts look-out, & while waiting for the Isabel. The boat did not
arrive till 12 o'clock & we had a boisterous passage. Mr. Mallory & Dr.
Pinckney, Misses Brown, Ward, Tripplett on board.
The artist spent several weeks in Northeast Florida in April and
early May of 1854 and made seven sketches: "Palatka--scrub palmetto,
house, natives"; "Palatka-Country wagons, mules, buildings on Lake
George"; "Palatka-Part of banks of Lake George"; "Palatka-Cattle
range on prairie"; "Palatka-Tent at edge of lake 'Camp hunt' "; "St.
Augustine-Old Spanish gate"; and "St. Augustine-Water side view,
street, Old Spanish fort."8 He spent much of the time on fishing trips but
also was pleasantly entertained at the Lynch and Gillis Tavern in Palatka,
observed a gun fight in Jacksonville, and enjoyed a comfortable room at
the Florida Hotel, St. Augustine, before leaving for Savannah on the
steamer St. John's. Both the diary and sketches evoke nostalgia for ante-
bellum Florida. Slavery, misery and political discord scarcely appear.
There is only beauty.
Bartlett C. Jones
Asst. Professor of History & Social Sciences
University of Florida
7For accounts of the amoral Key West wrecking business, which involved more than 20
vessels with a gross of better than one-million dollars annually in the antebellum period,
see: Louise V, White and Nora K. Smiley, History ol Key West (St. Petersburg, 1959),
pp. 33-36; anonymous, "Wrecks, Wrecking, Wreckers, and Wreckees on Florida Reef,"
Hunt's Merchant's Magazine (April 1842), pp. 349-54; and Kenneth Scott, "The City of
Wreckers: Two Key West Letters of 1838," Florida Historical Quarterly, XXV (October
AUl sketches labelled Palatka did not necessarily depict that community. The "Old Spanish
fort" in St. Augustine was, of course, the Castillo de San Marcos.
Sailing in South Florida Waters
in the Early 1880s
Edited by JOHN F. REIGER*
Among the best sources for descriptions of South Florida in the 1870s
and '80s is the weekly newspaper, Forest and Stream.1 First printed in
1873 in New York City, the journal appealed to well-to-do sportsmen
seeking hunting and fishing adventures in unspoiled regions. One such in-
dividual was James Alexander Henshall.
Originally from Maryland and a physician by profession, Henshall
became well-known for his expertise as an angler. Among his works are
the Book of the Black Bass (1881) and Favorite Fish and Fishing (1908).
Journeying to South Florida in the late '70s, he discovered that the area's
reputation for fantastic fishing-and hunting-was completely justified. In
the fall of 1881 he decided to return to this outdoorsman's paradise, and
it is this second trip that we are concerned with here.
Accompanied by several companions, he sailed a thirty-four foot
schooner from Titusville on the east coast to Cedar Key on the west, taking
three and a half months to complete the odyssey. Henshall later published
an account of his various Florida travels in Camping and Cruising in
Florida (1884), but the excerpts below are from the original Forest and
Stream article.2 Part I of this edited version covers the voyage from Titus-
ville to Key West.
About the middle of December, 1881, my wife and I arrived in Jack-
sonville, Florida, on our way to Indian River. Proceeding to that model
hotel, the Windsor, we were at once made comfortable. . The weather
was warm and pleasant, and Jacksonville . looked . lovely. The
grand old water oaks along the streets . looked . stately, while the
gardens were . profuse of bloom. ..
We left Jacksonville with regret, and embarked on the little steamer
Volusia, on which I had made a trip to the head waters of the St. Johns
*Dr. Reiger is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Miami.
IThe University of Miami Library has the journal on microfilm from 1873 to 1911.
2J. A. Henshall, "Around the Coast of Florida" (nine papers), January 25, 1883 to
March 22, 1883.
three years before. Of course I was at once at home with her versatile
and ubiquitous master, Capt. Lund, who never seems to sleep, and who
seems to be in every part of the boat at one and the same time. . .
Arriving at Salt Lake, two hundred and seventy-five miles south of
Jacksonville, we found the old wooden tramway, connecting Salt Lake
with Titusville, a thing of the past. Its pine rails were decayed, its rolling
stock had vanished, but its motive power, 'the mules,' stood calmly and
meditatively, harnessed to . .wagons, wagging their ears and whisking
their mop-like tails in the same old fashion....
Eight miles of sandy road through the pine woods brought us to
Titusville, where we were warmly welcomed by Col. Nichols, of the Titus
Hotel. Titusville was but a shadow of its former self . Its streets were
deserted, several of its stores burnt down, its long pier dilapidated and
its railroad crumbling away.
"What is the matter with Titusville?" I inquired of a boatman leaning
against a fence whittling.
"Rockledge has got the bulge [jump] on us," answered he, without
The hotels, however, are still alive, and the stores of Messrs. Dixon,
Moore, Weger and Smith still keep up a good show of business. But I
missed the old-time bustle and excitement of 'Sandpoint.'3 Mr. Weger and
his son are doing all in their power to promote the welfare of the place;
the former was erecting a new store building..., and the latter had founded
a weekly paper, the Florida Star ....
I found Capt. Strobhar's schooner Rambler, in which we were to
make our cruise around the peninsula of Florida, not quite finished in
her cabin accommodations, but which were being rapidly pushed to com-
pletion by her energetic skipper and the available force at his command.
However, with the pleasant company of ... [the] guests of the hotel, the
time passed pleasantly ....
There is a resident taxidermist at Titusville, Mr. Serimageour, who
is a genuis in his way. He had some really fine specimens of mounted
birds and mammals. He had just returned from a hunt in the scrub, where
he killed five deer and a panther. While I was in his shop a woman and
a boy brought in a fresh panther's skin for sale; the boy had shot it ...
3The village was originally known as "Sand Point," but Colonel Henry T. Titus, post-
master and leading citizen of the hamlet, changed the name to Titusville. Despite this
fact, the nickname "Sand Point" (one word or two) remained in common usage for
JOHN F. REIGER
The day before Christmas we went to Rockledge, twenty miles down
the river, and were most hospitably entertained by Mr. Wilkinson, formerly
of Richmond, Va. Mr. W. has purchased the orange grove and buildings
formerly owned by Mr. Hatch, and has erected a fine roomy hotel, and
though not entirely completed, we were nevertheless made quite comfort-
able. In the evening there was a Christmas tree for his pretty grandchildren,
and a bonfire on the lawn. . .
Rockledge had improved very much since my last visit. The orange
groves were all now in full bearing-new houses, several stores, and a
schoolhouse had been built, and a wooden tramway was being constructed
to Lake Poinsett, the head of navigation on the St. Johns, and but three
miles distant, to which point a steamer made three trips a week from
Sanford, connecting at the latter place with the DeBary line for Savannah.
The produce of the lower country was being shipped by this route, and
supplies brought back-all of which explained why Rockledge had "got
the bulge on Sandpoint." Rockledge is remarkable as being one of the
very few places in Florida where the people are not anxious to sell their
homes. Her people are prospering and value their orange groves too highly
to sell them even at extraordinary prices .
We spent Christmas Day . very pleasantly at Rockledge with old
friends, and on the next day sailed for Eau Gallie, where we arrived after
nightfall and found a Christmas hop in progress. ... There was a Christ-
mas tree with a present for each guest . My present was a half-dozen
roasting ears of green corn. Think of it-Christmas and green corn!
The next day we set sail for San Sebastian River, passing Milbourne4
on Crane Creek, and stopping a short time at Turkey Creek, where Charles
Creech is still living in the cabin on the bluff, though he had taken unto
himself a helpmeet since my last visit. We had a fair wind to Sebastian
and sailed up to our old "Cabbage Camp," just above the mouth of the
North Prong, a short distance above Mr. Kane's cabin on the main river.
Here we jumped two deer within a hundred yards of camp. Jordan and
I took the dingey and our shotguns, and knocked down several ducks.
We saw a large flock of coots, or mudhens, near the point of a small
mangrove island, rounding which they rose at forty yards, when we dis-
charged two barrels each and picked up twenty-four coots. The skipper
carried a dozen to Mr. Kane's family, while Jordan and I proceeded to
dress the remainder ....
We spent two more weeks on Indian River and its tributaries, going
4This town is now called "Melbourne."
down as far as Fort Capron and the inlet opposite, and had many delightful
experiences, fishing, hunting, shooting and collecting curious . marine
specimens, and feasting on fish, game, oysters, crabs, turtle, oranges,
bananas, guavas, etc. . As this was but an experimental or trial trip
of the Rambler, we returned to Titusville. [From there, Henshall's wife
left for the north, while he made final preparations for his cruise around
Many of the boatmen on the river did not believe we were serious
in our intentions, as a voyage around the peninsula had never been under-
taken by any boat from that section. They were quite confident that we
would proceed no further than Jupiter, or Lake Worth. Strange to say,
though, there was not one to offer his services to sail the boat on this
"big voyage," while for a run down to Jupiter a dozen would have offered,
whose knowledge of seamanship, from their own account, was adequate
to the circumnavigation of the globe. The Lake Worth boatmen, however,
who made occasional trips in the summer to Key Largo and Key West,
were not so incredulous, but looked upon the enterprise with doubt and
suspicion, and forebodings of evil and disaster. But our ardor was not to
be dampened, nor our enthusiasm quenched by any amount of blue water;
and if the Rambler held together, we had a crew that would not desert her.
The Rambler was a small schooner, thirty-four feet in length, ten feet
[a]beam, and drawing two feet aft; the bottom was half round, with a
good, clean bow, and stem cut away somewhat like the sharpie.5 She was
strongly built, a good sailor, . though rather slow with cruising rig,
but a dryer boat never plowed salt water. The cabin was quite roomy,
eight by fifteen feet, with four and a half feet head room. The crew con-
sisted of the "Squire" and "Jack" of Connecticut, "Buck" of Texas, the
"Skipper," myself, and "Cuff." Cuff was the Skipper's dog, a cross between
setter and hound, and a good all 'round dog on deer, turkey and quail.
The Skipper was to sail the Rambler as far as Jupiter, at the foot of Indian
River, where I was to take command and sail her by chart, compass and
dead reckoning down the Atlantic coast to Key West, thence up the Gulf
coast to Cedar Keys ....
