The Coconut Grove Library was founded by writer Kirk Munroe and his wife Mary Barr Munroe as a reading club on June 15, 1895. This reading group was called the Pine Needles Club. On March 27, 1897, it became the Exchange Library and opened at the location indicated by this marker as the Coconut Grove Library on March 6, 1901.
Kirk Munroe was born near Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin on September 15, 1850. He spent his childhood in the Wisconsin frontier. Munroe and his family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts when he was sixteen. He began working as a reporter for the New York Sun in 1876. He was also the first editor of Harper's Young People Magazine. He served as the commodore of the New York Canoe Club from 1879-1884, during which time he and Charles Pratt founded the League of American Wheelman on May 31, 1880. The League of American Wheelman, now called the League of American Bicyclists, is a non-profit organization that strives to promote cycling for fun, exercise, and transportation. During the late nineteenth century, the organization governed amateur bicycle racing in the United States. The League also founded the Good Roads Movement in the late nineteenth century to advocate for better roads and highways. In 1898, over 103,000 people were part of the league. Notable early members of the league include John Jacob Astor, Diamond Jim Brady, and John D. Rockefeller.
He married Mary Barr on September 15, 1883 and the couple moved to Coconut Grove in 1886. In Florida, Munroe became a member of the Florida Audubon Society. Munroe also helped establish the Ransom Everglades School, which has its own entry on this site. The only tennis park in the city of Miami is located at 3101 Florida Avenue in Coconut Grove and is named Kirk Munroe Park.