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Miami-Dade County

Official Directory of the City of Miami and Nearby Towns


The following interesting article appeared in a recent number of The Homeseeker, the excellent monthly paper published in Miami: Almost every mail brings us letters of enquiry in regard to the east coast of Florida, its desirability for an all-the-year-round home, or simply for a place of residence during the winter months. The writers of many of these letters are not definite enough, so that one can hardly form an opinion as to their real wants. These letters contain a large number of questions—questions which, if answered in a general way, would be misleading.

The East Coast of Florida covers a distance south from Jacksonville to Miami 366 miles, and to this add the distance to Cape Sable from Miami, which is about 60 miles. Thus, it will be seen that in writing of the East Coast of Florida, the writer is covering a distance of more than 420 miles.

In passing over this mileage, one passes from a semi-tropical region at Jacksonville to a tropical region at Miami and Cape Sable. The climatic conditions and growth in these sections varies as much as the natural growth and climatic conditions between Jacksonville and Washington.

In going south from Jacksonville to Miami there is little variation in the natural timber growth for a distance of nearly 325 miles; in fact, there is a sameness about it that ofttimes makes the ride tiresome.

The change from the semi-tropical growth to the tropical is abrupt, but is only noticed in the hammocks, the pine lands remaining the same, covered with pine and palmetto.

The hammock lands are covered with a dense growth of hard wood timber, identical with the natural woodlands of Cuba and Jamaica. Few of these woods will survive a killing frost; in fact, some of them are of the tenderest sort, and a slight frost will wither the leaves and make them fall.

Among the numerous trees growing in Dade county that are found in Cuba and Jamaica, are the Pigeon Plum (Cocoddoba Floridana), Sea Grape (Cocos nucifera), Mahogany (Swientenia mahogoni), and Stopper (Eugenia mon ticloa). In conversation with Prof. H. P. Rolfs, who has charge of the United States Tropical Experiment Gardens here, he said: "Between here and Key West there are at least 40 percent of the trees found growing in Cuba. Jamaica and other islands growing here."

We have mentioned these facts that our readers may get a more definite idea of the great range of temperature that is found on the east coast of Florida. One of the questions often asked by correspondents is: "Where would you advise me to settle in Florida?"

Very few of our correspondents give us any idea of the line of business they wish to engage in. To those who write us definitely stating what they desire to engage in, it is an easy matter to give them advice and not go wrong. We received a letter not long since from a gentleman in the West. He said, "I want to engage in general farming and cattle raising. Where would you advise me to locate?" This was a definite proposition. We wrote him: "Our advice is, settle in St. Johns, the eastern portion of Volusia or in Brevard counties. There are good farming lands there and thousands of acres of grazing lands." Another wrote: "I want to purchase a tract of land in southern Dade suitable for a stock farm. I have no desire to go into the culture of fruit trees, neither do I want to engage in growing vegetables. Stock is my hobby." We had to write him substantially the same that we wrote the other gentleman. Dade county is in no sense a "stock growing county." Those who are looking for a place to grow citrus and tropical fruits and at the same time to engage in growing vegetables for the Northern markets, we advise, "Come to Dade County." If you desire to engage in general farming and stock raising, St. Johns, Brevard and the eastern portion of Volusia county are the spots you are looking for.

The southern portion of Dade county is substantially a tropical country, and the same conditions prevail here that prevail in Cuba and Jamaica.

Referring to the United States weather report for the month of May, we find the average thermometer readings at Havana to be as follows: Highest, 85 degrees; mean maximum, 82 degrees; mean minimum, 63 degrees; average temperature for the month, 68 degrees. At Miami: Maximum, 88 degrees; minimum, 57 degrees; average temperature, 76.9 degrees. In Puerto Rico, the maximum range was 80 to 90 degrees; minimum from 51 to 70 degrees; average, from 73 to 83 degrees.

Excerpt from "Facts about Dade County" Official Directory of the City of Miami and Nearby Towns, 1904.


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