HistoryMiami

Miami Stories
6:30 am
Fri November 1, 2013

A Wild Frontier In West Kendall

The Reyes family: Marily, Frank and Frances.
Credit Courtesy / Miami Herald

Southwest 132nd Avenue was on the edge of Miami in 1972, when Marily Reyes and her husband Frank moved into their new home just south of Bird Road. Their view across the narrow avenue was elephant grass for six long years.

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Neighborhoods
10:43 am
Tue September 24, 2013

How I-95 Shattered The World Of Miami's Early Overtown Residents

Agnes Rolle Morton (left) and her sister Naomi Yvonne Rolle reminisce about growing up in Overtown before the construction of I-95 through the neighborhood on Jan. 29, 2012 in Liberty City.
Credit Daniel Bock

When Naomi Rolle talks about her childhood home in Overtown, tears fall from her eyes.

Her father, Jerod Hastings Rolle, and his mother — her grandmother — constructed the cozy peach-colored home with swirling concrete pillars in the 1920s.

“It was beautiful,” she said. “It was one of the only houses built with concrete and stucco. The other homes around us were made out of wood.”

Rolle, who now lives in Liberty City, is among thousands who were forced out of their homes in the 1960s to make room for Interstate 95 and later, Interstate 395.

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History
10:55 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Plunging In: How Miami's Beaches Were Integrated

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.

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Community Contributor
7:41 am
Tue July 16, 2013

After No Goodbyes In Cuba, Exile Makes Miami Home

This article, originally published in the Miami Herald, is part of HistoryMiami's Miami Stories project.
Credit historymiami.org

When I arrived in Miami in the early 1970s, I never could imagine that I would end up calling this city home.

We came to Miami after a short stay in Spain. I came with my parents, Isabel and Ramon Santos, and my younger sister, Ana. Like many young children, we were excited about moving into a new place, learning a new language and making new friends.

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Architecture
7:00 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Exhibition Hopes To Unveil Opa-locka's Hidden Architectural Gems

This 3D model replicates Opa-locka's Bathing Pavillion which was built in 1926.
Marva Hinton

When you think of architecture in South Florida, the first styles which come to mind might be Spanish Revival or Art Deco. Moorish Revival probably doesn't top that list -- unless you're familiar with Opa-locka.

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Community Contributor
6:38 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Superintendent Learns Lesson: Where You Are From Doesn't Dictate Where You Can Go

Alberto Carvalho

Every day I wake up with a spirit of excitement and anticipation of what the day may bring, in large part because of the incredible community that has become my adopted home, Miami.
 

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Community Contributor
7:04 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Veteran Takes A Chance On 1950s Miami

This article, originally published in the Miami Herald, is part of HistoryMiami's Miami Stories project.

Somewhere in the middle of 1951, my father, Cpl. Norman Segermeister, emerged from his commitment to the U.S. Army.  


 

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Community Contributor
5:35 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Early Settler Recalls Miami's Bustling Black Neighborhood Called "Colored Town"

A postcard from Overtown, 1907.

My maternal grandparents, Sam D. and Ida Ellen Roberts Johnson, were born in Harbour Island, Bahamas. It is believed that their foreparents were among the millions of black slaves forced from West Africa and sold in the West Indies.
 

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Community Contributor
8:11 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Former City Commissioner Recalls Uncharted Waters From Cuba To Coral Gables

This article, originally published in the Miami Herald, is part of HistoryMiami's Miami Stories project.

For me, the most important journeys have led to South Florida.
 

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Community Contributor
10:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Former Franklin Roosevelt Campaign Manager Settled In Pioneer-Era Coral Gables

The iconic Coral Gables City Hall.

My father, Ernest Peyton Jones, worked for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was his campaign manager for the southeastern United States and became the associate commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration.   My mother, Betty Schwab Jones, was the secretary for Sen. George Norris of Nebraska. They married in 1936 and lived in Washington.

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Music
7:00 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Seven Essential Tracks From Miami's Disco Heyday

"Get Off" gave Cuban-American group Foxy, as well as TK Records, a bona fide mainstream hit.

Miami boasts, of course, a reputation as a major clubbing center — but in decades past, the city is also where a big chunk of clubbing music actually got made.

Most histories of disco music focus on New York legends like DJ Larry Levan and clubs like the Paradise Garage, where funk and R&B met a new dance beat. But Miami had its own disco sound — and not just that of the Bee Gees, who did, in fact, record major material like their 1975 album Main Course here.

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Community Contributor
8:30 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Big Milt's Story Has Its Share Of Pathos, Just Like Miami

Milton Brand wasn't welcome everywhere, but he found solace at the racetrack.

I can imagine my dad's excitement leaving gritty Newark behind him and hitting the highway in his old Studebaker bound for paradise . . . Miami Beach. I can see the bathing suit postcards guiding his way and hear the ocean calling his name: M-I-L-T-O-N B-R-A-N-D, come on down!

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Miami Stories Project
8:10 am
Fri May 17, 2013

After Bay Of Pigs And Pedro Pan Campground, Cuban Exiles Build Family In Miami

Credit Wikipedia Commons

Our family came from Havana, a beautiful city that some have called a tropical paradise.

My brothers and I came to Miami on a Pan American flight and were taken to a campground that the Pedro Pan organizers had set up in Kendall, near where Town & Country Mall now stands. We were there for about two weeks before being sent to Albuquerque, N.M., where we were taken in by the family of Dr. Eugene Purtell.
 

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Community Contributor
2:21 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Early Miami Pioneer Recalls Early Days Of South Florida

Flagler Street in downtown Miami in 1935.

  I was born Martha Anne Peters in Victoria Hospital on Dec. 20, 1937, a second generation native-born Miamian.

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Community Contributor
8:27 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Desegregation Pioneer Recalls School Integration In Miami

A woman escorts her two daughters to Orchid Villa School in Miami during desegregation.

I was born in Nashville and spent the first four years of my life in Tuskegee, Ala.

My father, Dr. John O. Brown Sr., moved to Miami in 1955 to begin his practice in ophthalmology. To this day, I'm glad he did.

We had neighbors who were white and black. Our next-door neighbor was an older white lady who inspired my mother's love for growing orchids and my brother's passion for collecting butterflies.

I attended schools -- Jackson's Toddle Inn and Floral Heights -- that were all black. I remember those as happy years.

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