At length, on the morning of January 16, 1882, with a southeast
wind and close-hauled, we departed from Titusville. ...
We passed in succession Addison's Point, Pine Island, Jones's Point,
Rocky Point, City Point, Oleander Point, and were soon abreast of Rock-
5A "sharpie" is a long, narrow, flat-bottomed boat with a centerboard and one or two
masts rigged with triangular sails. Employed mainly for fishing, the vessel was once
common in New England.
JOHN F. REIGER
ledge. That night we made San Sebastian River. We sailed up to the forks,
then poled up the South Prong three or four miles ....
Sailing out of San Sebastian River into Indian River, a break in the
coast line opposite can be seen, which is the beginning of an attempt by
the settlers in the vicinity to cut an inlet to the sea. Four or five miles
below the mouth of San Sebastian we come to Pelican Island, an outlying
isle of a group some eight miles in extent, forming Indian River Narrows.
For two years the pelicans had ceased breeding on this island, owing to
their being continually harassed and wantonly and mercilessly shot by
Northern tourists. This year they were again nesting ....
Passing through the Narrows, we stopped awhile to visit old Capt.
Estes, a noted hunter, who has lived alone on an island at the foot of the
Narrows for nearly thirty years. We found him laid up with .. rheumatism
in his palmetto shanty; a fire blazing in a huge iron kettle sunk in the
floor lit up the sombre interior, the smoke finding its exit through openings
along the ridge-pole.... In the shanty were many trophies of his prowess.
Among others, the skull and skin of a large manatee, also a huge rope
net used in the capture of these curious animals. . Within a mile of
Estes's shanty is United States Life Saving Station No. 1, on the sea
About ten miles below the Narrows, and nearly opposite Fort Capron,
we entered Gardiner's Cut, at the entrance to which was the turtling camp
of Arthur Park and Jim Russell, and a mile further on we anchored in
Pinkham's Cove, near the sea beach, and just above Indian River Inlet.
After a ramble on the ocean beach, where we saw half a dozen immense
blackfish6 stranded, we gathered several barrels of oysters, fished to our
heart's content, and shot a number of curlew and bay snipe. Toward
evening we were driven away by the sandflies. Making sail we crossed
the inlet and entered the Fort Pierce Cut. Here we encountered a school
of porpoises and a number of large tarpum7 . the latter being from
six to eight feet in length. As they rolled out on the surface their bright
armor of silver scales, as large as silver dollars, shone resplendent in the
slanting rays of the setting sun. Jack was trolling and expressed a great
desire to hook one, but it was well enough he didn't, for he might as well
have been fast to a steam tug. We crossed over to Fort Pierce, on the
mainland, four miles below Fort Capron, and dropped the anchor about
dark. After supper a northerr came on which blew big guns, but the Ram-
bler rode it like a duck.
6"Blackfish" is another name for the pilot whale.
7Today, the accepted spelling for this fish is "tarpon."
We went ashore at Fort Pierce to chat with Ben Hogg, who keeps
a store at that place. Ben has a monopoly of the Indian trade in Southeast
Florida, and buys their deer hides, 'gator teeth and beeswax. A party of
Indians from the Everglades were then hunting back in the flat woods,
their canoes being drawn up on the shore in front of the store. Ben has a
good seagoing sloop in which he makes occasional trips to Jacksonville,
going out at the inlet opposite, leaving his . wife . to 'tend store in
A few miles below Fort Pierce we stopped at Hermann's Grove for a
supply of sour oranges for culinary purposes, sour orange juice and soda
being superior to baking powders in the construction of the .. flapjack.
. Below this, and about seven miles above the mouth of St. Lucie River,
Mr. Richards has built a large house and has quite a clearing planted to
oranges and pineapples. Nearly opposite, on the east shore, can be seen
the hamak8 once owned by "Old Cuba." Poor . Cuba! A year or two
ago he was drowned by the capsizing of his boat, and when found his body
was headless. Four miles below Cuba's is U.S. Life Saving Station No. 2,
opposite the mouth of the St. Lucie. A few miles below Richard's we came
to Waveland, a new post-office at the residence of Dr. Baker, who has
a good hamak lying between Indian and St. Lucie rivers.
At the mouth of St. Lucie, as usual, were thousands of coots and
many ducks; we got a good supply as we sailed along. The St. Lucie, from
its mouth to the main fork, some eight miles, is a large river whose waters
are entirely fresh; it divides into a north and south branch. We sailed
up to the main fork, seeing several manatees on the way. As we passed
Mt. Pisgah, a high ridge on the northeast shore, whose bare summit is
crowned by an ancient mound, we saw at its foot the tent of a newly-
arrived young man and his wife, from Philadelphia, who had bought a
piece of land without seeing it, and found it to be located on the bald
top of Mt. Pisgah.
The wind being favorable, we sailed up the south fork some four
miles, being altogether about twelve miles from the mouth. Here we
moored the schooner for a camp of several days, and had fine sport, there
being an abundance of deer, turkey and quail . .
At night the favorite sport of the boys was shark fishing; and even
at this remote camp, though fully twelve miles from brackish water, they
caught many small sharks. On one occasion they hooked and landed an
8A tract of forested land elevated above the level of the adjacent marsh is now spelled
"hammock" or "hummock."
JOHN F. REIGER
immense soft-shelled turtle . whose carapace was nearly three feet
long; he made a good pot of soup, and furnished some palatable steaks.
With a favorable wind we left St. Lucie camp and proceeded down
the river, seeing several more manatees or seacows in the main stream,
with one of which we had an exciting race for a short distance as he swam
a few yards ahead, but was forced to make for the grassy bottom as the
bow of the schooner touched him. They swim very swiftly for so unwieldly
an animal, but make much fuss about it, leaving a wake as large as a
steamtug. Sailing down Indian River we soon came to Jupiter Narrows,
near the head of which is a closed inlet, Gilbert's Bar; there was some
talk of reopening this inlet. Passing through the Narrows, some ten miles,
we emerged into Hobe's Sound, as the lower ten miles of Indian River is
called. Here the boys had a surfeit of trolling for crevalle. At Conch Bar,
midway between the Narrows and Jupiter, we sighted the tower of Jupiter
light, which we reached in another hour.
At Jupiter we found several parties of tourists. . Mr. James Armour
is still chief keeper of Jupiter light, his assistants being Messrs. Spencer
and Carlisle. He was very courteous during our sojourn, and twice he and
Mr. Carlisle hunted with us with their hounds, but the Indians had made
the deer wild; turkeys, however, were plentiful enough. . .
The boys had many a fierce contest with the large sharks and sawfish
at Jupiter, catching many white and blue sharks from six to twelve feet
long. Their shark fishing was always practiced at night, they being en-
gaged in other sports and adventures during the day ....
One night the boys tackled a foe worthy of their steel in a huge
jawfish.... It took all hands to land it, and, as in the case of the sharks,
a rifle ball through the head to quiet it. The next morning Mr. Armour
weighed it on his steelyard, which it balanced at three hundred and forty
pounds. The shark tackle consisted of three hundred feet of half-inch
manilla rope, and immense long-shanked shark hooks with chain and
swivel attached ....
At Jupiter, Buck left us to our great regret, being compelled to return
to Texas on business, for it was now the middle of February. He took
passage with Capt. Hammon for Titusville ....
The next day we went out over Jupiter Bar at high water slack, and
with a head wind; consequently we had to use the poles in getting out.
There was a heavy swell but not much sea, and with a light easterly breeze
we made Lake Worth Inlet, ten miles below, in a little less than three
hours. We ran the inlet about half way, but there not being wind enough
to stem the strong ebb, we anchored until the turn of the tide. Lake Worth
Inlet has increased in depth to about seven feet at low water, and withal
is much straighter than at my former visit. With the young flood we
entered the lake, and at once sailed down some six miles to the house of
Squire Charley Moore, whom we found as kind and jolly as of old. Lake
Worth had vastly improved, a post office was established, new settlers
were coming in, and all seemed prosperous. Two schooners were running
to Jacksonville, carrying tomatoes, bananas, pineapples, etc., which, with
the boats running to Rockledge and Titusville, afforded good transportation.
The next day we sailed down the lake to the residence of E. M. and
John Brelsford, formerly of Xenia, Ohio, who seemed to be well pleased
with their new location, and were living comfortably in their tropical home,
which was doubly blessed by the presence of their charming mother and
lovely sister who were spending the winter with them. We took tea with
them, and afterward we all repaired to Capt. Dimmick's, where we passed
a most agreeable evening, one very enjoyable feature being an impromptu
concert by the Brelsfords, with violin, guitar, violoncello and cabinet
organ. Jack, Squire and the Skipper all lost their hearts on this occasion,
and in order to keep peace among them, and to preserve a proper state of
discipline aboard the Rambler, I deemed it imperative to take our leave
the next morning.
On the day following we tightened up the shrouds and bobstay,
looked to the strapping of blocks, and made everything snug and ship-
shape, for the next day after, we were to make a sail of forty miles by
sea to the next inlet below-Hillsboro River. The day broke clear and
fine, and by nine o'clock a fresh wind was blowing from the north. Every-
thing was propitious, so we made sail, hoisted anchor, and put to sea,
keeping well inshore, just beyond the line of breakers, to avoid, so far as
possible, the current of the Gulf Stream, which here flows northward at
a two-knot rate.
As we passed the beach near the trails from the . settled portion
of Lake Worth, we saw a lady busily engaged in picking up sea-shells.
Jack seized the conch-horn and blew a shrill blast, at which she looked
up and waved her handkerchief. ... At the foot of Lake Worth we saw,
on the beach ridge, the cabin formerly occupied by the Hubell family .. .
Five miles further on is U.S. Life Saving Station No. 3, and ten miles
further we were abreast of the bold rocks of Boca Ratoue,9 where there
is a closed inlet to a branch of the Hillsboro. There is a great sameness
in the appearance of the southeast coast of Florida, being mostly a narrow
9"Boca Ratoue" is a corruption of "Boca Raton."
JOHN F. REIGER
white beach, backed by a low sandy ridge which is covered by saw-
palmetto, oak scrub, sea-grape, and myrtle, with occasional clumps of
cabbage palms and live oaks. At last, after a delightful sail, we sighted
Hillsboro Inlet, with its group of cocoanut palms, which we reached at
four o'clock, having made forty miles in seven hours-pretty good sailing
against the current of the Gulf Stream. The tide was running out, with
but a foot of water on the bar, so we were compelled to drop anchor
and wait for the flood tide. Skipper took the canvas boat, the Daisy, and
explored the channel, while Cuff jumped overboard and swam to chase
'possums,' coons, and hares....
