Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Treasure Trove Of Trivia

The North Miami Historical Society had this table set up at some sort of recent happening at the community center, mostly showing photographs around town of The Way It Was.

We started out centuries ago as a village of Tequesta Indians (I've yet to meet a "Native American" who liked THAT name) near the mouth of Arch Creek where it enters Biscayne Bay. Natural Bridge over the creek was used by early European traders and settlers travelling north and south along the coast and supposedly pirates used the creek at one time. A few people have searched for buried treasure over the years but about all anyone ever found was pottery shards and animal bones.

Before the name North Miami was adopted the town was called first Arch Creek and then Miami Shores which is now the name of a town to the south of us. At one point North Miami was much larger and included parts of the coastal beach as well.

When the Florida East Coast Railroad was built by Henry Flagler it became possible to ship fresh fruits and vegetables to northern markets in a timely fashion. Tomato farms sprouted in the area, some citrus was grown, and pineapples were a major crop.

We still have a few houses left from the early years of the twentieth century, but the belated concept of historic designation allowed a lot of them to be destroyed. That was really a shame because the early wooden houses were constructed of Dade County pine, an extremely hard wood that even termites leave alone!

My own collection of negatives includes some stuff from the 1960's which I should print up for the Society, and I'm always coming up with obscure facts about the old days, things gleaned from interviews with old timers when I was working for the newspaper in the 60's.

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