On nautical maps of Biscayne Bay, just out side Bear Cut (a narrow waterway that separates Key Biscayne and Virginia Key), there is feature simply labeled “obstruction.” That term belies the rich history of the ship that rests under the waves on that shallow shoal. The Half Moon, or Germania its [...]
Just months after its incorporation Miami celebrated its first christmas with hope for the bright future that was to come. With christmas sales at local stores, increased tourism, famous guests, and construction all around that first christmas would be a good precursor for all others to come after it, except that [...]
With Halloween creeping around the corner, we check in with the ghosts up on the 13th floor of the Biltmore Hotel. Strange happenings have long been whispered about in that historic hotel. Founded in 1926, the building was converted into a military hospital at the outset of World War II before sitting [...]
At the tail end of the 19th century, Miami was a healthy city, nearly doubling its population each year since the railroad had come in. Then the fever came. From the first rumours of an outbreak in Key West, Miami was on high alert: yellow fever was the scourge of cities [...]
The Surf Club, most famous of Miami Beach’s Jazz Age private clubs, first opened in 1930. Founded as an alternative to the stuffy Bath Club and the downmarket Roman Pools, it was housed in an ornate high-Renaissance building on a then-empty stretch of beach. Over time, the glitteratti and social elite flocked to the [...]
Candy-bar salesman, bicycle stuntman, race-car driver: Carl Fisher had lived a full life by the time he turned 20; he was just getting started. The middle-school dropout from a humble Indianapolis home soon parlayed his considerable talent and flair for the dramatic into an automotive fortune. But the next chapter of [...]
In 1925, a massive 400-foot long sailing vessel named the Prinz Valdemar pulled into the port of Miami. She found the city in the grips of real estate madness. All over Miami, property prices were rising exponentially, creating (and created by) an influx of people and money that overwhelmed the small [...]
For this episode we leave the solid foundation of fact and wade out into the murkiness of legend. Pirates, treasure, lost boys, it’s not Peter Pan, it’s our very own Black Caesar, an escaped slave and pirate who made his home just off Elliott Key. Not content with just terrorizing the [...]
We recently had the opportunity to sit down for a talk with Dr. Scott Kenward. Scott is the author of a series of historical articles on the history of Kendall and the surrounding neighborhoods. He is also a lifelong resident of Pinecrest and an active member of its community.
We revisit [...]
On Indian Key, just off the Overseas Highway, there lies a fallen tombstone marking the open grave of Jacob Housman. Tremendously powerful and immensely corrupt, Housman built a wrecking empire on that small island in the 1830s. His personal rivalries and political machinations resulted in the creation of Dade County, which [...]
Biscayne Tales is a podcast about the history of Miami and South Florida. We hope that the episodes will appeal to Miami residents and visitors alike, encouraging them to start their own exploration of the city's people and places. This website is intended to accompany the show and provide additional materials and links for the curious.
Thank you for listening.
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