The wind hauled around to northeast, blowing fresh and kicking
up quite a sea, causing the Rambler to jump and strain at her cable like
a tethered mustang. Finally, through the contrary forces of wind and tide,
she settled in the trough and began rolling fearfully among the breakers,
when Skipper and I carried out a stem anchor in the Daisy and hauled
her around into the wind, when she lay easier, but poor Jack was already
the victim of mal de mer and had gone below, where he remained until
eight o'clock, when there being a half fathom of water on the bar, we
sailed into the river ....
After waiting a day or two in vain for a fair wind, we left Hillsboro
River with a strong southeast wind and a heavy chop sea, and sailed
closehauled, making long legs and short ones down the coast, bound for
New River Inlet, twenty miles below. After a few miles Jack was compelled
to go below and Skipper was anxious to put back, but I was desirous to
know how the Rambler would behave in a heavy seaway. She worked
to a charm, and after an exceedingly rough passage, the sea running very
high, and in the teeth of half a gale, we made New River Inlet, where,
though the tide was ebbing, there was plenty of water on the bar, and we
at once made the run in, with Skipper at the masthead to look out [for]
the channel. A large brig beating down the coast ahead of us and laboring
hard in the heavy sea made it look worse to the boys than it really was,
though it was, forsooth, lumpy . enough, and proved to be the roughest
bit of sailing we encountered on the voyage. The wind had been squally
for several days, hauling from northeast to southeast; consequently, old
Atlantic was on a high and tried his best to carry our bowsprit away, but
it was a stout stick and stood the racket bravely.
We anchored in the river a hundred yards above the north point of
the inlet, where there was plenty of water and good holding ground for
the mud hook [anchor]. New River, for six miles above its mouth, is the
straightest, deepest and finest river I have seen in Florida, although a
narrow one ....
Rushing in and out with the tide, at New River, fishes can be seen
by thousands, snapping at anything, even a bit of white rag tied to the
hook and thrown to them by a strong hand line. We took crevalle from
ten to thirty pounds, always large ones here, never less than ten pounds.
By anchoring a boat in mid-stream they can be speared or grained as they
swim rapidly by, often pursued by sharks and porpoises. ... The largest
alligator we killed was here. He had crawled out on the shore where the
boys had left some sharks, when Jack shot him from the schooner. . .
He was twelve feet in length. Alligators seem to be as much at home in
salt water as in fresh.
Six miles above the inlet is the 'haulover,' opposite the site of old
Fort Lauderdale, and marked by a group of cocoanut trees. From here
the river runs southerly, to its mouth, and parallel with the sea beach,
the intervening strip of ridge being nowhere much over a hundred feet
in width. At the haulover the river spreads out into a broad, shallow bay,
into which empty its North and South branches and several creeks, and is
diversified by several islands. Two miles above the haulover, on the east
bank, is the wharf or landing of Life Saving Station No. 4, the latter a
quarter of a mile away on the sea beach. We made fast to the wharf and
went to the station to see my old friend, Wash. Jenkins, the keeper in
charge. We found him alone, his family being away on a visit to Key West.
He was very glad to see us, not having seen a human face since his family
left three weeks before. His nearest neighbors are at Biscayne Bay, twenty
miles below, and Steve Andrews at Station No. 3, twenty-four miles above.
We spent two or three days here shooting ducks, coots and snipe,
and one day went out with Jenkins and his dogs for deer.
That night we planned an expedition up the South Branch to the
Everglades, to visit an Indian village some twenty miles distant. Accord-
ingly, next morning we moved the Rambler safely in [to] the bay, making
everything snug and taut. Taking our guns, a rod or two, some trolling
tackle, and grub enough for several days, we embarked in an Indian
cypress canoe, belonging to Jenkins, some twenty feet in length and
two feet [a]beam, with sprit-sail, poles and paddles. We started at nine
o'clock, sailing across the bay to the South Branch, which, being very
crooked, we furled the sail and each man took a paddle. This branch of
New River is much like other rivers in Southeast Florida. About an aver-
age width of fifty yards, with perpernicular [sic] banks, green to the water's
edge with a profusion of wild grasses and shrubs, and with a varying
depth of from three to twenty feet. Many alligators were sunning them-
selves on the sand spits at the lower end of the stream. As we progressed
the water became deeper and the current stronger. The banks were clothed,
JOHN F. REIGER
usually with pines, with an occasional hamak of palmetto, water oak,
swamp maple, bay, Spanish ash and other timber. Here and there were
little coves or bights thickly grown with rushes, and aquatic plants bearing
We soon reached the great cypress belt, through which the amber-
colored stream poured silently and swiftly, though so clear that great
masses of white, coralline rocks, seamed, fissured and lying in endless
confusion, could be plainly seen at the bottom, through the crevices of
which were growing the most beautiful and curious aquatic plants and
grasses. The tall cypresses, with pale and grizzled trunks, stood in serried
ranks like grim spectres, ornamented in a fantastic fashion with the scarlet
plumes of air-plants, while their long arms meeting overhead were draped
in heavy folds and festoons of gray Spanish moss. The solemn and im-
pressive stillness was broken only by the wild cry of some startled egret,
heron or osprey, which echoed through the weird forest with a peculiarly
hollow emphasis, and at last died away in a low mournful cadence. Our
own voices sounded unnatural and strangely sonorous, resounding as
though beneath the dome of some vast cathedral.
Passing through the cypress belt we came to the "sloughs" where
the stream divided into several smaller ones. The "sloughs" is a margin
of tall grasses and shrubs of ... luxuriant growth, intersected by numerous
small streams, and lying between the cypresses and the Everglades proper.
Getting through this we finally emerged into the Everglades, seemingly a
sea of waving green grasses, with innumerable islands of all sizes. But
these grasses are all growing in water, clear and limpid, with channels a
few feet wide, diverging and crossing in every direction, through which
a canoe can be sailed or poled; there was then two feet of water in the
Everglades. A brisk breeze blowing, we unfurled the sail and went skim-
ming along, greatly to our satisfaction and relief, for we were quite tired
after paddling up stream some six hours ....
Seeing a smoke several miles away, we sailed in that direction through
the intricate and narrow channels, often making short cuts by plowing
through masses of lily-pads.... As we neared the smoke we saw several
canoes shoot out from behind islands on our right and left, their white
sails gleaming and darting along in the rays of the setting sun like seagulls,
but all proceeding in the same direction, toward the smoke. Suddenly,
one we had not seen came swooping down upon us like a huge bird of
prey from the shelter of a small island; a tall young Indian, clad only in
a light-colored shirt, a red belt and an enormous red turban, stood upon
the pointed stern guiding the canoe with a pole, while an elderly Indian
sat amidships holding the sheet of the sail. They sailed through a con-
verging channel into our course and waited until we were alongside.
"How d'ye!" said I.
"How!" answered the old man. "Me see'um canoe; me see'um white
man; me wait; me glad see 'um. How!"
"We come to see you; have a good time; come to see your village,"
said I. "We got big canoe-schooner-at station-at Jenkins's."
"In-cah! (yes, or all right). Me glad see'um; in cah!" replied he ....
Then pointing toward the pines on the mainland, he said: "Me go
Then, hauling aft the sheet, they shot away, our own heavily-laden
canoe seeming to stand still in comparison. These Indians had been at
work in their fields on the islands, but seeing us coming, they quit work
earlier than usual so as to get to the village before our arrival.
We soon came in sight of the Indian village, a cluster of twenty-five
or thirty huts on the ridge of the pine woods, where we . landed, and
were immediately surrounded by the young bucks, who looked on with
great interest and curiosity as we unpacked the canoe. Cuff was at once
at home with the Indian dogs. Big Tiger then came down to the landing,
and pointing to a group of two or three huts a little separated from the
"You house-you eat-you sleep-in-cah!"
We carried our [gear] . to the huts indicated, followed by the
young bucks, who were much interested in the guns, rifles, and especially
in the fishing rods, the use of which had to be explained to them by signs.
This village is one of several, where dwell the four hundred Seminoles
yet remaining in Florida; the largest village is in the "Big Cypress," some
thirty miles distant .. This village was governed by Little Tommy and
Big Tiger . Besides [them] . there were Big Charley, Tommy Doc-
tor, and several others with their squaws and families, half a dozen or
more young bucks, several old women, a good many children and a host
of dogs. The sun was setting in the Everglades as we got everything up
to the huts and prepared supper.
These Indians lead a quiet, peaceable and semi-pastoral life, culti-
vating fields of corn, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, beans, bananas, etc., in
the rich hamaks on the adjacent islands, their villages being in the pines
JOHN F. REIGER
or the border. They also make starch from the "comptie,"'I or wild arrow-
root, which grows abundantly in the pine woods, and in the winter they
hunt deer and bears. Such a life is not without its charms, shut out, as
they are, from all the world by impenetrable cypress swamps, the only
avenues to civilization being by way of the streams which drain the Ever-
glades, the currents of which are so swift during high water that few at-
tempt to ascend them to the Everglades, and still fewer succeed. In the
spring and early summer the Everglades are comparatively dry; as Big
Tiger said: "In two moons all water gone cause no go more." During
the autumn and winter the men go to the settlements, mostly to Miami on
Biscayne Bay, by way of the Miami River, where they sell deerskins, . .
beeswax, comptie starch, vegetables, bird plumes, alligator teeth, etc.,
and buy cloth, calico, ammunition, tobacco, etc., and occasionally wy-ho-
The men are tall, well-formed, straight and clean-limbed, and are
quite neat in their dress, which consists of a calico shirt, a belt, breech-
cloth and a turban; the latter is a headdress quite remarkable in its con-
struction and conspicuous and picturesque in appearance. It is some two
feet in diameter and six inches thick or high, with a hole in the center to
fit the head. It is formed of bright-colored shawls, the outside layer being
sometimes a bright red cotton or bandana handkerchief; its shape is ex-
actly that of a flat cheese, or a grindstone. It is quite heavy, and the body
must be carried very erect to keep it balanced on the head; perhaps, the
erect carriage of these Indians is to be accounted for, to a great extent,
by the wearing of this singular headdress, for they are never seen without
it, except sometimes when hunting.
