Established in 1873, Coconut Grove is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Miami. Originally home to the Tequesta Indians, it eventually became a popular stop for sailors, who were interested in the fresh water springs that it offered. In addition to mariners, Coconut Grove has also attracted luminaries [such] as Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost and Alexander Graham Bell who have drawn inspiration from the Grove's serene tropical ambience. Today, the community remains just as popular as ever as it offers residents and visitors unique and quality boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and event venues.
Ann Beasley are cited as the Grove’s first permanent settlers; after Ann was
widowed she rented out some of the Beasley property to a Dr. Horace Porter, who
attempted to establish a U.S. Post Office in the area, naming it Coconut Grove
after observing the Coconut Palms that were nearby. However, Dr. Porter not
being successful at his attempt, moved away and the post office was forgotten.
Other prominent 19th century settlers were the Bahamas-native Pent
and Frow families, brothers “Jolly” Jack and Charles Peacock and their family,
and sailboat designer Ralph Munroe. The Peacock brothers and Monroe forged a
friendship and together opened the area’s first hotel, the Bay View Inn, in
1882. In reviewing a postal map, Munroe also discovered Dr. Porter’s post
office, and he and his comrades reopened it, re-establishing the community’s
name Coconut Grove. The sub-tropical community attracted an increasing number
of visitors and the hotel entrepreneurs expanded the building in order to host
more guests; they also changed the hotel’s name to the Peacock Inn.
one of the United States’ first naval air stations was built on a nearby island,
Dinner Key. Over 1,000 men were trained there, and Coconut Grove citizens
voiced their annoyance with the noise and pollution that resulted from the
base. The government closed the station in 1919, the same year Coconut Grove
became an incorporated town. However, the Grove’s township only lasted six
years before it was annexed by the City of Miami. Eventually, in 1929, the old
Navy air station became a hub for Pan American Airways.
the twentieth century, the Grove flourished as a cultural center, attracting “creative
types like the writers Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Hervey Allen, and Tennesse
Williams, as well as many of the areas most accomplished artists and musicians.”
The Grove’s Bohemian atmosphere has also drawn “beatniks and hippies” and even
today hosts eccentric crowds.