May 2018 — May is the month to celebrate mothers. In honor of all mothers out there, Invest: Miami wanted to take the time to give a shoutout to Julia Tuttle and Mary Brickell for founding the Magic City. While Tuttle is famed for bearing the nickname the “Mother of Miami,” both she and Brickell were extremely influential players in the founding of Miami and contributed much to what the city is known for today.
In 1871, Mary and William Brickell, unable to stand the cold winters of the North, moved their family to what is known today as Brickell Point in the City of Miami. Hoping for a new railroad, Mary Brickell acquired a total of 6,427 acres of land between what are now West Palm Beach and Coconut Grove.
In 1891, Julia Tuttle and her family moved to Miami, as well. Julia and Mary both persisted in convincing Henry Flagler to bring his railroad south and build a city on the river. When a harsh freeze ruined the rest of the country’s crops, Tuttle sent fresh fruit to Flager and convinced him to extend his railroad with the promise of a prosperous and hardy crop yield.
Mary Brickell gave Flagler the rights to her land stretching from Palm Beach to Miami on the condition that he establish a city north of Miami. With that, Fort Lauderdale was born out of a one-square-mile site. Tuttle gave Flagler the land north of the Miami River, and Brickell gave him the land south of the Miami River. Once the railroad was officially built, residents, tourists and opportunists alike began flocking to Miami to take advantage of the potential offered by this brand-new city.
Miami would not be what it is today if it weren’t for the persistence and vision of these pioneering women. We extend deep thanks to the Mothers of Miami!