The men's legs and feet are always bare, and look like columns of
polished mahogany; sometimes, when hunting in the scrub, they wear
buckskin leggins [sic] and moccasins. The women dress in short calico
petticoats and a jacket . of gay colored cloth. Their necks are orna-
mented by many strands of beads, sometimes a hundred or more, and
weighing many pounds. The young women and bucks have usually very
good features and are very vain of their personal appearance. The hair
of the men is shaved at the sides; that on the top and back of the head
is formed into a long plait and coiled on top . The women dress their
hair in a way perfectly incomprehensible to me, though plaits form a part
of the arrangement. The old squaws are not blessed with good looks, and
do the drudgery of the camp. The children are bright, active and full of
fun; some of the boys go entirely naked, though during our stay they wore
1o"Coontie" is the more common spelling for this evergreen. Although it yields a starch
like arrowroot, it is not-as Henshall suggests-the same plant.
short calico shirts. The boys are never without their bows and arrows, in
the use of which they are very expert, killing quail and other birds, hares,
squirrels, etc. The older ones, with their dogs, hunt gophers (land tor-
toises), and spear aquatic turtles and fish . Big Tiger and Little Tommy
. wore a kind of hunting shirt of blue plaid calico with a broad collar,
the whole ornamented with bright-colored fringes, and strips of turkey-
red calico along the seams. These Indians have agreeable, musical voices
and talk in low, pleasant tones.
The houses are formed of upright posts set in the ground, [with] a
thatched roof of palmetto leaves, and a floor about three feet from the
ground, the sides being open. They sit on the floors during the day, and
sleep on them at night, their beds being rolled up in the day-time. They
all sleep under mosquito bars [nets], which are tucked up during the day.
The store-houses are A-shaped and are closely thatched all around, with
a door in one end. At one side of the village is a level, cleared space with
a tall pole in the center, where they hold their dances at stated periods,
the "green corn dance" being the most important. These are occasions of
feasting, revelry and the wildest enjoyment, in which wy-ho-mee (whisky),
as in more civilized assemblages, takes an active .and prominent part.
As the twilight floated upward, and the darkness closed around, the
night was filled with wonders. Small camp-fires were kindled in the open
spaces between the huts, casting a ruddy glare around, lighting up the gay
attire and swarthy features of the Indians as they silently moved about,
gilding the trunks of the lofty pines and setting the shadows dancing and
flitting through the open huts. The white smoke glided upward like tall
ghosts and disappeared in the gloom above the tree tops. The young moon
hung low in the west, . across the mysterious wastes of the Everglades.
. . Myriads of fire-flies flitted and flashed their tiny lanterns over the
slender spires of reeds, rushes and rank grasses, their reflections gleaming
and sparkling with the stars in the still reaches of the channels. The air
was heavy with the redolence of balmy shrubs, honey-scented flowers and
the spicy aroma of the pines. Strange night birds flew by on noiseless
wing, great moths wheeled about in erratic flight, and fierce beetles went
buzzing overhead. The chuck-will's widow was calling loudly, and the
great horned owl woke the solemn echoes of the dense pine forest, while
an incessant twittering and chattering of waterfowl, the piping of frogs,
and the occasional bellow of an alligator came from the marshes ....
We repaired to the largest camp-fire, where the elite of the village
were sitting and lounging about. The squaws, each with a babe in her
lap. . were shelling beans, pounding hominy or pulling buckskin, the
JOHN F. REIGER
men looking on, talking and smoking, and the children and dogs romping
and playing. We were offered the best log at the fire and sat down ...
There was a large garfish roasting on the coals. ... A squaw .. cracked
it open with a stick, the horny covering parting in halves like a bivalve
shell, the meat appearing white and savory, which was divided among the
children, together with some sweet potatoes which she raked out of the
We discovered that night why the Indians used mosquito bars;... my
pen is inadequate to describe the miseries and torments we endured through
neglecting to take ours with us. We slept, or rather tried to sleep, in the
hut assigned to us, where by maintaining a circle of fires and smudges
around the open hut we managed to pass the night.
. [We] spent two days at the village. . The Indians are good
hunters and fair shots, but we beat them all at the target. .. The Indians
use modern breech-loading rifles of the best manufacturers, .38 and .44
calibre. Their canoes are made of huge cypress logs, ... carefully and skill-
fully constructed. The boys learn to handle and sail them when quite young.
They use the pole in preference to the paddle, owing to the shallow water,
and always sail them when there is a fair wind. In the fall there is from
four to six feet of water in the Everglades, caused by the heavy rains of
summer, but in the spring "navigation closes."
We purchased some sweet potatoes and beans, repacked the canoe
and prepared to leave, when [we discovered that] Cuff was missing. I had
seen him not long before with a large Indian dog in the woods. Skipper
was sorely troubled, fearing that the bucks had secreted [hidden] him;
but I was satisfied he had gone hunting to show off his smartness to the
Indian cur. Finally we left without him, Tiger agreeing to bring him down
to the station next day, saying:
"When sun so," pointing in the west to where the sun would be at
an hour high, "me-come-canoe-white man's dog-me bring um-
Three hours of sailing, paddling and the swift current of New River
took us to the station landing, where we found the Rambler all right. The
next day at the appointed hour Tiger was seen poling a small canoe across
the bay, with Cuff seated in the bow.
The most favorable wind for sailing on the East coast of Florida is
a westerly one, which, blowing off the land, renders the sea comparatively
smooth. The day after I returned from the Everglades the wind was north-
west, and had Cuff been aboard, we should have at once set sail for
Biscayne Bay, that being the most favorable wind we could have had. As a
rule, the wind in Florida boxes the compass in the regular way, following
the sun, so that by the time we were ready to sail it was easterly, but rather
light, and though there was not much sea, there was a long and heavy
swell from the northeast. We went out over the bar at ebb tide. New River
Inlet is one of the best on the southeast coast of Florida, there being at
low tide three or four feet of water on the bar. As the channels to these
inlets are constantly changing, owing to the shifting of the sand, it would
be useless to describe them in detail; but, as a rule the cruiser should sail
below them until the stream opens well to view, and then sail in on the
plane of the outflowing river which on this coast is generally in a northerly
The shore line for ten miles below the New River Inlet is of a similar
character to that already described, but it afterwards becomes more
heavily timbered, owing to the proximity of streams about the head of
Biscayne Bay. Twelve miles below New River we were abreast of Life
Saving Station No. 5, the last one on the coast, under the charge of Ed.
Barnott, and eight miles below it we entered Bay Biscayne through Nar-
row's Cut, between the mainland and Virginia Key. The lighthouse on
Fowey's Rock (formerly on Cape Florida), and the first buoy marking
the entrance to Hawk Channel from here to Key West, were in plain
sight as we passed in. We at once sailed across Biscayne Bay, about eight
miles, to Miami (old Fort Dallas), at the mouth of Miami River.
We sailed into the river a few hundred yards and anchored off the
wharf of Mr. Ewan, who keeps a store and lives with Mr. Chas. Peacock
in the old stone officers' quarters of Fort Dallas. Here I met my old friends,
Mr. and Mrs. Peacock and family, Mr. Ewan and his mother, also Mr.
and Mrs. Tuttle, of Cleveland, O., E. O. Gwynn, Esq., Mayor of Key West,
and Mr. Curtis, of Jacksonville, Fla. Mr. Curtis was collecting specimens
of woods for the Smithsonian Institution and other scientific museums,
and had a valuable collection. We crossed the river to the store and post-
office of Mr. Brickell, where we found an abundant supply of mail matter,
this being the only post-office between Lake Worth and Key West, the
mail being received via the latter place. We also met here Little Tommy,
one of our Indian friends from the Everglades. There are many points of
interest about Biscayne Bay, among others the "Punch Bowl," a large
spring in the hamak of Mr. Brickell, and near the shore of the bay. In
times gone by the buccaneers, pirates and wreckers of the Florida Keys
and Spanish Main frequented this spring to fill their water casks from its
great, rocky bowl. Of course the usual stories of buried treasures near
the haunts of pirates obtain, and many and vain have been the searching
in the vicinity of the Punch Bowl. A few miles up the Miami there is quite
JOHN F. REIGER
a rapids, called "The Falls," which will well repay a visit, being a lovely
and most romantic spot. At the lower end of the bay the "Indian Hunting
Grounds" begin, running to Cape Sable, where large game abounds. At the
head of the bay, Snake and Arch creeks empty. Spanning the latter is a
natural stone bridge or arch of coralline rock, under which boats may
In a beautiful grove of cocoa palms, at the mouth of the Miami,
were encamped Mr. and Mrs. M., Mr. and Miss H., and Mrs. O., of
Staten Island, New York." The group of white tents added an additional
charm to a spot as lovely and romantic as a scene in fairyland. Their
camp and outfit were as complete and comfortable as possible, and they
really enjoyed their open-air life. Mrs. M. and her sister, Miss H., were
afflicted with pulmonary consumption, and had been drawn hither, as a
last [resort] . to try the healing virtues of the chlorinated breezes,
balmy atmosphere and warm bright sun of this, the . most charming
and . healthful location in Florida. . .
We left Miami at eleven o'clock in the forenoon with a light easterly
wind. Mr. E. O. Gwynn, Mayor of Key West, having concluded his busi-
ness at Miami, and the mail schooner not leaving for several days, in fact
had not yet arrived from Key West, we offered him a passage, as we in-
tended going direct to that city. We greatly enjoyed his genial society on
the trip, for being well informed, and a close observer, he possessed an
abundant stock of information of that section of the country.
As we sailed out of Miami River, the line of keys shutting in the
bay from the ocean were plainly visible toward the southeast, the most
northerly being Virginia Key, then Key Biscayne, Soldier Key and Ragged
Keys. The south point of Key Biscayne is Cape Florida, upon which
stands the lighthouse tower, now abandoned as a light station. Eastward
of Soldier Key, and five and a half miles S.E. V S. from Cape Florida, is
Fowey Rocks Lighthouse, on the northern extremity of the Florida reefs.
