Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Northrop Bombers over Miami, 1939.

Northrop BT-1 Bombers over Miami, 1939.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Downtown Miami Burdines Christmas display - (circa 1950s)

Spectators watch the 'World's Largest Santa,' 65 feet in height, and a 70-foot 
Christmas tree during the formal lighting ceremony in Miami on
night, Nov. 23, 1950.
Synchronized to music, the display is lighted by more than a mile 

of multi-colored neon tubes. The tribute to the forthcoming Holiday, 
erected on the pedestrian bridge over Miami Avenue, was witnessed 
by a crowd estimated at 10,000.

Miami Avenue, 1954.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

1981...A record number of murders in Dade County

From the Miami News 35 years ago.

On Nov. 30, 1981, with a month still to go before the end of the year, Dade County was well on its way to breaking 1980's record of 579 murders.

November's final weekend was particularly bloody.

From the Miami News story by Verne Williams:
The weekend toll was grim:

A man was stabbed to death this morning in a Miami drug store parking lot. A suspected burglar was shot to death last night by a Miami businessman. Six people were found bound and slain - two women shot, four men suffocated - inside a house in Southwest Dade Saturday afternoon. A woman who was shot Nov. 18 died in a Hialeah hospital when a life-support machine was turned off. She had been in a coma since being shot in the head when two robbers invaded her home.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Bettie Page at Funland Amusement Park - 1954

Pin-up model Bettie Page at Funland Amusement Park on N.W. 27th Ave. in 1954. Photographed by Bunny Yeager.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Dining out in Miami in 1953

From the Miami Daily News, May 1, 1953

Ads for Broussard's of New Orleans on 36th Street, Preview Lounge on Coral Way and  Hickory House on Liberty Avenue in Miami Beach.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Newspaper ad for Blevins & Haynie restaurant on 12th Street - 1897

From the Miami Metropolis, March 12, 1897.

Newspaper ad for Blevins & Haynie restaurant on 12th Street, (Flagler St.) next to Brady & Co. Grocery.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Colony Theater on Lincoln Road opens - Jan. 1935

From the Miami Daily News...

Colony Theater on Lincoln Road opens with Carole Lombard as Guest of Honor - Jan. 25, 1935.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I need your help

If you like what I do here, and you'd like to see it continue, I hope you'll consider making a donation to help keep this blog going.

Just click on the Paypal "donate" button at the top of the right-hand column and follow the instructions.

Every little bit helps.

Thank you for your support and readership.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ice manufacturing at Florida Power & Light Co. in the 1920s

Florida Power and Light Company ice plant in Miami - 1926.

Ice wagon - 1927.

Joe's Restaurant ad, Jan., 1935

From the Miami Daily News, Jan. 16, 1935

Newspaper ad for Joe's Restaurant on Miami Beach; which later became Joe's Stone Crab.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Ingraham Building in downtown Miami

From the Miami Daily News, May 24, 1927.
In 1927,  you could pay for your electricity, water, gas and ice at Florida Power and Light's offices in the Ingraham Building at 25 S.E. 2nd Avenue in downtown Miami.

2012. (Photo by Exploratus)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Old Key West Houses

Old Key West houses, businesses (and cars) photographed in 1965 by the Property Appraiser's Office.


1018 Watson Lane.
Built 1928.

1016 Watson St.
Built c. 1906.

1025 Catherine St.
Built c. 1906.

1117 Watson St.
Built c. 1890.

1107 Watson St.

1103 Virginia St.

Arthur's Newsstand, 1100 Truman Ave.
Built c. 1912. 

House at 1216 White St.
Garage - Brady's Bicycle Repair.
House built c. 1899. 

Santiago's Barber Shop, 1108 White St.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

1971 ad for National Airlines

One of the famed National Airlines "Fly Me' ads; this one featuring Cheryl Fioravanti.

Click here to enlarge.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Henry Flagler dies, May 20, 1913

From the Miami Daily Metropolis, May 20, 1913. Henry Flagler biography

Monday, July 4, 2016

Miss Florida Beauty Pageant Contestants - 1933

Miss Florida beauty pageant contestants on a diving board at the Biltmore Hotel - 1933.

Click image to enlarge.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Urmey Arms...Coral Gables' first high-rise apartment building

On Jan. 18, 1926, a page one story in the Miami Daily News reported that a developer planned to build a $12.5 million, 25 story cooperative apartment building - the largest in the world - in the heart of Coral Gables. Work on the Urmey Arms would start immediately, the paper said.

Miami Daily News, Jan. 18, 1926.

Two days later, a full page ad in the paper boasted that the Urmey Arms would offer buyers of an apartment "the luxuries of a palace at the cost of a cottage."

Miami Daily News, Jan. 20, 1926.

Click here to enlarge.

On Jan. 29, the Daily News reported that crews had already cleared the land for the project at the intersection of Segovia Plaza and Biltmore Way.

The paper reported "an army of engineers and construction workmen soon will start the mighty building on its majestic rise to the Coral Gables skyline."

News of the project drew the curious. The paper said that, "Throughout the day fashionable automobiles draw up to a stop on Coral Way and their occupants watch with eagerness the onslaught of the machinery in preparation for the construction engineers."

But the building never got past the ground clearing stages. By the summer of 1926, as real estate sales in Coral Gables waned, the Urmey Arms project was put on hold.

Miami Daily News, March 4, 1926.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Miami map from 1919

Miami map circa 1919.

