North Miami is a suburban city located in northeast Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, about 10 miles (16 km) north of Miami. The city lies on Biscayne Bay and hosts the Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University, and the North Miami campus of Johnson & Wales University. Originally the town of "Arch Creek", the area was incorporated as the "Town of Miami Shores", which was renamed the "Town of North Miami" in 1931. It was reincorporated as a city in 1953.
The city is also home to the Oleta River State Park, which is the state’s largest urban park.
As of 2010, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 58,786. With almost 60,000 residents, North Miami is the sixth largest city in Miami-Dade County.
In the final phase of Indian inhabitation of the area that eventually became "North Miami", United States Army soldiers in 1856 cut a Military Trail through nearly impassable thickets and rivers connecting Fort Lauderdale to Fort Dallas at the mouth of the Miami River. This eight foot trail, Dade County’s first roadway, crossed a unique natural bridge — a natural limestone bridge spanning 40 feet (12 m) across the creek that no longer stands in Arch Creek Memorial Park — in an area that would attract a settlement that early on would be known as "Arch Creek". Even before 1890 a handful of adventuresome pioneers spent brief periods around the Arch Creek Natural Bridge, a centuries-old Indian settlement.
In 1891, Mr. Ilhe was the first to put down roots in the Arch Creek vicinity. He purchased 80 acres (320,000 m2) from the State of Florida at one dollar an acre in the area of today’s N.E. 116th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. The place was so remote that his nearest northern neighbor was thought to live in Ft. Lauderdale. Mr. Ihle built a temporary palmetto frond shelter. During the next 27 years he grew shallots, coontie, squashes, bananas, sugar cane, Puerto Rican pineapples, lemons, guavas, limes, rose apples, Jamaican apples, and tomatoes.
By 1905 the area surrounding the nine-year-old Arch Creek Railroad Depot had become the community’s hub. It was located at 125th Street and the F.E.C. tracks. That year a post office and a school were opened nearby. By 1912, eighteen homes, a church, a general store, a blacksmith shop, and two tomato packing houses were located around the railroad. The population was estimated at less than one hundred. Farming was still the principal occupation.
The Florida land boom that was underway in the 1920s spread to Arch Creek farming community. The Biscayne Canal was dug in 1924 to remove farmland from flooded conditions. But as a consequence, the soil began to lose its moisture, and the farming which had been the backbone of the economy, was no longer profitable. However, in step with the times, this drained land became available for partitioning, lot sales, and development.
Thirty eight out of the forty seven registered voters, at the encouragement of developers E.C. Harner, Earl Irons and Arthur Griffing, showed up and voted to incorporate into a town on February 5, 1926. North Miami, between 1926 and 1931, was named "Town of Miami Shores", partially because its early eastern boundary was the Atlantic Ocean. The Town limits were: bounded on the South by Miami and Miami Beach, on the East by the Atlantic Ocean, on the West by 17th Avenue, and on the North by a line which approximates Golden Glades Drive or 166th Street. Incorporation moved costs from developers to residents and lot purchasers. Late in 1926 a bond issue of $287,000 was passed to build streets, sidewalks, a town hall, a water system, and fire protection.
The devastating September 1926 hurricane burst the real estate land speculation. The local community recovered from the damage, but lot sales came to a stop, and the northern tourists names showed up in great numbers on the delinquent tax list. Some money from the bond issue was used to build a Spanish-Mediterranean style city hall building at N.E. 8th Avenue and 125th Street in 1928. The City Hall also housed the police and fire departments. In the 1930s a new water plant and gravity tank was installed behind City Hall. The first newspaper, The Miami Shores Bulletin, was published in 1927-28 and chronicled the events of the times. The historic William Jennings Bryan school was constructed in 1928 on the same spot where the Arch Creek Elementary School had burned down the year before.
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