The Decades: 1890 – 1899

The Lobby in 1896The Lobby in 1896

The third episode of the Miami History Channel will provide the story of the people and events that led to the incorporation of the City of Miami in the middle part of the decade. The agreement between Flagler, Tuttle and the Brickells set off a series of events that marked the beginning of the Magic City.

Episode three is a continuation of the series called “The Decades”. This episode will begin to align the time period covered with a true “decade”. The 1890s will start an evolution that will shape the area of Dade County and Miami into a major metropolitan area in the United States.

Length of Video: 34 minutes & 18 seconds

The outline for Episode 3 is as follows:

Scene 1: Early Communities of Southeast Florida

Scene 2: Julia Tuttle

Scene 3: Henry Flagler

Scene 4: Building of Miami

Scene 5: Incorporation of Miami

Scene 6: Camp Miami & Fort Brickell

Scene 7: Yellow Fever

The decade of the 1890s was arguably Miami’s most transitional and important decade. It was the time of the formal establishment of the area as the City of Miami. It was also a time when many of the mover and shakers of the early twentieth century would arrive and make their mark on the developing area.

9 Comments on "The Decades: 1890 – 1899"

  1. William H. Eades Jr | March 20, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Reply

    I grew up in Miami went to Highland Park Elementary School later torn down becoming low income housing & Robert E. Lee Jr. High torn down when rebuilt sadly the Dade County School board with out consideration for Lee alumni re-named the School.

  2. Frank Gentner | April 8, 2016 at 3:15 am | Reply

    My grandmother Pearl Turnage Skill arrived in Miami on one of the first trains in 1896 at the age of 6. In Miami her father homesteaded near Bay Front Park, and later served as the manager of the Seminole Indian trading post on the Miami River; he also owned Miami Bottling Works. When I was a kid in the 1950s she joined an organization called “Miami Pioneers” that met regularly. After she died, I lost track of this organization and wonder what happened to it. Does anyone know?

    • Good morning, Frank. I had heard of the Miami Pioneers organization, but the only organization that I found that still appears to be active is the “Miami Pioneers and Natives of Dade” ( They meet in Coral Gables, but I am not sure if it is the same organization as the one your grandmother joined. Was the Miami Bottling Works located in the Wynwood area of Miami. There was a Coca Cola bottling plant located there beginning in the 1920s. I am not sure if that was Miami Bottling?

  3. Bill Eades is right they change the name of Robert E Lee to Ruben Diario or something like that. Looks like a fortress not the Jr High it was. Played handball a lot on the step to the auditorium with Davit Tower of Tower Paint co. Remember well Mr. Rash Dean of men. Played in band and sang in operetta . Remember going ot Home Milk after all “evening” things .

    • Allen, my grandmother went to Robert E Lee Middle School in the late 1920s and saved a lot of artifacts from her time at the school. If you go to, you will find a picture of the school in 1930. Your comment provides a good opportunity to create photo gallery for some of the items she saved. Thanks!

  4. William (Bill) Freeman | February 19, 2017 at 11:29 pm | Reply

    Good Afternoon Mr. Piket:
    My grandfather, William Freeman, arrived in Lemon City some ten or twelve years before your family (December 1887). My grandparents, my parents.and a number of other family members were buried in Miami City Cemetery by your family! I graduated from Miami Edison High School, attended but did not graduate from U of M. I have long appreciated Dade County History and several years ago spoke with Dr. George on the telephone. I am a member of MPNOD but do not attend meetings.

    • Bill, thank you for sharing your memories. Was your grandfather the William Freeman that grew tomatoes in Little River / Lemon City area in the late 1800s?

  5. john gallagher | August 13, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Reply

    My great grandfather, John Dewey, started Telephone service in Miami & owned & operated the first telephone number as well as the telephone co. The first telephone directory was in 1897 & consisted of one single page.

  6. My great grandmother Fernande Courly Fornel) came to Miami from Connecticut in 1890 Her parents (Charles Courly) started the first Hotel in Buena Vista. Charles was the first post master of Buena Vista. I’ve been told Buena Vista/Lemon City was the first area established in Miami area

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