It is an iron framework, with the lantern one hundred and ten feet above
the sea, showing a fixed white light, visible in clear weather some sixteen
miles. This light is situated at the northern entrance to Hawk Channel,
leading between the line of Florida Keys and the outlying reefs, along
the Florida Straits to Key West. The channel is from three to five miles
wide and is about one hundred and forty miles from Virginia Key to Key
I The people referred to are Ralph Middleton Munroe, his wife, Mrs. Munroe's sister
and brother, and a friend. Ralph Munroe became a prominent figure in the early history
of Coconut Grove.
Biscayne Bay is broadest abreast of Ragged Keys, and about here
begin the Feather-bed Shoals, a series of parallel sand shoals stretching
across the bay. They are easily discernible, showing quite white at a
distance, and by following the shoal in either direction an opening will
soon be found. Below Ragged Keys is a long one called Elliott's Key;
near its southern extremity a group of small keys stretch across Biscayne
Bay, separating it from Card's Sound. Small boats may proceed through
Card's and Barne's sounds, and then keep under the lee of the line of
keys to Key West; but it requires some previous knowledge or the employ-
ment of a competent pilot, to avoid the many mud flats, shoals and reefs
of this route, for the water is shallow. . Owing to the many keys, man-
grove islands and shoals, with the mainland to the north and the Florida
Keys to the southward, the water is always comparatively smooth. There
is an abundance of shore and wading birds, an endless variety of fishes,
oysters, turtles, etc., while on the Indian hunting grounds on the mainland
there is plenty of large game ....
Sailing down Biscayne Bay we took a number of tarpum, groupers,
crevalle and barracudas on the trolling lines, and saw numerous logger-
head and green turtles. At the south end of Elliott's Key is a passage to
the sea called Caesar's Creek, winding between that key and some smaller
ones. We followed Caesar's Creek to the main channel inside the Florida
reefs, . where we anchored at sundown, some thirty-five miles from
Miami. The next morning broke clear and fine with a fresh E.N.E. breeze,
and leaving the mouth of Caesar's Creek we went dashing along; leaving
Old Rhodes Key to the starboard. We next came to the largest of the
keys, Cayo12 Largo, at the head of which we caught the last glimpse of
the mainland that we would have until we sighted Cape Sable, after leav-
ing Key West....
The wind continued to freshen, bringing in a long-rolling sea between
the outlying reefs, which caused Jack to seek the cabin and his bunk ...
We were now opposite Carysfort Reef Lighthouse, which is twenty-
three miles S. by W. from Fowey Rocks Light. It shows a bright flash
every half minute, visible some seventeen miles. Key Largo is some twenty
miles long, has a number of settlers on it, and some large pineapple plan-
tations, the largest being those of Mr. Baker. These keys are, most of
them, thickly wooded with a variety of hard timber, buttonwood, crab-
wood, bay, palmetto, etc., with a fringe of mangroves. Several vessels
were in sight, in the channel and outside the reefs. Those meeting us
were beating northward under reefed canvas, but the Rambler, with the
12Here Henshall uses the Spanish "cayo" for cay or key.
JOHN F. REIGER
wind abaft the beam, had just enough for her cruising rig, and went bowl-
ing along with every thread drawing in the spanking breeze. We passed in
succession, leaving them all to starboard, Rodriquez and Tavernier keys-
both small ones-and Plantation, Vermont, Upper and Lower Matta-
combe and Umbrella keys. Indian Key, a small, but high and prominent
one, came next, where there is good anchorage and a number of large
cisterns, where water can be purchased by passing vessels. Southwest of
Indian Key is Alligator Reef Lighthouse, thirty-one miles S.W. /2 S. from
Carysfort Reef Light. It is an iron frame pyramid, showing a scintillating
light flashing every five seconds, every sixth flash being red. These light-
houses, built on submerged reefs by iron screw piles, are completely iso-
lated, their keepers being shut off from all communication with the keys
except by boats, lead a very secluded and semi-hermit life, while exposed
to the fury of fierce gales and the lashing of the angry seas.
The Florida keys are now nearly all inhabited, and new buildings
were being erected on many of them, owing to the "cocoanut boom."
These keys were all being taken up, preempted, leased or bought, prin-
cipally by Key West parties, and set out to cocoanut trees. As these trees
will grow wherever there is soil enough on these rocky keys, and require
little or no care after being planted, and as each tree is said to pay at
least a dollar and a half per annum after six years old, it will be seen that
a few thousand trees would yield a small bonanza in a few years, if all
accounts are true. On some of the keys are groups of cocoa palms now
full grown and in bearing, and whether they pay or not financially, they
certainly add very much to the beauty and tropical appearance of the
islands, and viewed in this light the "cocoanut fever" will prove of last-
ing benefit to this section.
At Long Key we left the main channel and went inside the line of
keys to Channel Key, where we anchored at five o'clock under the lee
of Duck Key. The route usually taken, it being somewhat shorter, is to go
"inside," or on the northerly side of the keys from Long Key to Bahia
Honda, from whence the main channel is again followed to Key West. The
choice of routes is, however, usually determined by the direction of the
wind and the state of the sea. With a northerly or westerly wind, the
main channel is the smoothest, being then under the lee of the keys, while
with an easterly or southerly wind, the other route is taken for a similar
reason. The next morning we set sail at seven o'clock, the wind blowing
harder than on the day before, and from the same direction, or a few
points nearer east. We passed Grassy, Bamboo, Vaccas, Knight and other
keys in quick succession, leaving them to port, and with the strong breeze
and smooth water, under the lee, we made ten miles an hour from Channel
Key to Bahia Honda. Coming outside here we found a heavy sea run-
ning, and catching us on the port quarter, but the Rambler, very buoyant
in light ballast, and being under full sail, skimmed the rollers like a sea
gull. We did not ship a sea on the whole voyage. The fishing smacks,
turtlers and spongers were all lying at anchor under the lee of various
keys, waiting for better weather.
In plain sight was Sombrero Key Lighthouse, thirty miles S.W. by
W. V4 W. from Alligator Reef Light. This is a conspicuous open frame
iron work tower, one hundred and fifty feet high, showing a fixed light,
visible twenty miles. We now left to starboard Pine, Saddle Bluff, Sugar-
loaf, Loggerhead and other keys. Southwest of Loggerhead Key is the new
lighthouse on American Shoal. Passing Cargo Sambo, Boca Chica and
other keys and islands, we were in sight of Key West Lighthouse, and off
to the southwest, Sand Key Lighthouse; the latter is forty-three miles W.
by S. S. from Sombrero Light and seven and a third miles S.S.W. W.
from Key West light. Key West Lighthouse (harbor light) is in the city
of Key West, southeast side, a brick tower, whitewashed, and shows a
fixed light fourteen miles. Sand Key Light is a revolving flash light. Key
West City now loomed up to view with its steeples, towers, and forts
bristling with guns. Rounding Ft. Taylor we proceeded to the common
anchorage of the coasters and fishing smacks, and dropped anchor at
three o'clock, having made one hundred and fifty miles in twenty-four
hours of sailing, an average of six and a quarter miles per hour. We made
everything snug, got the anchor light ready, and put everything in ship-
shape order for a stay of several days in port.
Key West, a thriving and prosperous city of some fifteen thousand
inhabitants, is situated on the western portion of the island, the latter
being five miles in length and about a mile wide. From its position as the
"Key to the Gulf," with a deep and spacious harbor, and as a naval depot
and coaling station it is a place of great commercial and maritime im-
portance. It has a number of fine residences, buildings and churches,
several hotels the principal one, the Russell House a marine hospi-
tal, a custom house, and U.S. naval depot. There is a neat and com-
modious barracks with well-kept grounds, though the troops are at present
stationed at Tampa. There is also quite a large convent, surrounded by
handsomely arranged grounds, just outside the city. The cemetery is
tastefully laid out and charmingly adorned by tropical trees, shrubbery
and flowering plants. The city is defended by several forts, the largest
being Ft. Taylor, a brick and stone fortress mounting some two hundred
guns. Steamers for Havana, Mexico, New Orleans, New York, Galveston
and the Gulf coast touch here almost daily, besides a great number of
JOHN F. REIGER
Key West is a quaint and charming city, full of oddities and incon-
gruities, a veritable town of eccentric "patchwork," wherein each edifice
forms a "piece." Buildings of all sizes and of every conceivable style, or
no style, of architecture, are promiscuously jumbled together, but are
joined or seamed to each other by a wealth and profusion of tropical
foliage, which surrounds, invests, surmounts and overshadows them,
softening the asperities, toning down the harsh outlines, and uniting the
separate pieces, which merge their individuality in a harmonious tout
The modern stiff and flashy Gothic church glares superciliously
through its cheap, Catherine-wheel window, as through an eye-glass, at
the weather-stained but stout and solid old Spanish chapel, which looks
up dreamily and good-naturedly at its prim rival, while the cocoa palm
stretches its long arms over it protectingly, the date palm caresses it with
slender, green fingers, and the almond tree looks on with conscious pride.
The stilted, upstart frame residence, with scroll work hanging from
barge-board and eaves, like cheap cotton lace ostentatiously displayed
by a vulgarly-dressed woman, looks down haughtily on its little neighbor-
a rambling one-story cottage of stone with broad projecting roof and cool
verandas, almost hidden in a mass of vines, creepers and flowers, which
cling to it in loving embrace. The iron-front store, with plate-glass win-
dows, shoulders aside the dark and sombre Cuban caf6 with its cages of
singing birds and parrots hanging in the Pride of India trees, and its cool
shadows embalmed and emblazoned by the bloom and fragrance of the
And so, mansions, huts and hovels balconies, canopies and porches
- lattice windows, oriels and dormers gables, hoods and pavilions -
pillars, columns and pilasters are mingled in endless confusion, but
harmonized by arabesques of fruit and foliage, festoons of vines and
creepers, wreaths and traceries of climbing shrubs and trailing flowers,
and shady bowers of palm and palmetto, almond and tamarind, lime and
lemon, orange and banana.
