Garth Reeves was a young World War II veteran when he came home to Miami and went to work at his father’s newspaper, the Miami Times.
He bought property, paid taxes and voted in elections. But the beach at Virginia Key was the only one where black residents could go without trouble.
“It wasn’t a very good beach. But right down the street there was Crandon Park - beautiful beach, beautiful clubhouse. Everything was first class.”
So a meeting was arranged with the county commission.
Just a few miles away from downtown Miami lies a natural beach in the city’s largest park.
The 82-acre Virginia Key Beach Park remains a bit of a hidden gem. The historic beach still attracts those looking for a quiet place to relax despite one drawback.
In season, about 2,000 people visit Virginia Key Beach Park every weekend even though swimming isn’t permitted.
“It’s a disadvantage - one we’re overcoming," said Guy Forchion, head of the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust.