YearMonthDayEvent Related
1819February22Spain ceded Florida to the United States. Although the two countries signed a treaty in this year, it was not ratified in the U.S. until two years later. 
1821  Temple Pent, a Bahamian immigrant, arrived in the area that would later come to be known as Coconut Grove. He failed in his attempt to officially homestead in the area, but his family settled there anyway and became its first permanent residents. He was nonetheless significant in early Dade County history, serving as Justice of the Peace and the keeper of the Cape Florida lighthouse. 
1823July03Monroe County was created. It not only included all of what would later be Dade County, but all of the land in Florida south of Lake Okeechobee as well. The county seat was in Key West.display
1825December17The Cape Florida Lighthouse was completed. The site was the southern tip of Key Biscayne.display
1835December The Second Seminole War began. One of the incidents that contributed most heavily to its start was the killing of 108 United States soldiers near Bushnell, Florida. The war lasted until 1842 and was the most significant of all the Seminole Wars. Some of the fighting occurred in southeastern Florida, some in the areas that would later be part of the City of Miami. During the war, Fort Dallas was established on the Miami River.display
1836January06Dade County was created. At the time, it included present-day Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties, though Monroe County retained the western Keys. Indian Key was the county seat of the newly created Dade County. Despite these early beginnings, by 1870 the county still had fewer than one hundred residents.display
July23The Seminole Indians attacked the Cape Florida Lighthouse in the midst of the Second Seminole War. They set fire to the structure, but did not manage to completely destroy it. 
1838  Fort Dallas was established. Situated at the mouth of the Miami River, it served as a base for the United States Navy before Florida became a state. It was from this base that the U.S. launched attacks against Florida's Indian population in the Second Seminole War.display
1840  Simeon Frow arrived in Key West from Majorca. Later, he would become keeper of the Cape Florida Lighthouse, and his family would play a significant role in the history of early Coconut Grove. 
1842  The military abandoned Fort Dallas following the Second Seminole War. 
  William English acquired the Fort Dallas land formerly held by the military. 
1844March09Dade's county seat was moved from Indian Key to Miami. It would only be in Miami until 1889, when it was moved to Juno. 
1845March03Florida was admitted to the Union. It was admitted as a slave state, and at the time, almost one half of its 54,447 people were African American.display
1852  Temple Pent assumed the position of keeper of the Cape Florida Lighthouse. He held the position for one year, but he returned to it after the Civil War. 
1855  The United States reoccupied Fort Dallas. They did so for use in the brief fighting of the Third Seminole War (1855-1858). William English had already abandoned the property in the early 1850s as he headed west for California. This continued fighting discouraged settlement in the Miami area. 
1858June10The United States Army abandoned Fort Dallas. While they had already been forced to reestablish their presence there once before, the end of major fighting against the Seminole tribes marked the end of the fort's usefullness. 
1859  Simeon Frow became keeper of the Cape Florida Lighthouse. Having come recently from Key West and originally from Majorca, he held the post until the light went out during the Civil War. Later, one of his sons would hold the position. 
1866January Temple Pent returned to his position of keeper of the Cape Florida Lighthouse. The first keeper following the Civil War, he held the position for two years, until his death in 1868. 
1867  John Frow became Temple Pent's assistant keeper at the Cape Florida Lighthouse. Upon Pent's death a year later, Frow assumed his vacated position. Frow would also later be the first person to buy property in Cocoanut Grove. 
1868  John Frow became keeper of the Cape Florida Lighthouse. He took over upon Temple Pent's death. 
  Edmund D. Besly became the first person to apply for a homestead in the area that is today called Coconut Grove. It was comprised of 160 acres and stretched between today's Twenty-seventh Avenue and the Moorings. After his death, his widow Anna and the newly immigrated Dr. Horace Philo Porter disputed the validity of the claim. Ulimately though, Anna Besley won out and was awarded the homestead in 1875. 
1870  Henry Lum and his 15-year-old son Charles Lum make their initial visit to South Beach. Henry became very interested in raising coconuts. 
1871  The Brickell family arrived from Cleveland. William Brickell immediately purchased a vast stretch of land extending from the Miami River south to today's Coconut Grove.display
1873January06A post office was established in the area that is today called Coconut Grove. It was the first time that the larger area where the Pent's, Besley's, and Dr. Porter had settled was referred to by name. Some of the settlements had individual names, but the creation of this post office established the area's name as Cocoanut Grove (as it was spelled then). Dr. Porter was its first postmaster. 
1874February08The Cocoanut Grove post office closed when Dr. Porter left Miami to follow his wife to Boston. 