Avenue D is now Miami Ave.

12th Street is now Flagler Street.

Click here to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Miami's 1960s bomb shelter craze

A utilitarian, ready-made steel bomb shelter complete with 
installation and food supplies is displayed for sale. 
September 22, 1961.

Miami News, Nov. 9, 1961.

All ads from the Miami News, Sept. 24, 1961.
(Click here to enlarge)

A Sept. 24, 1961 Miami News story reported that 19 Dade County companies manufactured a variety of fallout shelters priced from $1195 to $2495.


by CARLOS HARRISON, Herald Staff Writer

October 19, 1987

Is it OK to kill your neighbors if they try crawling into your backyard fallout shelter?

Five Broward ministers said yes.

Welcome to the '60s, when nuclear nervousness and a booming bomb shelter craze gave birth to this bizarre moral question that made headlines in 1961.

Everyone was building one, or should have been, according to the experts of the day.

South Florida's bomb shelter boom began with the building of the Berlin Wall. The boom busted, then bloomed again briefly when the Cuban Missile Crisis brought four-story-high, warhead- tipped Nike-Hercules rockets to South Florida. The warheads are gone, but the shelters remain, for the most part unused or converted.

The governor has a shelter under the porch of his Tallahassee mansion that still holds the original radio equipment, K-rations and 500 gallons of distilled water. It also holds unused household overflow, a copying machine, stacks of stationery and weapons.

There's one underneath North Miami City Hall, where the parks and recreation department has its offices.

Jack and Linda Chorost built one out of coral and concrete, with an inch-thick steel door, at their home on Northwest Ninth Court. "At first some people thought we were kooks," she said in August 1961.

The shelter now serves as an apartment for the current owner's 6-year-old collie-shepherd mix named Frisky.

"I took the door off and made it into my dog's apartment," said owner Alma Brown. "I'll tell you the truth, the way I feel, with this atomic bomb stuff, it's gonna kill you anyway. Who's gonna be left anyhow?"

William Stewart built a shelter on Northeast 130th Street that a civil defense director called one of the best in the area. The shelter has 9-inch-thick concrete inner and outer walls separated by two feet of packed earth, a ventilation system and a zig-zagging entryway that Stewart, a sailor, designed himself using common sense and what he called "dead reckoning."

"If you reckon wrong, you're dead," he said.

Now the air-conditioned home addition is a storeroom and workshop in which the Stewarts hide during hurricanes and tornado warnings. As for its original purpose, Evelyn Stewart said, "I'm not worrying about that, because it's never going to happen. Man will never use the atomic bomb because one will lead to the use of all and man will never do that."

In November 1961, The Miami Herald followed six members of the Reilly family of North Miami as they spent six days and five nights in the back yard, underground, 12-foot-by-10-foot shelter that Jim Reilly built.

The "Fallout Family," as they were called in headlines, used a telephone daily to read notes and send out photos of the experience.

"I'll miss the dance," said Dianne Reilly, then 16. "But I don't mind."

In the shelter she entertained Pat, 3, and Michael, 4, by teaching them the twist and the cha-cha.

Mary "Dusty" Reilly, mother of the nuclear family, warmed canned tuna on the Sterno stove and watched as laundry refused to dry in the heat and humidity of the shelter.

"I am not sorry that we did it," she said from her home in Rhode Island last week. "At the time it was something for us to do."

Then she was quoted as saying the shelter was "for the kids -- like an insurance policy we hope we'll never need."

The shelter did turn out to be for the kids. They painted the inside black, after the beds rotted away.

"We had the best clubhouse in the neighborhood," said Michael Reilly, now 30.

The walls have cracked and the shelter is "full of water and bugs," Michael Reilly said. "We haven't been down there in seven or eight years."

Today, Mary Reilly says, "Truthfully, no, I don't think you could really survive down there."

But in 1961, no less an authority than anthropologist Margaret Mead suggested that newlyweds should be given free honeymoons in fallout shelters. If the bomb was dropped, we stood a chance of preserving at least some of the race, she reasoned.

A Miami shelter builder seized on the idea for a promotion. He offered a free wedding and honeymoon to any couple who would spend two weeks in an underground shelter next to Westchester Shopping Center at Southwest 87th Avenue and Coral Way.

Gerald and Joan Klein, a cement plant worker and soda fountain clerk who wanted to get married but couldn't afford a wedding, took him up on it.

"It was a way to have the big wedding we wanted right away," said Joan Klein, now a Cutler Ridge restaurateur.

They ate K-rations, slept and sweat for two weeks. Gerald lost 20 pounds, grew a beard and got a rash. Nine months after they emerged, nearly to the day, Gerald Jr. was born.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Cassius Clay running on the Julia Tuttle Causeway, Miami Beach 1961

Photograph by Flip Schulke.
(Click image to enlarge.)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders

Wayne Cochran

In the 60's, Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders appeared at a place called The Barn on the 79th Street Causeway in Miami. Some called him "The King of Blue-eyed Soul."
So, they built a place on 79th Street Causeway in Miami called "The Barn". We played soul music, rhythm and blues music with horns. They called it the "Home of Soul". That became our home base.
In a January 1966, Miami News article, Cochran called the eight members of his band, his "home boys." Cochran was ahead of his time in more ways than one.

From the Miami News, Jan. 15, 1966.
(Click here to enlarge)