Historic Markers Across Florida

Mariah Brown House

Marker ID: FLHM F-891
Location: 3298 Charles Ave, Miami, FL
County: Miami-Dade
Coordinates: N 25° 43.535    W 080° 14.779
  25.72558333    -80.24631666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMXMCG


Mariah Brown House

(Side 1)
Mariah Brown was born in the Upper Bogue, Eleuthera, Bahamas in 1851 and immigrated to the United States in 1880. Brown lived in Key West with her three daughters and worked as a laundress. By 1889, Brown had moved to Coconut Grove to work in the Peacock Inn owned by one of Coconut Grove founders, Charles Peacock. Though Brown and her daughters initially lived at the Peacock Inn, she soon bought land to build her own home. Located on Evangelist Street (now Charles Avenue) and within walking distance from the Peacock Inn, Brown purchased the plot for $50 from local landowner Joseph Frow. Brown and her family were among the first black families to settle in Coconut Grove, and her house, constructed in 1890, was the first built on Evangelist Street. Brown's significance to the African-Bahamian community lasted well beyond her death in 1910. Her house along with those of other black landowners, such as E.W.F. Stirrup, became the heart of the African-Bahamian community in Coconut Grove. African-Bahamians were one of the earliest immigrant groups to arrive in South Florida, and the community in Coconut Grove is one of the oldest black communities in Dade County.
(Continued on other side)

(Side 2)
Constructed from Dade County slash pine, Mariah Brown's one-and-a-half story wood Frame Vernacular house was designed to cope with the hot and humid climate before residential air conditioning. In the late 1800s, Bahamian immigrants brought their style of home building, later known as Conch houses, to Key West and South Florida. To protect against heavy rain and strong winds from tropical weather events, the houses featured a lower sloped roof and larger roof overhangs than typical homes in the United States during this time. Conch houses featured clapboard siding, foundation piers, high ceilings, porches, and operable sash windows. Additions were made to Brown's Conch house in the 1920s and 1950s, but the house largely retains its original appearance and character, and was designated as a local historic site in 1995 by the City of Miami. The Mariah Brown House is listed in the Florida Black Heritage Trail as part of The Charles Avenue Historic District.

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