1875May20Anna Besley won control of her deceased husband Edmund's homestead in Cocoanut Grove. 
1876  The United States government began construction on five stations along Florida's southeast coast. Their purpose was to assist ships and aid shipwreck victims. 
1877  John Frow bought all of Anna Besly's land in Cocoanut Grove. Later, he would become the area's first land subdivider when he sold part of the 160 acres he obtained from Besly. 
1882  Hamilton Disston, a wealthy Philadelphian, purchased four million acres of swamplands in the Everglades. His engineers worked with the goal of draining the Everglades to serve man. Few at this time understood the crucial significance of this sprawing ecosystem. It would not be long before salt began to seep into Miami's drinking water due to sinking water levels in the Everglades.display
  J. William Ewan officially became the second homesteader in Cocoanut Grove. He had been in the area since 1874, arriving from Charleston, South Carolina. 
1883January06Henry Lum purchases two lots of land from the United States government along the ocean north of 11th Street. He paid between $0.75 and $1.25 an acre. 
1884  John Frow became Cocoanut Grove's first land subdivider. He sold parts of his land to his brother Joseph Frow, James A. Waddell, three of his sisters, and several others. He kept forty-three acres for himself. 
1885  Henry Flagler purchases his first Florida railroad, initiating rail service between St. Augustine and New York. 
1886  Charles Lum builds the first home on Miami Beach. It stood on the site of the present Tides Hotel. 
June27The first recorded board meeting of Dade County Schools was held. Charles Lum was appointed the first superintendent one year earlier. 
1889February19The Dade County seat moved from Miami to Juno. It would moved back to Miami ten years later. 
1890  The settlement of Lemon City began to take shape. It was two miles north of the Miami River on the shore of Biscayne Bay. The area - set roughly where today's Biscayne Boulevard and Sixty-first streets intersect - was then called Billy Mettair's Bight. The area had homes, hotels, saloons, and several other businesses.display
1891  Julia Tuttle and her children arrived in Miami. They did so after purchasing 640 acres on the north bank of the Miami River. It was the old Fort Dallas land. Like the family of William Brickell, hers was from Cleveland. It was there that the two had met.display
February John Collins, along with two other investors, purchases land in southeastern Florida. Shortly thereafter, Collins invests $5,000 in a soon-to-fail coconut venture on Miami Beach.display
1892  A road linking Lemon City with Lantana in Palm Beach County was completed. Lemon City thus became the first section of Miami to be linked to the cities and towns to the north. 
1893  The Florida legislature enacted a bill protecting manatees. Those who captured or killed the species were subject to fines of $500 and three months in prison. 
April16John Pent, Temple Pent's son, applied for a homestead in Cocoanut Grove. He was unable to prove his claim just northeast of today's Grand Avenue, however, his son Edward succeeded in doing so roughly a decade later. Even though this failed attempt at a homestead followed others that had been successful, the Pents were still the area's first permanent residents. 
1894  Henry and Charles Lum's coconut venture fails. They leave Miami Beach, and John Collins gains control of their plantation. 
  Crops are destroyed as far south as Palm Beach when a severe freeze hits the east coast. Henry Flagler becomes convinced that the future of America's winter crops lay further south. He soon makes the decision to extend his railway to Biscayne Bay. 
February11Henry Flagler's Royal Poinciana Hotel opened in Palm Beach.display
April02Henry Flagler's railroad reached Palm Beach. 
April07The Lemon City Library opened.display
1895  In the winter of 1895, a severe blizzard hit New England. Solomon Merrick, the father of young George Edgar Merrick, lost his daughter Ruth during the accompanying flu epidemic. This loss was, according to George, crucial in his father's decision to purchase one hundred sixty acres of land in what would eventually become Coral Gables. 
  John N. Lummus arrived in Miami. He saw immediate promise for the area's development, and returned a year later to work as a train dispatcher for the Florida East Coast Railway. 
  Julia Tuttle offered Henry Flagler land if he would agree to extend his railroad to Miami. He accepted her proposal and a contract was signed that allowed for his Florida East Coast Railroad to reach Miami the following year. 
1896  Henry Flagler and Julia Tuttle created a district for Miami's black residents. It was between N.W. Sixth and Twelfth streets, and later became known as Overtown. By 1915, most of the city's 5,000 blacks lived in the general vicinity of this community. 
  The first known Cubans move to Miami. It is Eduardo Luis Gonzalez and his family who move to the young city at this time. 