And its population is as diverse as its structures. Americans, English-
men, Frenchmen, Germans, Spaniards, Cubans, Bahamians, Italians and
negroes make up its numbers, the majority being Cubans and Bahamians,
or "Conchs," as the English natives of the Bahamas are called. Here may
be seen every shade of complexion, from white to yellow, brown and
black, cosmopolitan all, though each class seems to live in its own
quarter of the town as "birds of a feather" mostly congregate in spe-
cialized groups where, after nightfall, they enjoy themselves, each class
after its own fashion, singing, dancing, and even drinking in its own
language. Jack said he learned to drink beer in seven languages while
there, which is a liqui-linguistic accomplishment that few attain, and
But there is a large and popular dance house at the west end of
town, which we "took in" for Skipper's benefit, where the harmonizing
influences of the place are again exemplified, and where white, yellow,
brown and black meet on a common level, male and female, and "chase
the fleeting hours with flying feet" to the inspiring strains of a cracked
violin and a piano which seems to possess a thousand wires and all
loosely hung. And if the test of enjoyment is the energy displayed, they
certainly enjoyed themselves to the top of their bent.
But we will take a long and upward step to a nobler and far more
attractive scene, where the youth and beauty of the island city are as-
sembled at the "Rink," a large and brilliantly lighted hall in the heart of
the town. Here were youths and maidens who had never seen a snowflake
or an icicle, and who had never heard the merry jingle of a sleighbell;
but all the same were gliding along gracefully and smoothly on roller-
skates, or dashing around the outer edges on the swift-whirling bicycle
to the fascinating strains of the "Beautiful Blue Danube"; while the
mingled odors of the cape jessamine, the tuberose and the orange blossom
floated in through the windows and doors. Oh, what a subtile and potent
power in beauty, music and flowers ....
The chief industries of Key West are the manufacture of cigars,
sponging, fishing, turtling and wrecking. There are, perhaps, a hundred
cigar factories, from the one-story hut, scarcely bigger than its sign, to
the large, airy and extensive buildings, each giving employment to hun-
dreds of hands. The cigar makers are mostly Cuban refugees, and the
tobacco is imported from Cuba, though for a time some Eastern dealers
manufactured here a large quantity of domestic tobacco, which injured
the trade and brought discredit on Key West cigars, so as to lessen the
demand to a considerable extent; but, happily, the dishonest practice is
discontinued, I believe, and only Cuban leaf is now used.
A large fleet of vessels are engaged in sponging, the crews being
mostly "Conchs" and negroes. The sponges are taken in shallow waters,
off the reefs and banks, where by means of the "sponge-glass," a wooden
pail with a glass bottom, the sponges can be plainly seen attached to the
rocky bottom, and to shells, where they are torn loose by a strong iron
hook affixed to a long pole. Each vessel tows six or eight small boats or
JOHN F. REIGER
yawls, in which the men work. Some Eastern houses have sponge depots
here; among others I noticed that of McKesson & Robbins of New York.
The sponges are . washed, dried, bleached and assorted, and are of
various grades and kinds.
Every morning may be seen many small fishing smacks, moored
stern on along the fish wharf, with their wells filled with live pan fish,
such as grunts, porgies, groupers, snappers, hogfish, yellow tails, spots,
etc., which are killed and strung in bunches as fast as sold, selling for five
or ten cents a bunch, and on account of their cheapness form the principal
part of the diet of the working classes. These pan fish are some of them
very beautiful, as well as excellent food fishes, and are caught in the
channels near the city, being taken principally with the sea crawfish as
bait, for they are all caught with hook and line. The larger smacks bring
in kingfish, otherwise known as cero, or black-spotted Spanish mackerel,13
a large and handsome fish weighing from five to fifteen pounds, almost
equalling the real Spanish mackerel in flavor; they are usually taken by
trolling off the keys. The fishermen are mostly "Conchs," who are by
nature nearly amphibious, learning to fish, turtle, sponge and handle a
boat almost as soon as they are able to walk, or at most, when old
enough to wear pants. They are the descendants of the English settlers
of the Bahama Islands, and have the cockney habit of changing the "w"
to "v." Even a negro, born in the Bahamas, said to me one day:
"The veather ain't no good for fishing an' the vater is too rough,
and the vind too 'igh fur spongin'."
A number of large smacks regularly supply the Havana market with
kingfish and red snappers. By leaving Key West about sundown they are
in Havana by daylight the next morning. Had we not been pressed for
time, or been in Key West a few weeks earlier, I should have made the
run in one of these smacks.
The fruit and vegetables and products brought to Key West from
the mainland and keys are always disposed of at auctions, which are held
every morning, and are attended by the citizens as regularly as Northern
people "go to market." If the supply of eatables is small, notions and
other commodities are sold, for the average Key Wester is not happy
without an auction.
We were shown every kindness, consideration and courtesy during
our stay in Key West by Mr. and Mrs. Gwynn and their two charming
13While the king, cero, and Spanish mackerel resemble each other and are closely related,
they are not-as Henshall implies-the same fish.
daughters. These young ladies possessed all the advantages of a good and
thorough education, being well versed in belles-lettres, music and paint-
ing, and were as refined and graceful as our Northern ladies, though
they had never been away from their little island home, having been
educated entirely at the convent of Key West.
We left Key West on Sunday afternoon, March 12, with a light
easterly breeze, bound for Cape Sable, some sixty miles northeast,
across Florida Bay . .
LIST OF MEMBERS
Explanatory Note: The Association provides several classes of member-
ship. "Sustaining" members who pay ten dollars a year make up the basic
membership. For those who wish to contribute more for the promotion of
the work of the Association other classes of membership provide the op-
portunity, and the publication of their names in the appropriate category
of membership is a means of recognition. "Patrons" pay fifteen dollars a
year, "Donors" twenty-five, "Contributors" fifty, "Sponsors" one hundred,
and "Benefactors" two hundred and fifty or more.
This printed roster is made up of the names of those persons and insti-
tutions that have paid dues since September 1, 1970. Those joining after
September 30, 1971 will have their names in the 1972 roster. The symbol
** indicates founding member and the symbol indicates charter member.
Abbott, John F., Miami Shores
Adams, Adam G., Coral Gables*
Adams, Eugene C., Miami
Adams, Franklin B., Miami
Adams, Mrs. Richard B., Miami
Allen, Mrs. Eugenia, Miami
Allen, Stewart D., Coral Gables
Altmayer, M. S., Jr., Miami
American Museum of Natural History
Arbogast, Keith L., Miami
Arnold, Mrs. Roger Williams, Miami
Ashe, Miss Barbara Rose, Coral Gables
Bain, Mildred L., Miami
Baker, Mrs. John A., Miami
Baker, Mrs. Rita L., Miami
Balfe, Mrs. E. Hutchins, Miami
Barbee, Miss Sue, Hialeah
Barnes, Col. Francis H., Miami
Barry, Mrs. William, Miami
Bartow Public Library
Bates, Franklin W., Miami
Baxter, John M., Miami Beach*
Baya, George J., Esq., Miami
Beare, Mrs. Richard, Miami
Bernecker, James F., Homestead
Biglin, Mrs. W. A., Ft. Lauderdale
Bills, Mrs. John T., Miami
Black, Leon D., Coral Gables
Black, Mrs. Margaret F., Coral Gables
Bloomberg, Robert L., Miami
Blount, Mrs. David N., Miami
Borton, F. W., Miami
Bower, Robert S., N. Miami Beach
Bozeman, R. E., Washington, D.C.
Brigham, Miss Florence S., Miami
Brookfield, Charles M., Miami*
Brooks, J. R., Upper Key Largo
Broward, Mrs. Chas. S., Jr., Coral Gabl
Brown, Daniel M., Jr., Miami
Brown University Library
Buhr, Dr. M. C., Miami
Bullen, Ripley P., Gainesville
Burghard, August, Ft. Lauderdale
Burns, Edward B., Las Cruces, N.M.
Buswell, James O., III, Jamaica, N.Y.
Button, Mrs. Florence C., Miami
Cables, June E., Homestead
Campbell, W. A., M.D., Ft. Lauderdale
Capron, Louis, West Palm Beach
Carlton, Mrs. Patricia P., Ft. Lauderdale
Carson, Mrs. Ruby Leach, Miami**
Cartee, Mrs. Horace L., Coral Gables
Castillo, Robert, Miami
Catlow, Mrs. William R., Jr., Miami*
Cayton, Mrs. Leona Peacock, Miami
Cherry, Mrs. Gwendolyn S., Miami
Chowning, John S., Coral Gables
Clark, Mrs. Marie, Coral Gables
Coconut Grove Library, Miami
Cole, Mrs. Kelley, Miami
Coleman, Mrs. Hannah P., Miami
Conklin, Dallas M., Long Beach, Calif.
Connolly, William D., Jr., Miami
Cook, Miss Mary C., Crownpoint, N.M.
Coral Gables Public Library*
Cormack, Elroy C., Miami
Coslow, George R., Miami
Covington, James W., Tampa
Crail, Lee, Miami Beach
Crane, Mrs. Francis V., Marathon
Creel, Joe, Miami
Criswell, Col. Grover C., Citra
Culpepper, Kay M., Miami
Culpepper, Miss Lois, Miami
Curry, Miss Lamar Louise, Coral Gables
Cushman, The School, Miami*
Davis, Mrs. Carl H., Miami
Davis, Hal D., Coral Gables
Dees, Mrs. Elizabeth Gautier, Miami
Detroit (Mich.) Public Library
Dorn, H. Lewis, S. Miami
es Dorothy, Mrs. Caroline, Coral Gables*
Douglas, Marjory Stoneman, Miami**
Dressier, Philip, Ft. Lauderdale
Dubnick, Charlotte S., N. Miami Beach
Duncan, Marvin L., Miami
Dunn, Hampton, Tampa
Dunwoody, Atwood, Miami
Dusman, Gilbert H., Coral Gables
Dusman, Mrs. Florence R., Coral Gables
Edelen, Ellen, Miami
Edwards, Robert V., M.D., Coral Gables
Elliott, Donald L., Miami
El Portal Women's Club, Miami
Fite, Robert, Miami
Fitzgerald, Dr. Joseph H., Miami
FIeeman, David B., Miami
Flinn, Mrs. Gene, Miami
FIa. Dept. of Commerce, Tallahassee
Florida Historical Society, Tampa
Florida State University, Tallahassee
Ft. Lauderdale Historical Society
Fortner, Ed, Ocala
Foss, George B., Jr., Miami
Freeland, Mrs. William L., Miami**
Freeman, Mrs. Ethel C., Morristown, N.J.
Fullerton, R. C., Coral Gables
Gardner, H. A., Miami
Gardner, Mrs. Levi Conway, Miami
Garofalo, Charles, Atlanta, Ga.
