In the color photo in the front page, Anne is standing near the dock of a gated luxury waterfront enclave downtown in the Village of Coconut Grove where she recently helped customers purchase a home. Nearby was the dock at the Peacock Inn, circa 1900, only footsteps distant and yet one hundred years away. November 1900 Solomon Greasley Merrick, his wife Althea and their thirteen year old son George sailed into the Bay, arrived at this dock, and then rested at the Peacock Inn on pristine Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove. They journeyed by a horse drawn wagon into the Everglades swamp and settled on land that they later developed into the world famous City Beautiful of Coral Gables.

 

Romantic Hideaways
 

Shhh! Be still. Watch the star crossed lovers in graceful boats gliding into the canals flecked with moonbeams. The fabled magical moon is rising across star decked heavens. Is this Venice, Italy? No, it is Coconut Grove in the
Our lush marshy hammock setting, covered in thick tropical foliage, nestled on the curved and twisted banks of Biscayne Bay, has long been a haven for couples looking for a quiet secluded setting to steal a few forbidden moments.

Imagine today's bustling McFarland Road in the 1930's. It was a tangled growth of jungle. No buildings, just a dirt path to the bay. Perfect for stolen moments to enjoy the balmy tropical nights, arm in arm with that special someone.

A  very special few of these brave souls shared their historical secret hideaways.

The Deering Estate, then reminiscent of Venice, Italy, was created in Coconut Grove with gracious canals, grassy fields, and lush gardens interwoven through what is now Viscaya, LaSalle School, St Kierans, and Mercy Hospital. It offered heavenly hideaways for enchanted evenings watching the mystical moonrise across infinite star studded skies. Lovers coasted into the canals by boat or slipped onto the estate by land. Toward the with wild and loud green tomato fights. Tomatoes were plentiful in the nearby fields. Couples wanting privacy would then retreat into the boathouse, away from the tomatoes. While most of the land has been filled and developed, one of the canals, just north of La Salle next to Viscaya, still exists today.

Another frequently mentioned preferred hangout was near Dinner Key docks on the Bay in Coconut Grove. In the 1950's, where the Chart House and Scotty's Landing now stand, there was the abandoned land from Pan Am, owned by the city, but not yet developed. It had only Australian Pines, rocks, some grass, and gorgeous unobstructed moon rises. Under the shimmering light of the moon, local lovers would gather to watch the submarine races. Wonder if the subs were left over from World War II? Were they lost from Japan or Germany, and still looking for home?

One prominent local lady, and her girl friends, strayed south from the Grove down to the old Arthur Vining Davis Estate, now the Gables Estates enclave of multi-million dollar mansions. A dirt road strewn with coral rock meandered through the swamps. This wild lady and her girl friends would go down to surprise the "parkers". Lovers looking for privacy would brave the mangroves, mosquitoes, and sand flies, only to be caught unaware by this indomitable lady and her entourage!

Tucker Gibbs, our beloved activist, and leading local attorney, recalls growing up in one of Miami's most romantic spots. In South Grove at the end of Poinciana where it becomes Bayside Court, his home was surrounded on three sides by water. He could watch manatees and porpoises in the Moorings canal, or sit on the seawall across the street and catch red snapper. In the dark of night, on the vacant lots across the street at the edge of Biscayne Bay, he could catch all his friends, and other loving couples looking for a secret setting to watch the mystical Miami moon rise, while listening to the silken lap of the bay water against the sea wall. Wow, I bet Tucker could tell tales about who was with who when!

Tom Levinson, long time top producer recalls late night adventures across the old bridge to Fair Isle (now the exclusive Luxury Grove Isle Condominium) .The island was completely vacant. No "parkers" there because the only access was to crawl over the barricades and walk. It was only for the stout of heart, mind and foot. According to Tom, worth the trip!

When not in the mood to scale fences and climb over bridges, Tom and his buddies discovered another hideaway. They would take their best ladies, and big blankets, and settle down into the sand traps on the Granada Golf Course! Look out for early morning golfers!

One of my favorite sensuous and romantic places was on a near deserted island just off Brickell Avenue south of downtown Miami. In the mid 1970's before Claughton began development, it was a bare bit of land, where a friend of mine lived in one little rail road car (I believe moved from Key Biscayne). Having just recently arrived in Miami myself, I could hardly believe anything this quiet and peaceful could exist in the shadow of the hustle and bustle of the high rise city. Now it is a high rise city of it's own! Multiple lovers from all over the world can now join us, and enjoy another of our treasured views!



Look for additional bits about our early pioneers on this page in my Website in the next months.

-Anne


 


  Archive of Anne's Historical Tidbits

 

 

 

 

 


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