February James E. Lummus arrived in Miami and opened a general merchandise store. He maintained the store until 1908.display
April15The Florida East Coast Railway, owned by Henry Flagler, reached Miami and the first train arrived on this day. Prior to this date, most of the people in the area were homesteaders and the only "towns" were Coconut Grove and Lemon City.display
May15Miami's first newspaper, The Miami Metropolis, made its debut, stating that, "This is the first paper ever published on the beautiful Bay Biscayne, the most southern newspaper on the mainland of the United States." It went on to describe the young settlement as "the coming metropolis of South Florida."display
July28The City of Miami was incorporated. 344 registered voters met for the vote, and elected John B. Reilly as the first Mayor. While only 344 votes were tallied, 368 voters were present at the meeting. Of those men (women were not allowed to vote), 206 were white and 162 were black. 
December25Miami's Christmas Day fire destroyed over three square blocks of businesses and houses. A witness to the blaze stated in the 1950s that there was, "nothing to do but throw stones at that fire. We had no equipment." 
1897  Captain William H. Fulford acquired a 160-acre land patent from President Grover Cleveland through utilization of the Homestead Act. The land surrounded a railroad depot just north of Miami that had been established by the Florida East Coast Railroad a year earlier. Though only a mile from Ojus, the two communities remained separated due to the poor roads and difficult travel conditions. Later, however, all of these lands would be incorporated into North Miami Beach. 
  In the 1890s, settlers established farms along the east side of the Oleta River. In this year, the area was named Ojus by Albert Fitch, a farmer who wanted to grow pineapples in the rich soil. The word Ojus is a Seminole word for "plenty" or "lots of", and at that time, farmers in Ojus grew peas, beans, sugar cane, and tomatoes. 
January Wilson Alexander Larkins settled in the area of today's South Miami. He came with his family and livestock, building for them a home and a barn. 
January16The Hotel Royal Palm opened for business fifteen days behind schedule. Henry Flagler built the hotel at a cost of $750,000 to draw passengers onto his new railroad line extending to Miami. The hotel stood until 1931.display
1898  Wilson Larkins opened a dry goods store, and outpost, and established a post office near his home and farm. It was not long after this that people began to settle in the area in greater numbers. 
June24The first of 7,000 U.S. troops began to arrive in Miami. Some came to build fortifications on William Brickell's bluff, and some were on their way to fight against the Spanish in Cuba. A wide large area of the northern sector of today’s downtown became their home. Camp Miami, as it came to be known, was near the city's black area. The soldiers provoked several violent incidents there.display
August12The last units of Camp Miami dispersed. With the war in Cuba ending so quickly, the soldiers' stay in Miami had only lasted for six weeks and ended before they were ever needed in Cuba. 
October William Burdine and his family moved to Miami. "Burdine and Son" had been operating in Bartow, a central-west Florida town, but when William's son John found quick success selling wares to soldiers stationed in Miami, the father made the choice to move the store to the growing city. The store's first home was on South Miami Avenue close to Flagler Street. 
1899July06The post office request made by William Larkins was made official, and the area became known as Larkins. He had tried to name the area Manila, but the residents of the area that is today South Miami preferred the name of Larkins. 
November12A fire tore through much of white Miami. Among the buildings destroyed was the Lobby Pool and Billiard Parlor. It was the building in which voters met to incorporate the City of Miami only three years earlier. After this second severed fire in the city's history, higher standards were implemented throughout many neighborhoods. Black areas such as Colored Town, however, remain deprived of fire protection as well as other basic services, such as paved streets and sewage systems. 
1900  The Florida Audobon Society was founded. Early members and patrons included President Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Flagler, future Florida Governor William S. Jennings, and inventor Thomas A. Edison. 
1901  Dade County passed a wildlife protection act, prohibiting the killing, capturing, or shooting of deer, crocodile, and any wild bird. 
1903  The Army Corps of Engineers began dredging the first opening to the Atlantic Ocean, cutting through mangrove swamps at Government Cut. The project allowed for safer, more direct access to the port of Miami. 
September15The first edition of Frank Stoneman's Miami Evening Record was published. In 1907, it merged with the Miami Morning News to become the Miami Morning News Record, and in 1910, that paper was replaced by The Miami Herald. 
December11The Miami Metropolis became a daily newspaper, being published every day except Sunday. 
1904  Napoleon Bonaparte Broward was elected Governor of Florida. His campaign promise was to drain much of south Florida, creating an "Empire of the Everglades." 
1905  Henry Flagler decided to extend his Florida East Coast Railway further south, from Biscayne Bay in Miami to Key West. 
