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Place Category: Memorial & Statue
A 10-foot-tall bronze statue of Julia Tuttle, who is considered the “Mother of Miami,” is standing in Bayfront Park, overlooking the seaport she envisioned at the end of the 19th century when South Florida was a swampland with few orange groves.
Tuttle relocated to Fort Dallas, Florida, from Cleveland, Ohio, in 1891. At that time, she was a widow with two kids and inherited her parents’ land. She purchased 640 acres on the north side of the Miami river and set it as her home. Seeing the potential to establish a city on the Miami River, she convinced Henry Flagler to extend his railroad to Fort Dallas (Miami). She offered him a free piece of her land and showed him that the area is a perfect destination to grow oranges after the Great Freeze of 1894-1895. On April 22nd, 1896, the Florida East Coast Railway’s train service came to the area, and a few months later, on July 28th, male residents voted to incorporate a new city, Miami. Ironically, Tuttle was not one of the voters since she was a woman.
The project to commemorate Tuttle started only in 1996 by the Miami Commission on the Status of Women. It took 14 years and joint efforts with the Miami-Dade County Commission for Women to raise funds and choose the artists Daub and Firmin.
The statue was unveiled on July 28th, 2010, the city’s 114th birthday, in a dedication ceremony honored with Tuttle family members. The statue is depicting Tuttle looking to the horizon, to the future, holding a basket of oranges in one hand and orange blossom on the other, the proof she gave Flagler. Her skirt is adorned with symbols of Miami’s history, the area’s first settlers, images of local flora and fauna, and the train that connected Miami to Florida.
Tuttle is the only woman who founded an American city.
Address: Bayfront Park Path, Miami, FL 33132Opening Hours: 7 AM to 10 PM
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Photo credit - Wikipedia