Gauld, Charles A., Miami
Grey, Mr. & Mrs. Hugh M., Jr., Venice
Gross, Dr. Zade B., Largo
Halstead, W. L., Miami
Hampton, Mrs. John, Baltimore, Md.*
Harding, Col. Read B., Ret., Arcadia
Harrington, Frederick H., Hialeah
Harwood, Mrs. Manton E., Miami
Haydon Burns Library, Jacksonville
Hendricks, James C., Long Island, N.Y.
Hendry, Judge Norman, Miami
Herin, Thomas D., Miami
Herin, Judge William A., Miami*
Hesslein, Frank, Miami
Hialeah City Library
Hiers, J. B., Jr., Miami
Hills, Lee, Miami
Hillsborough County Historical
Hodsden, Mrs. Harry E., Miami
Holcomb, Lyle D., Jr., Miami
Hoyt, Robert L., Miami
Hubbell, Willard, Miami
Hudson, James A., Miami
Hudson, Mrs. James A., Miami
Hume, David, Miami
Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.
Hutchinson, Mrs. Robert J., Coral Gables
Ingraham, William A., Jr., Miami Beach
Institute of Jamaica, Kingston
James, Mary Crofts, Miami
Jasiecki, Dorothy F., Miami Lakes
Jenkins, David L., Sr., Miami Beach
Johnson, Mrs. Westerdahl, Miami
Jones, Mrs. Edgar, Coral Gables
Jones, Mark B., Venice
Jude, Mrs. James, Coral Gables
Kanner, Mrs. Lewis M., Coral Gables
Keep, Oscar J., Coral Gables
Kincaid, Ben J., Jr., Coral Gables
Kirk, Cooper, Ft. Lauderdale
Kitchell, Bruce P., Jr.,
Webster Grove, Mo.
Knight, Telfair, Coral Gables
Knott, James R., West Palm Beach
Knotts, Tom, Yankeetown
Knowles, Mrs. Nellie P., Coral Gables
LaCroix, Mrs. Aerial C., Miami
Lake Worth Public Library
Land, Mrs. Marorie, Miami
Larrabee, Charles, Jr., Miami
Laurie, Mrs. W. T., Miami
Laxson, Dan D., Hialeah
Law, Mrs. J. B., Jupiter
Leary, Lewis, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Leffler, Miss Cornelia, Miami**
Leonardy, Mrs. Herberta, Miami*
Lindsley, Mrs. A. R., Miami Beach
Lippert, Mrs. Anne A., Miami
Locke, R. R., Miami
Longshore, Frank, Miami
Lunnon, Mrs. James, Pago Pago,
Malone, Randolph A., Coral Gables
Mangels, Dr. Celia C., Miami Shores
Manley, Miss Marion I., Miami
Marathon Public Library
Marchman, Watt P., Fremont, Ohio*
Marks, Henry S., Huntsville, Ala.
Matheny, John W., Miami
Matheson, Bruce C., Goulds
Matheson, Finlay L., So. Miami
Matheson, R. Hardy, Coral Gables
Maxwell, Mrs. Arline, Miami
McDonald, Mrs. John M., Boca Raton
McElyea, Morris, Jr., Miami
McKay, John G., Jr., Coral Gables
McNaughton, M. D., Miami
Metcalf, Mrs. George W., Coral Gables
Miami Dade Junior College, South
Miami Public Library*
Mickler, Mrs. Thomas, Chuluota
Miller, Irving E., Miami Beach
Miller, William Jay, Miami
Minear, Mrs. L. V., Jupiter
Monk, J. Floyd, Miami
Monroe County Public Library, Key West
Morningside Elementary P.T.A., Miami
Moulds, Mrs. Andrew J., Coral Gables
Moylan, E. B., Jr., Miami
Mudd, Dr. Richard D., Saginaw, Mich.
Mueller, Edward A., Tallahassee
Muir, Mrs. William W., Miami
Muller, David F., Miami
Muller, Dr. Leonard R., Miami*
Murphy, John J. S., Coral Gables
Murray, Miss Mary Ruth, Coral Gables
Mustard, Alice Isabel, Miami
Mustard, Margaret Jean, Miami
Newberry Library, Chicago, Ill.
North Miami High School Library
O'Kane, Robert, Miami
Old Island Restoration Foundation,
Orlando Public Library
Pancoast, Alice A., Miami
Pancoast, John Arthur, Pompano Beach
Pancoast, Katherine French, Miami
Pancoast, Mr. & Mrs. Lester C., Miami
Pancoast, Peter Russell, Miami
Pardo, Mrs. Ramiro V., Miami
Parker, Alfred B., Miami
Patton, Mrs. Dan O., Miami
Pearce, Mrs. Frank H., Coral Gables
Peirce, Gertrude C., Miami
Pendleton, Robert S., Ft. Lauderdale
Perry, Dr. Charles E., Miami
Peters, Mrs. Thelma, Miami*
Peterson, Stuart J., Miami
Piant, Mrs. R. L., Miami
Pierce, Harvey F., Coral Gables
Platt, T. Beach, Miami
C&SFFCD Library, West Palm Beach
Potter, Robert E., Hialeah
Proby, Mrs. Lucien, Jr., Miami
Proenza, Mrs. Morris G., Coral Gables
Rader, Paul C., Miami
Rasmussen, Dr. Edwin L., Ft. Myers**
Rast, J. Lawton, Miami
Read, Mrs. Albert C., Miami
Reed, Miss Elizabeth Ann, Delray Beach
Reiger, Dr. John F., Coral Gables
Renick, Ralph, Miami
Richards, Mrs. Bartlett, Jupiter
Roberts, Bruce, Miami
Rogers, Norman R., Coral Gables
Rogers, Robert C., Coral Gables
Rogers, Mrs. Walter S. C., Coral Gables
Rollins College Library, Winter Park
Rosborough, Dr. Melanie R.,
Rose, Mrs. Herbert, Coral Gables
Ross, Mrs. Harry E., Miami
Ross, Miss Mary L, Coral Gables
Ross, Richard F., Boca Raton
Rovirosa, Rene, Miami
Rubin, Mrs. Joseph, Miami
Rumbaugh, Jay C., Miami
Sands, Harry B., Nassau, N.P., Bahamas
Sanger, Marjory Bartlett, Winter Park
Santa Fe Jr. College, Gainesville
Sawyer, William G., Miami
Scher, Mrs. Frederick, Miami
Schooley, Harry, Ft. Myers
Schuh, Robert P., Miami
Schunicht, William A., Miami
Scribner, Mrs. K. J., Daytona Beach
Seley, Ray B., Jr., Miami
Serkin, Manuel, Coral Gables
Seymour, Mrs. George H., Jr., Miami
Shiver, Otis W., Miami
Shiverick, Mrs. Thomas T., Miami
Shubow, Mrs. David, Coral Gables
Smathers, Frank, Jr., Miami
Smith, McGregor, Jr., Miami
Smith, Mrs. Robert Smith, Miami
Smith, Mrs. Wm. Burford, Miami
Sneider, Mrs. Stanley, Miami
Snodgrass, Miss Dena, Jacksonville
Snow, Seli David, M.D., Miami
Snyder, Mrs. Frederick R., Sr., Miami
Stamey, Ernest M., Hialeah
Stanford University Libraries
State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Stedman, Carling H., Miami
Stewart, Franz H., M.D., Miami
Stewart, Dr. Harris B., Jr., Coral Gables
Stillman, Chauncey, New York, N.Y.
Storch, William V., W. Palm Beach
Straight, Dr. William M., Miami
Stripling Insurance Agency, Hialeah
Sullivan, Catherine B., Bal Harbour
Sutcliffe, William H., Coral Gables
Sweeney, Mrs. Edward C., Miami
Tampa Public Library
Tarboux, Miss Frances, Miami Shores
Tardif, Robert Gerard, Miami
Taylor, Mrs. F. A. S., Miami
Teachers Professional Library, Miami
Teasley, T. H., Coral Gables
Tebeau, Charlton W., Coral Gables*
Tebeau, Mrs. Violet H., Coral Gables
Ten Eick, Mrs. M. Nunez, Tampa*
Tennessee State Library and Archives
Tharp, Dr. Charles Doren, So. Miami
Thomas, Wayne, Tampa
Thrift, Dr. Charles T., Jr., Lakeland
Tottenhoff, Mrs. R. J., Coral Gables
Tussey, Mrs. Ethel Wayt, Miami
Twing, G. S., Coral Gables
Twing, Paul F., Miami
University of Miami Library
University of South Florida Library
University of Tampa Library
University of Tennessee Library
Van Beuren, Michael, Marathon
Van Roy, Gretchen E., Coral Gables
Virgin, Herbert W. Jr., M.D., Miami
Vorel, Mildred, Miami
Voss, Gilbert L., Miami
Waldhour, E. Ardelle, Coral Gables
Wallace, Lew E., Jr., St. Petersburg
Ware, Captain John D., Tampa
Ware, Mrs. Willard M., Miami Beach
Waters, Fred M., Jr., Coral Gables
Weintraub, Albert, Miami
Weiss, Mrs. Simon, Miami
Wellman, Wayne E., Miami
Wenck, James H., Miami
West Palm Beach Public Library
Whigman, Mrs. Florence R., Miami
Whitmer, Dr. Kenneth S., Miami
Wilkins, Woodrow Wilson, Miami
Will, Lawrence E., Belle Glade
Williams, H. Franklin, Coral Gables*
Williams, John B., Miami
Williams, Mrs. Joseph F., Hollywood
Wilson, Gaines R., Miami**
Wilson, Mrs. Gaines R., Miami**
Wilson, Peyton L., Miami*
Wirkus, Mrs. Leonard V., Miami
Withers, James G., Coral Gables
Withers, Wayne E., Coral Gables
Witkoff, Mrs. Fred J., Miami
Woolin, Martin, Perrine
Woore, Mrs. A. Meredith, Miami*
Wrigley, Mrs. Fran, Miami
Adams, Wilton L., Miami
Archer, Ben, Homestead
Ayars, Erling E., Coral Gables
Baber, Adin, Kansas, Ill.*
Baker, Charles H., Jr., Miami*
Beal, K. Malcolm, Miami*
Beardsley, Jim E., Clewiston
Beckham, W. H., Jr., Coral Gables
Bielawa, R. A., Miami
Blackburn, Elmer E., Miami
Bleier, Mrs. T. J., Miami
Blumberg, David, Coral Gables
Brown, William J., Miami
Brunstetter, Roscoe, Coral Gables
Bumstead, Evvalyn R., Miami
Bumstead, John R., Miami
Burk, Mrs. Morris, Coral Gables
Burkett, Mrs. Charles W., Jr.,
Burton, Mrs. Robert A., Miami*
Caldwell, Mrs. Thomas P.,
Cameron, D. Pierre G., Miami
Campbell, Park H., So. Miami*
Chaille, Joseph H., N. Miami
Chase, C. W., Jr., Miami Beach
Chase, Randall, II, Sanford
Clarke, Mrs. Frank D., So. Miami
Cole, R. B., Miami
Combs, Walter H., Jr., Miami*
Cravens, Miss Jacqueline, Coral Gables
Deedmeyer, Mrs. George J.,
Deen, James L., Miami
Deen, Mrs. James L., Miami
Dismukes, William Paul, Coral Gables*
DuBois, Mrs. Bessie Wilson, Jupiter
Erickson, Douglas, Miami
Ewell, Mrs. A. Travers, So. Miami
Fascell, Dante B., Washington, D.C.
