Historic Markers Across Florida

Housekeepers-Womans Club of Coconut Grove

Marker ID: FLHM F-888
Location: 2985 South Bayshore Dr, Miami, FL
County: Miami-Dade
Coordinates: N 25° 43.601    W 080° 14.385
  25.72668333    -80.23975
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMXNA2


Housekeepers-Womans Club of Coconut Grove

(Side 1)
Organized as the Housekeepers Club of Coconut Grove when it was founded in 1891, the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove is the oldest federated woman's club in South Florida. Together with other pioneer women, local school teacher Flora McFarlane organized the club. The first meeting was held in a school house owned by Isabella “Aunt Bella” Peacock. The club worked to further the educational, social, and cultural development of the area's residents and raised money for the construction of a new school house. The Pine Needles Club formed as an offshoot of the woman's club became the foundation for the Coconut Grove Library. Around 1909, the club investigated ways to protect the Everglades from development. Mary Barr Munroe spearheaded an effort with the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs to purchase land in the Everglades for conservation. The women's efforts culminated in 1916 with the designation of Royal Palm State Park by the Florida legislature. As Florida's first state park, it became the nucleus of what is now the Everglades National Park. Still active today, the club remains one of the most important civic organizations in the history of Coconut Grove and South Florida.

(Side 2)
The first clubhouse was erected on land donated by Ralph Munroe in 1917. Local architect, Walter de Garmo, was hired to design this new clubhouse, which was built in 1921. De Garmo also designed the first Miami City Hall, Coral Gables Bank, and McAllister Hotel. The building was well-adapted to the South Florida environment with a wide wraparound porch, spacious arched openings (now enclosed), and high ceilings all intended to help circulate the cool breeze. Considered a focal point for the building, the porch was made from native oolithic limestone (coral rock), common in other Coconut Grove buildings. Located next to the library and across from the Peacock Inn (now Peacock Park), the clubhouse was at the heart of Coconut Grove's social life. This building remains significant because of its association with Coconut Grove's early development and for its role as a social and cultural center of the community.

Florida Heritage Site
Sponsored by the Coconut Grove Civic Club
and the Florida Department of State