Coconut Grove’s Historic Timeline
Mid-1800s: Coconut Grove’s first documented settlers, Ann and Edmund Beasley, settle on the ridge in the vicinity of today’s Barnacle State Park.
1873: Dr. Horace Porter establishes the Cocoanut Grove Post Office.
1882: The Bay View House (later called the Peacock Inn) opens in today’s Peacock Park.
1887: Isabella Peacock founds a Sunday School.
1887: Ralph Munroe and Kirk Munroe (no relation) found the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, Miami-Dade County’s most enduring institution.
Late 1880s: Ralph Munroe buries his young wife Eva in site along McFarlane Road. This burial ground marks to oldest named graveyard in Miami-Dade County.
1889: The first public school opens. The building hosting it stands on the grounds of today’s Plymouth Congregational Church.
1889: Mariah Brown becomes the first black Bahamian resident of Coconut Grove, settling along Charles Avenue.
1891: Flora McFarlane, the first school teacher and first woman homesteader, founds the Housekeeper’s Club (today’s Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove).
1891: Ralph Munroe builds the original Barnacle.
1895: The Pine Needles Club, consisting of young women, is organized.
1896: Paul Ransom founds the Pine Knot Camp as a school for boys. It later becomes the Ransom-Everglades School.
1897: Ebenezer Stirrup, who became Coconut Grove’s first black millionaire, builds his wood frame home on Charles Avenue.
1902: The Peacock Inn closes.
1903: Ralph Munroe opens Camp Biscayne as a tourist haven.
1909: Flora McFarlane and others organize a mission church, which is today’ St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
1917: One of America’s first Naval Air Station’s opens at Dinner Key.
1918: Pittsburgh steel magnate, John Bindley, builds El Jardin, one of the first elements of a Millionaire’s Row.
1919: On the heels of the closing of the Naval Air Station, Coconut Grove incorporates as a Town.
Early 1920s: prominent architects like Kiehnel and Elliott begin to implement part of John Bright’s plan for a town center.
1925: Coconut Grove is annexed to Miami in a special annexation election.
1929: Pan American Airways establishes a seaplane base at Dinner Key.
1934: Pan American Airways Art Deco-styled terminal at Dinner Key is operating.
1943: President Franklin Roosevelt comes through the Dinner Key air facility en route to a wartime conference in North Africa.
1946: Pan American Airways sells its marine aviation facility to the city of Miami.
1946: The City of Miami builds the Dinner Key Auditorium, which becomes a popular venue for a wide array of events.
1954: The City of Miami establishes City Hall in the old Pan American terminal on Dinner Key.
1954-1956: George Engle purchases the Coconut Grove movie theater and converts it into the Coconut Grove Playhouse.
1955: Coral Reef Yacht Club opens along the Grove’s waterfront.
1958: Coconut Grove becomes the unofficial home of the Beatniks, rebels opposing the values and actions of mainstream America.
1963: To publicize “Irma La Douce”, then playing at the Playhouse, the institution’s promoters organize an art festival with a Left Bank ambiance, which becomes the popular Coconut Grove Art Festival.
1963: T. Trip Russell’s ambient Coconut Grove Library opens.
1966: Coconut Grove becomes, again, the unofficial south Florida home of the Hippies, counterculture youths.
Late 1960s and beyond: Coconut Grove’s old wood-frame homes along Bayshore Drive give way to new high rise condominiums, hotels, and office buildings.
1973: History minded before many other south Florida communities embrace their past, Coconut Grove residents celebrate with a parade and other events the one hundredth birthday of their community.
1973: The state of Florida purchases Ralph Munroe’s magnificent Barnacle property and soon after opens it as a state park.
1979: The Mayfair shopping mall opens amid much hoopla.
1990: Cocowalk, a large shopping, restaurant , and entertainment complex, opens drawing large droves of people to the historic village center.
Early 1990s: Some Coconut Grove residents, unhappy with their community’s status as a part of Miami, attempt to “secede” from the latter, but are unsuccessful.
1992: Hurricane Andrew brings significant destruction to Coconut Grove’s waterfront and nearby neighborhoods. South Bayshore Drive fills with vessels lifted out of the nearby waters of Biscayne Bay.
Early 2000s: Coconut Grove adopts a consultant’s plan for a revamped waterfront, which promises to bring more park land, open vistas to the bay, and attractive amenities like upscale restaurants.
2010 – 2015: The 21st century has brought a new dimension to life in Coconut Grove, as a new class of creative professional entrepreneurs and industry have taken root in the central business district. Home to dozens of advertising agencies, design firms, architects, video producers, and web developers. These cultural influencers have found a home in the Grove and provide a backdrop that helps new and interesting businesses thrive.
Over the years the neighborhood has grown a strong community of those who live, work and play here. Many of the natives will tell you they literally never leave here- finding everything they need to live a rich, bohemian life within the borders of our lush tropical village.
One of the world’s most distinctive tropical neighborhoods. A culturally diverse, eclectic and fun-loving community. One of the most successful and desirable zipcodes in America. If you’re looking for a place to put down the roots of your business, Coconut Grove is that place.