Ferendino, Andrew J., Coral Gables
Field, Dr. Henry, Miami
Fisher, E. H., Coral Gables
Florida Southern College, Lakeland
Florida State Library, Tallahassee
Franklin, Mitchell, St. Johns,
New Brunswick, Canada
Franklin, Mrs. Sandra, Miami
Freeman, Harley L., Ormond Beach
Frohock, Mrs. Jack, No. Miami
Fuchs, Richard W., Florida City
Fuller, Walter P., Clearwater
Gaby, Donald C., Miami
Gardner, Mrs. R. C., Miami*
Gibson, Henry C., Jenkintown, Pa.
Gifford, Mrs. John C., Miami
Goldsteain, Charles, Miami
Goldweber, S., Perrine
Hancock, Mrs. Eugene A., Miami
Hanks, Bryan, Ft. Worth, Texas*
Harvard College Library
Head-Beckham Insurance Agency,
Hellier, Walter R., Ft. Pierce
Highleyman, Mrs. Katherine D., Miami
Holland, Hon. Spessard L, Bartow*
Houser, Roosevelt C., Miami
Irwin, Frank N., Miami
Johnson, Mrs. Katherine I.,
Johnston, Thomas McE., Miami
Kendall, Harold E., Goulds
Kent, Mrs. Frederick A., Coral Gables
Key West Art & Historical Society
Kistler, The C. W. Co., Miami
Krome, Mrs. William J., Homestead*
Lewin, Robert, Miami
Lindgren, Mrs. M. E., Miami Shores
Lipp, Morris N., Miami Beach
Litowitz, Mrs. Robert, Miami Beach
MacNeill, Malcolm G., Miami
Martin, Mrs. Kirby A., New York
McKey, Mrs. R. M., Coral Gables
McNeill, Robert E., Jr., New York
Merrick, Mrs. Eunice P., Coral Gables*
Miami Beach Public Library
Mitman, Earl T., Miami
Nabutovsky, Barbara, Miami
Nettleton, Danforth H., Miami
Nowland, Lucinda A., Alexandria, Va.
Otto, Mrs. Thomas Osgood,
Padgett, Inman, Coral Gables
Palm Beach County Historical Society
Pancoast, Russell T., Miami
Pardue, Leonard, Miami
Pearce, Mrs. A. Dixon, Miami
Pendergast, Mrs. Eleanor, Miami*
Pepper, Hon. Claude, Miami Beach
Peters, Gordon H., Miami Shores
Philbrick, W. L., Coral Gables
Phoenix, Mrs. Julius W., Jr., Miami
Pierce, J. E., Miami
Preston, J. E. Ted, Miami
Queensberry, William F., Coral Gables
Rader, Earle M., Miami
Rast, Mrs. G. Lawton, Miami*
Rosenberg, Mrs. Anna M., Hawthorne
Russell, T. Trip, Miami
St. Augustine Historical Society
Shank, H. W., Coral Gables
Shaw, Miss Luelle, Coral Gables*
Shaw, W. F., So. Miami
Shaw, William V., M.D., Miami
Shepherd, Mrs. William M.,
Flat Rock, N.C.
Simmonite, Col. Henry G.,
Smith, Charles H., Miami
Smith, McGregor, Miami
Sottile, Mrs. James, Jr., Coral Gables
Admire, Jack G., Coral Gables
Admire, Mrs. Jack, Coral Gables
Angus, Mrs. Evalene K., Miami
Ashe, Mrs. Bowman F., Coral Gables
Bennett, Lt. Richard R.,
Newport Beach, Calif.
Blue, Mrs. R. L., Miami Shores
Brannen, H. S., Miami Springs
Buker, Charles E., Sr.
Burdine, William M., Miami
Cain, Hon. Harry P., Miami
Crow, Lon Worth, Jr., Coral Gables
Danielson, Mrs. R. E., Boston, Mass.
DeNies, Charles F., Hudson, Mich
Dickey, Dr. Robert F., Miami
Dohrman, Howard I., Miami
Dupuis, John G., Miami
Eber, Mrs. Victor I., Miami
Emerson, Hugh P., Miami
Everglades Natural History Assoc.
Gautier, Redmond Bunn, Miami
Hancock, Mrs. James T.,
Spinks, Mrs. Elizabeth, J., Miami*
Stanford, Dr. Henry King, Coral Gables
Steel, William C., Miami
Stiles, Wade, Palm City**
Swenson, Edward F., Jr., Miami
Thatcher, John, Miami
Thomas, Arden H., So. Miami
Thompson, Edward H., Miami
Thorpe, Mrs. Frances H., Miami
Tibbetts, Alden M., Miami
Town, Miss Eleanor F., Coral Gables
Underwood, Edwin H., Jr., Miami
University of Pennsylvania Library
Van Orsdel, C. D., Coral Gables
Wakefield, Thomas H., Miami
Weintraub, Mrs. Sydney, Miami
White, Richard M., Miami
Whitten, George E., Miami Beach
Willcox, W. L., Miami
Wimbish, Paul C., Miami Beach
Wolfe, Miss Rosalie L, Miami
Wolfe, Thomas L., Miami
Woods, Frank M., M.D., Miami
Wooten, Mrs. Eudora Lyell, Miami
Wooten, James S., Miami
Wright, lone S., Miami Shores
Wynne, Jefferson, Miami Beach
Yonge, P. K., Library, U. of Florida
Hardie, George B., Jr., So. Miami
Hardin, Henry C., Jr., M.D.
Harrison, John C., Miami
Highleyman, Daly, Miami
Hildreth, Robert R., Coral Gables
Hill, Edwin H., Jr., Miami
Howe, Mrs. Elden L., Coral Gables
Huston, Mrs. Tom, Miami
Kislak, Jay I., Miami
Knight, John S., Miami
Lloyd, J. Harlan, Miami
Lummus, J. N., Jr., Miami
Magnusson Properties, Inc., Miami
McCabe, Mrs. Robert H., Coral Gables
McCrimmon, C. T., So. Miami
Mead, Mrs. D. Richard, Miami Beach
Mines, Dr. R. F., Miami
Nordt, Mrs. John C., Miami
Plumer, Richard B., Miami
Rosso, Daniel M., Miami
Ryan, Mrs. J. H., Miami Beach
Ross, Mrs. Stanley E., Coral Gables
Ryder, Mrs. Jane, Coral Gables
Shipe, Paul E., Coral Gables
Smith, Wilson, Miami
Taylor, Henry H., Jr., Miami
Timoner, Mrs. Joan, Woodstock, N.Y.
Wallace, George R., Miami Beach
Watters, Mrs. Preston H., Miami
Belcher, E. N., Jr., Coral Gables
Clark, Mrs. Mae Knight, Coral Gables
Hill, William H., Miami
Grafton, Martha P., Coral Gables
Irvine, Mrs. James, Miami
Link, E. A., Ft. Pierce
Matheson, Mrs. Finlay L., So. Miami
McHale, William J., Coral Gables
Grafton, Edward G., Coral Gables
Graham, R. Robert, Miami Lakes
Graham, Mrs. Ernest R., Miami Lakes
Hudson, F. M., Miami**
Matthews, Mrs. Flagler, Rye, N.Y.
Mead, D. Richard, Miami
Weinkle, Julian I., Coral Gables
Wessel, George H. V., M.D.
White, Mrs. Louise V., Key West
Wilson, D. Earl, Miami**
Wipprecht, Mrs. Marion H.,
Wolfson, Col. Mitchell, Miami
Pappas, T. J., Miami
Parks, Arva M., Coral Gables
Peoples American National Bank,
Redford, Mrs. Polly, Miami
Sellati, Kenneth N. G., Miami
Simon, Edwin 0., Miami
Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., Miami
Withers Van Lines of Miami, Inc.
Peacock Foundation, Inc., Miami
Shaw, Harry Overstreet, Miami
Tio, Aurelio, Santurce, Puerto Rico
Vance, Mrs. Herbert O., Coral Gables*
Florida Power & Light Co., Miami
Miami Herald, Miami, Florida
The Historical Association of Southern Florida has regularly publish-
ed the annual report of the Treasurer in Tequesta. Because the fiscal
year has been changed to the calendar year, it has been decided that
the financial report will be made in a newsletter early in the new year.
Charlton W. Tebeau, Editor
HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA, INC.
FOUNDED 1940--INCORPORATED 1941
John C. Harrison
Mrs. Richard A. Beare
Mrs. Edward G. Grafton
Leonard G. Pardue
Mrs. Charles S. Broward, Jr.
Jack G. Admire
Miss Jacqueline Cravens
Charlton W. Tebeau
id T. Alexander
Adam G. Adams
Mrs. James Cherry
Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Charles A. Gauld
George B. Hardie, Jr.
Dan D. Laxson
Mrs. Finlay L. Matheson
Mrs. Robert McCabe
William J. McHale
Dr. Thelma P. Peters
Mrs. Lucien C. Proby
Mrs. Stanley E. Ross
Kenneth N. G. Sellati
W. Fred Shaw
Edward H. Thompson
Mrs. Herbert 0. Vance
Gilbert L. Voss
Wayne E. Withers