Overlooked No More: Julia Tuttle, the ‘Mother of Miami’

She is regarded as the only woman in the country to have founded a significant American city.

In Miami’s Bayfront Park, a ten-foot-tall bronze statue of Julia Tuttle may be seen. She is holding an orange branch with tiny flowers in one hand and oranges in the other.

Overlooked No More: Julia Tuttle, the ‘Mother of Miami’


Overlooked No More: Julia Tuttle, the ‘Mother of Miami’

Tuttle, who has long maintained the title of “Mother of Miami,” is the only woman in American history to have built an important city. She is the only person who can be credited with creating the city of Miami, South Florida residents have been told for decades.

She was the one who persuaded Henry Flagler to construct a railroad all the way down to Miami, said listener Logan Jaffe.

As we looked for a solution, we came into yet another conundrum. Although many people refer to Julia Tuttle as “Miami’s mom,” perhaps it’s not quite that simple.

It turns out that 123 years later, Julia Tuttle may not be the only mother of Miami who can lay claim to the title of “Mother of Miami.”

A historian from the southern region of Florida named Caesar Becerra said, “There’s no denying [Tuttle] was significant. But it’s crucial to think about whether a co-mother designation is appropriate, and I’ve decided that it is.

Greetings From Miami

Tuttle first experienced the untamed Southeast Florida in 1875. She travelled from Cleveland, Ohio to the region that is now known as Miami Shores when she was a young mother and wife in order to visit her ailing farmers parents.

She was seduced by Florida’s subtropical charms and vowed to make her home there one day.

Paul George, a resident historian at History Miami, claims that Tuttle was one of just nine individuals to establish himself at the Miami River’s mouth in 1891. She also wanted to “make this the finest city in the southland,” according to Arva Moore Parks, author of “Miami, The Magic Metropolis and The Forgotten Frontier.”

She wrote to two businessmen who were building railroads across Florida, Henry Flagler in the north and Henry Plant in the west, and offered them land in exchange for bringing their lines to Biscayne Bay.

Tuttle Wrote to Plant Eight Times Before Receiving a Firm Refusal.

According to Barry University adjunct professor and resident historian Seth Bramson: “”My dear madam, I have no intention of extending my railroad 160 miles into trackless wilderness to suit your ego,” he retorted.

As a result, Flagler represented Miami’s final and best chance to develop into the glorious metropolis she had imagined.

Flagger for Hunting

Flagler never intended to construct his line into the marsh, and his Florida East Coast Railroad was already more than 65 miles north of Miami when Tuttle received the terrible news from Plant.

Nevertheless, Tuttle wasn’t the only one who urged Flagler to move south; it is also claimed that Mary Brickell, Tuttle’s neighbour across the Miami River, was in touch with the railroad magnate.

In exchange for his building a town south of West Palm, she had given him a sizable portion of her land to lay track between Coconut Grove and that city, but he had no interest at the time, at least not at the time.

From December 1894 to February 1895, Florida experienced a series of freezes that caused mature orange trees to become damaged and oranges to turn black as temperatures dropped below 30 degrees.

The first bout of chilly air lasted for only six weeks before being followed by another equally harsh weather episode, giving the appearance that the entire orange-producing industry had been wiped out.

Tuttle sent a telegram to Flagler informing him of the shift in weather, telling him that Miami had been spared the consequences of the cold weather, and inviting him to come have a look.

Two men were sent by Flagler from St. Augustine to Miami by boat and rail, where they were met by Tuttle and the Brickell family and given a box of cotton-wrapped citrus tree branches to pick and bring back to the north.

Flagler was now ready to accept Brickell and Tuttle’s offers, so he made another attempt to get in touch with the homes.

The Miami Power Females

Three months after the city’s founding on July 28, 1896, the first train arrived in Miami on April 15, 1896, and soon after the “Mother of Miami” mythology started to spread.

The response is affirmative; Julia Tuttle served as the catalyst “Bramson, Seth, insisted. As soon as the temperature dropped, she was the one to wire Mr. Flagler. She did write the letter, after all.

Is it Conceivable that Miami had a Mother and a Father as Parents?

Twenty years before to Tuttle’s settling there, in 1871, Mary and William began developing their land along the Miami River. To enable trade with nearby Native American settlements in the Everglades, the family erected a trading station and post office on the southern bank of the Miami River.

Now, Flagler needed the land owned by Tuttle and the Brickells to construct a rail connection to Key West. It was always his intention that it would be. It’s true that Miami wasn’t really a significant metropolis at the time.

Last Words

According to Moore Parks, Flagler made a deal for the railroad to run through the properties owned by both women in exchange for using the land they held.

Moore Parks attributed Julia Tuttle with making it possible for Flagler to move to Miami by arranging for Mary Brickell to donate additional land on top of the one provided by Flagler. That helped a lot in getting him to go there. Thanks for reading our article Overlooked No More: Julia Tuttle, the ‘Mother of Miami’.