This short walking tour includes several historical markers and other sites that share the history of this unique Miami neighborhood.
This area got its name for being a convenient picnic spot as far back as sailboat days. It served as a Naval air base during World War I. Significantly, Pan American World Airways began a flying boat service to Latin America in 1930. As part of this endeavor, Pan American World Airways, colloquially known as Pan Am, built hangars and a terminal. Thousands of people flocked to the area every month to see the Flying a Clippers. In 1932, a seaplane base was established here by the Coast Guard. The key was purchased by the City of Miami in 1946.
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.
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.
The house, simply known as The Barnacle, is situated on five acres of land, which make up this Florida state park. Originally owned by one of the first and most influential Coconut Grove settlers, Ralph Middleton Munroe, the home has been well preserved and stands as a testament to the history of frontier times. Additionally, thanks to Munroe’s stewardship, the land also remains abundant and true to its original state, featuring numerous large, ancient trees. Visitors are welcome to the park and can view the home, take a nature walk on the grounds, or see the replicas of two of Munroe’s sailboats.
The marker indicates where the first South Florida black community developed. Beginning in the late 1880s, most Blacks that migrated to South Florida were originally from the Bahamas and had been working in Key West. They came from Key West primarily to work in the Peacock Inn. This community was essential to the development of Coconut Grove as most of them had experience using tropical materials for building.
This marker indicates the place where the Ransom School was founded. At the time, it was known as the Pine Knot Camp and was founded by Paul C. Ransom. In 1896, Ransom first brought students from an Eastern preparatory school to Florida for the winter. Education focused on dedication to outdoor life and valuing different types of intelligence. In 1903, it was renamed the Adirondack-Florida School. Fall and spring terms were held in the Adirondacks and the winter term was held in Coconut Grove. It was closed from 1942-1947 due to World War II. In 1949, it was named the Ransom School and moved to this site permanently.