Historic Markers Across Florida

Lemon City Port

Marker ID: FLHM F-946
Location: at the water at the end of NE 62nd St, Miami, FL
County: Miami-Dade
Coordinates: N 25° 50.003    W 080° 10.850
  25.83338333    -80.18083333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMXNX0


Lemon City Port

Side 1:
Predating the City of Miami, Lemon City had the first port on Biscayne Bay due to its natural, deep-water channel. Prior to dredging, Biscayne Bay was largely shallow. Shipping was Lemon City's primary link to the outside world, and the community's commercial district developed around the port. Ships transported animals, people, produce, and merchandise. Ships also brought into Lemon City a majority of the mail for distribution to other settlements in the area. In the fall of 1891, there were between four and six vessels arriving and departing from Lemon City each week. Large sailing vessels were unable to anchor close to the dock in Lemon City and had to remain in the deeper channel. Smaller boats, such as schooners and sloops, were used to transfer goods between ships and the mainland. The largest vessel to come to Lemon City was reportedly the Emily B., a three-masted, thirty-ton schooner that traveled between Jacksonville and Key West. In November 1891, Julia Tuttle, known as the “Mother of Miami,” arrived with her family aboard the Emily B. at Lemon City.

Side 2:
By 1895, there were multiple businesses in the Lemon City commercial district, including hotels, general stores, a barbershop, a real estate office, a bakery, a sponge warehouse, saloons, a restaurant, a blacksmith, a livery stable, a post office, a sawmill, a music shop, and a photo studio. The buildings were of wood-frame construction. Most were simple and unpainted, but others, like the Lemon City Hotel, were more elaborate. Owners were free to build without restriction. The booming port brought in farmers, who created a small village. Lemon City was the trading center of Biscayne Bay and later attracted railroads to connect shipping by port and rail. The opening of the Lemon City train station on the Florida East Coast Railway in 1896 marked the end of the port's popularity. The new railroad shifted the commercial focus in the area away from shipping to rail transport, and from Lemon City to Miami. Around the turn of the twentieth century, businesses began to relocate further inland to be closer to the railroad depot. New general stores, Dr. DuPuis' medical office and drugstore, and other buildings were all constructed around the train depot. By 1910, only pleasure ships were moored at the Lemon City docks.

F-946 Sponsored by Mayor Thomas Regalado,
The City of Miami in Coordination with Alexander Adams
and the Florida Department of State