Boats and Water

4.  Boys king fishing

5.  Kingfish - Sharpie designed by Ralph M. Munroe, summer 1883

Munroe designed the "Kingfish" - a 33 foot long sharpie- with "Biscayne Bay deeply rooted" in his affections. He was returning to cherished memories and a new life. In 1886, the boat was acquired by Frow for his fishing fleet and Munroe used the proceeds to purchase his first property.


1.  Boathouse Building and "Wrecking" Adventures

Left to right: John Holden, Ned Hine, Dick Carney,Tommy Hine, and R.M. Munroe.

Boats not wagons played a central role on the Florida frontier from Biscayne Bay to Key West where "wreckers" salvaged people and cargo off the coast. The social and economic activity of the community centered on the sea. Ralph M. Munroe, lover and designer of boats, thrived in such a setting: "He soon became a representative of the Merritt-Chapman wrecking company of New York, and his wrecking adventures are a long and fascinating story in itself." - Ralph M. Munroe Family Papers, Typescript.

2.  Many Happy Returns of the Day, to Daddy (3 pages)

In this birthday letter, one of the Munroe children has affectionately captured the story of his father's love of boats and sailing.

3.  Fowey Rock Lighthouse, Florida Landmark, erected in 1876

The lighthouse was named for the British warship H.M.S. Fowey, which was wrecked at that location in 1748. The lighthouse now stands within the boundaries of Biscayne National Park.