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Julia Tuttle – The “Mother of Miami”

June 30, 2011

P R O P E R T Y   S E A R C H

R E S T I V O – H E C H T M A N    T E A M

Julia Tuttle came down to Florida from Cleveland, Ohio. After her husband passed, she ran the iron foundry which he owned. In 1891, her father passed and left her his land in Florida. She sold the iron foundry business in Ohio and moved to Biscayne Bay, purchasing the James Egan grant of 640 acres where the city of Miami is located today. Julia Tuttle repaired and converted a home into one of the best in the area with a great view of the river and the Bay.

Julia Tuttle tried to get Henry Flagler to extend his railroad to Fort Dallas (Miami) and even offered to divide her real estate if he would.Henry Flagler agreed after much pushing from Mrs. Tuttle. The agreement was that Julia Tuttle would supply Henry Flagler with the land for a hotel and railroad station for free, and splitting what was left of the 640 acres north of the Miami River. On February 15, 1896,construction began on the Royal Palm Hotel, giving birth to the City of Miami.

Julia Tuttle became ill in 1898 with meningitis and passed in September at age 49. She died leaving a rather large amount of debt. Her children sold the remaining land to pay off the debt. Her name was lost for a while as a contributor to the founding of Miami until her name was placed on a causeway over Biscayne Bay (part of I-95). While Julia Tuttle is called the Mother of Miami, Henry Flagler is known as the Father of Miami.

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