Early pioneers of today’s Village of Miami Shores settled in the area as early as 1870s and called the community Biscayne. The area was mainly farm lands for produce, citrus, and coontie. Coontie, a native Florida starch also known as Florida Arrowroot, was an important food source, and some families had their own coontie mills. Coontie was used as a replacement for wheat flour. The Seminoles in the Everglades also depended on coontie as part of their diet. This farming area did well and was sufficiently significant that when the East Coast Railway made its way down the coast of Florida, a train depot was established in the community of Biscayne. The station was at approximately today’s N.E. 103 Street and Biscayne Blvd.
Biscayne even served as Dade County seat from 1870 to 1880. At the time, the county of Dade covered as far north as today’s Palm Beach County, and south to the Upper Keys. The county seat moved to the northern area of Jupiter in 1880, but was permanently moved to the southern area of Miami in 1890.
At the height of the Florida land boom, Hugh Anderson, developer and owner of Shoreland Company, bought acres in this area in 1924. He had big development plans, including a large Miami Shores Island, connected to the main land and the beach by a causeway off today’s N.E. 123rd street. The plans were in line with his previous successful development of the Venetian Islands, and were also to follow in some of that project’s aspects, with waterways and Italian-style architecture. The plan was underway, with dozens of houses already built on the main land, when the devastating 1926 hurricane hit. Shoreland went bankrupt in 1927, but the new owner and developer of todays’ Miami Shores kept to the type of community Shoreland had envisioned. At the time, this area was part of the much larger Town of Miami Shores, spreading north past Arch Creek. After requests from the village, the Village of Miami Shores was incorporated in January 1932, and the former Town of Miami Shores became North Miami.
“The Miami Shores Archives consists of a collection of artifacts, photographs, newspaper clippings, public records, books, and other historical materials pertaining to the history of Miami Shores Village, Miami-Dade County, and Florida. These materials have been gathered from several sources.
The greatest amount of material comes from the collection of long time Village Manager Lawton McCall, and Dr. Thelma Peters, a historian who specialized in the history of the county. Other sources include: Brockway Memorial Library, Miami Shores Village, and several individual donations. Many of the materials date from 1925.”
Miami Shores Village Archives
Brockway Memorial Library
10021 Northeast 2nd Avenue
Miami Shores, Florida 33138