March14Government Cut was completed, linking the Biscayne Bay and Atlantic Ocean. 
1906  Frank Stoneman (the father of Marjory Stoneman Douglas) started the first morning newspaper, the Morning News Record. He was an opponent of Everglades drainage, and his editorials infuriated Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward.display
January20The Halcyon Hall Hotel opened in Miami on the later site of the Dupont building.display
October18A major hurricane hit Miami and the Keys killing hundreds of people, many of who were workers on the Florida East Coast Railway.display
1907  John Collins discovered fresh water on the island of Miami Beach, leading him to plant avocados as well as other fruits and vegetables. 
  John Collins bought out one of his partners and became the sole owner of all land on today's Miami Beach between 14th and 67th Streets and from the bay to the ocean. 
  John Roop built an observation tower on Musa Isle. It allowed people a view out over the Everglades, which then started at what is today N.W. 22nd Avenue. 
July31The last edition of the Miami Evening Record was published as the paper merged with the Miami Morning News. 
December02The first issue of the Miami Morning News Record was published, after the Miami Evening Record had merged with the Miami Morning News. It was published every day except Monday. 
1908  T.V. Moore, also known in Miami as "The Pineapple King," took a leading role in defending farmers' rights. He helped to form the East Coast Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association in an effort to combat the heavy freight charges imposed by Flagler's FEC Railroad. 
1909April30Palm Beach County was created. It had been part of Dade County. 
October01The Everglades Land Sales Company opened its office in Miami. Much of the land it sold was purchased sight unseen. 
1910November30The last edition of the Miami Morning News Record was published. It became the Miami Herald the following day. 
December01The first edition of the Miami Herald was published by Frank Shutts. He was assisted by the financial backing of Henry Flagler and the paper's editor Frank Stoneman. The paper replaced the Miami Morning News Record. It was published six days a week, every day except Monday.display
1911  John Collins began construction on the Collins Canal. He wanted a more efficient way to bring his avocados directly to the city.display
  The Florida East Coast Canal (later called, the Intracoastal Waterway) was completed from Jacksonville in North Florida to Biscayne Bay in Miami.display
February13The Miami Herald published its first Monday edition, making it a true daily newspaper. 
November A color line was drawn along certain streets throughout Miami. The city's white residents wished to restrict the expansion of areas inhabited by blacks. A year earlier, the 1910 census reported that 42% of the city's residents were black, and at the time, racial conflicts were becoming more common. 
1912  Carl Fisher arrived in Miami Beach late in the year. He wanted to develop a new city in and of itself, separate from Miami.display
  Lafe Allen and an associate purchased Captain Fulford's original grant plus additional property with the idea of developing and selling lots. Eventually, they purchased 557 acres of land. 
January22The Florida East Coast Railway reached Key West, crossing 91 miles of road and 38 bridges.display
May Before the start of construction linking Miami Beach by bridge to the mainland, the Lummus Brothers acquired 500 acres to the south of Collins, from 14th Street to Government Cut. The land was bought from Charles Lum and Edmund Wilson for $80,000. The two brothers established the Ocean Beach Reality Company with a vision of a modest city composed of single-family residences fronting the ocean. The brothers became pioneers of beach-front property sales. 
May The U.S. War Department gives developers permission to construct a bridge spanning Biscayne Bay. Realty firms prepared for what they believed would be a surge in population upon the bridge's completion. The bridge would be named the Collins Bridge. 
July01Thomas Pancoast arrived in Miami. He was secretary and treasurer of the Miami Beach Improvement Company. John Collins was the company's president. Together, both men pursued loans from the Lummus brothers, both of whom were involved in banking.display
July09The Ocean Beach Realty Company filed the first plots of land on the beach. The Lummus brothers' plots preceded those filed by John Collins and Carl Fisher five and six months later respectively.display
July22Construction of the Collins Bridge began. It was slated to cost $75,000, though the final cost was nearly twice that. 
1913  Joe Weiss, a Jewish waiter from New York, arrived in Miami and opened a lunch stand at Smith's Casino on in Miami Beach. In 1920, he and his wife, Jennie, opened their own restaurant called Joe's on the tip of Miami Beach that specialized in seafood and, eventually, Stone crab. 
June12The Collins Bridge was completed. It connected Miami and Miami Beach and was awarded the title of "the longest wagon bridge in the world."display
1914  The W.J. Brown Hotel opened on Miami Beach. It was the first hotel to open on the island. 
  Collins Avenue, the first paved road on Miami Beach, opened. It was the first road on the island suitable for automobiles.display
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