Historic Markers Across Florida

Evangelist Street Charles Avenue

Marker ID: FLHM F-885
Location: at Charles Avenue and SW 37th Ave, Miami, FL
County: Miami-Dade
Coordinates: N 25° 43.527    W 080° 15.200
  25.72545    -80.25333333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMXMC1


Evangelist Street Charles Avenue

(Side 1)
In the late 1800s, African-Bahamians migrated to the United States after exhaustion of the islands' rocky soil. South Florida and the Florida Keys, with similar geography and climate, became attractive destinations. Most Bahamians that settled in Coconut Grove were from the Island of Eleuthera, where the majority of inhabitants were formerly enslaved people from West Indian plantations. One of the first arrivals was Mariah Brown, who was among the first settlers to build their house in this area. When more immigrants settled in the neighborhood, the residents asked the town to put in a road. When the town refused, the Bahamian community built their own road from oolithic limestone (coral rock). Evangelist Street took its name from the neighboring churches, many of which served black congregations, including Macedonia Baptist Church, St. Agnes Baptist Church, and St. Paul's Methodist Church. Another prominent individual from the Bahamian community on Evangelist Street was E.W.F. Stirrup, who built homes to sell and rent to other newly-arrived Bahamian immigrants. Evangelist Street/Charles Avenue symbolizes the thriving Bahamian community in the area.

(Side 2)
As the neighborhood grew, Evangelist Street grew with it. The street became the cultural and commercial center for the Bahamian community, and extended from Main Highway on the east to Douglas Road (SW 37th Avenue) on the west. In the early 1900s, the street name was changed to Charles Avenue after early settler Joseph Frow's son, Charles. The Frow family sold land to many of the early Bahamian pioneers to build their homes. In the 1920s the business district moved to County Road, now Grand Avenue. While other parts of Coconut Grove continued to develop, the Charles Avenue area remained the same and was one of the last streets in Coconut Grove to be paved or receive sewers. Charles Avenue remains the backbone of the community and includes an important cemetery, where notable pioneers are buried, as well as historic shotgun homes owned by Mariah Brown and E.W.F. Stirrup. The Neighborhood Conservation District was formed here in 2005.

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