The stone home overlooking the Biscayne Bay was built in 1900 and first operated as an inn by Edith Richmond; it was called the Richmond Cottage. In 1916, an immensely wealthy businessman from Maine, Charles Deering, purchased the building and the 444 acres of land. He moved into the home in 1922 and resided there until his death in 1927. The home remained in the hands of the Deering family for over fifty years and fortunately was well preserved. Additionally, despite being located on the cusp of a densely populated and industrial area, the estate land is home to rare and threatened wildlife. Today, the house and land is open to the public for tours and exhibits of all sorts.
Charles Deering hailed from
South Paris, Maine and was the son of William Deering, who co-founded Deering,
Milikent & Company and then went on to establish Deering Harvester Company
which eventually merged with McCormic Harvesting machine Company, forming the
International Harvestory Company. Charles, who was Secretary of Deering
Harverster, served as the initial chairman of the Board of the international company
during the years of 1902-1910.
Charles had a specific taste
for fine art and filled his Miami mansion with pieces by Spanish artists such
as El Greco, Diego Velasquez, and Rembrandt. According to the Estate’s official
website, “In total he amassed more than 4,000 pieces of art and had one of the
largest collections of art in the world. His art collection was appraised at
$60 million dollars in 1922.” Charles was an artist himself and enjoyed
painting portraits. Some of his own artwork, such as a painting of U.S. Army
General William Denison Whipple, still hangs in the Stone House today.