Miami Pioneers and Natives of Dade
Miami Pioneers & Natives Of Dade -

Next Meeting
Sunday, April 6
at 2:30pm

Central Christian Church
222 Menores Ave, Coral Gables 33134

Enter the door at the south side of the building on Mendoza Ave. Parking in west lot is also available if you enter from Menores Ave. Street parking is also free on Sunday.

Please bring $1 donation to cover the cost of the room. We very much appreciate those who can provide refreshments such as cookies, crackers, brownies, etc.

Meetings begin at 2:30pm at the Central Christian Church of Coral Gables at 222 Menores Avenue.

We welcome one and all to join us for our monthly historical programs and special events.

We usually meet on the first Sunday of each month except for July and August, or on holiday weekends.

Please bring $1 donation to cover the cost of the room. We very much appreciate those who can provide refreshments such as cookies, crackers, brownies, etc.

Dues: Please bring your annual $20 dues to the meeting, or mail your check made to MP/NOD to our Treasurer: Marlene B. Carlin, 14900 SW 71 Ave, Miami, FL 33158. If you noticed a colored dot next to your name on the envelope for this newsletter, your dues are past.

Thank You Members: Thank you to all members who bring refreshments which make our social so enjoyable. And, thanks to everyone who makes a generous donation to the "Money Jar" which goes to paying for the room cost at the church.

Have a question or comment or suggestion?

Send us an email.

2012-13 Officers

2012-13 Officers
president, Joan Clancey
first vice president, Ed English
recording secretary, Pat Ware
corresponding secretary, Philip F. Balbi
treasurer, Marlene B. Carlin
historian, Darlene Crum
sergeant at arms, Gerda Marchese
past president, Ed Mickler
program director, open
refreshments, Janet English / Terry Jensen
name badges, Shelley Adelman
board member, Linda Hertz
membership records, Joy McGarry
newsletter editor, Robert Burr

Sunday, April 6

Seth Bramson on Homestead

On the first Sunday in April, our friend and long time member Professor Seth H. Bramson will tell us about the great city of Homestead as he discusses the city and his new book, co-authored with Bob Jensen, "HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA: FROM RAILROAD BOOM TO SONIC BOOM." And what a story it is.

Seth calls Homestead the greatest municipal comeback story in the history of this country.

We always enjoy Seth's programs and look forward to another entertaining and informative presentation on an important part of South Florida.

Annual Installation Luncheon

Our May 4 meeting will take place at 1:30pm with lunch served at 2:00pm at Marriott Courtyard at 2051 LeJeune as we welcome new officers and those remaining in their roles another season.

Our food choices for the event will be Chicken Marsala or Mahi Mahi or Pasta Primavera, accompanied by Rice Pilaf and Green Bean Almandine followed by Red Velvet Cake. The cost is $23.

Please send your check and choice of entree to: Marlene B. Carlin, 14900 SW 71 Ave, Miami, FL 33158.

Thank You Caesar Phillips

Our members who went on the field trip to Miami's historical Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum very much enjoyed the presentation and learned much about this unique chapter in Miami's history.

Thanks also to our beloved Dr. Hutson for arranging the bus transportation. His many contributions to the Miami Pioneers and Natives of Dade are always greatly appreciated.

Thank You Members

Thank you to all members who bring refreshments which make our social so enjoyable.

And, thanks to everyone who makes a generous donation to the "Money Jar" which goes to paying for the room cost at the church.

Elections Are Coming

Your MP/NOD Nominating committee will present a slate of officers and elections will be held at the April monthly meeting. Please be sure to attend so you can vote.

Ed English tells us there are still positions available for those that value participating in the organization.

Dade Heritage Days

The annual two month long series of events coordinated by Dade Heritage Trust begins in March, continuing through April with a theme of Entertaining Miami.

Tours of the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables will be scheduled every Sunday at 11am.

For a complete list of events, visit the web site:

Water Tower Preservation

The Alhambra Circle Water Tower Board members are pleased to announce the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to the Coral Gables' citizens who raised $70,000 for the rehabilitation of the historic Alhambra Circle Water Tower.

This event is sponsored by the City of Coral Gables and will take place on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at noon.

Many historic preservation organizations contributed to this cause for which the AWT Board members are grateful.

We hope to see a large crowd present on the 10th of April at noon.

Historic Site Saved

Intense mediation lead to agreement on the historic Tequesta site in downtown Miami, thanks in part to Dade Heritage Trust advocating on behalf of this archeological site at MetSquare in Downtown Miami.

Negotiations between MDM Development and preservationists lasted all day March 17th and March 20th, led by former Judge Angel Cortinas of Gunster. Dade Heritage Trust CEO Becky Roper Matkov, DHT Incoming President Brian Alonso, DHT Trustee Scott Silver and DHT Advisor Arva Moore Parks were key participants.

The resulting settlement will save, interpret and showcase prehistoric Tequesta circles, the remains of Henry Flagler's 1897 Royal Palm Hotel and a well from Ft. Dallas in the Seminole War era. The intensely mediated settlement resulted in a truly gratifying "win/win" for the entire community.

The agreement will need approval by the City of Miami Commission.

Memorium: Mildred Merrick

from the Miami Herald, March 10, 2014

Long before Google made fact-finding a click away, Mildred Merrick was a one-stop source of information for countless students at the University of Miami.

Merrick, 92, the last, by marriage, of the original Merrick family that founded Coral Gables, died Feb. 24. She moved to Miami in 1954 with her first husband, the late Carl Selle, a UM English professor, and five years later became an acquisition librarian at the school. There, she helped acquire some of the Otto G. Richter Library's most important early collections, friend and historian Arva Moore Parks said. She became the reference librarian in 1976, a position she held until her retirement in 1991.

Google? Back then that was the sound a baby made. UM had Merrick, and students and staff would find her working in one of the campus' old wooden buildings, fondly called the shacks, until she helped open the permanent library in 1962.

"She really loved reference work," said friend Martha Hubbart, who began working with Merrick at the library in 1964, where a lifelong friendship blossomed. "There's a certain kind of heady sense of power to doing reference work and having the feeling that any question that occurs to you, you know what book to go to. These days it's easier with Google, but she knew where to go, right to it."

That passion for text, for knowledge, began at a young age after her 1921 birth in Michigan to Frank and Jenny Heath, remembers younger sister Dolores LaFayette.

"She prided herself -- or studied -- so she could fit in with the conversations of my father and grandfather when she was just young. She didn't just pass off information haphazardly. It was checked through before she would tell you something, so it was pretty accurate," LaFayette said.

"When I was born our mother had a stroke shortly after, and she, and our older sister, were taught to bathe me and take care of me, along with my mother's help, of course. She feels that is when she became mature," LaFayette said from her home in Seattle. "She was almost 13 when I was born, and my older sister was almost 16. I've always bonded with her, and she with me, I think, for that reason."

After Selle's death, she married art professor Richard Merrick, youngest brother of George Merrick, the founder of Coral Gables nearly 90 years ago. The couple worked alongside George Merrick's widow, Eunice Peacock Merrick, to preserve important Merrick papers that are housed in the Special Collections section of UM's library.

Mildred Merrick and Eunice bonded. Touched by her kindness, Eunice left Merrick some money in her will that she used to build onto the Coconut Grove property that would be her home for the rest of her life, Hubbart said.

Here, Merrick, who also loved art history and cooking, helped preserve the records of the Coconut Grove Woman's Club, founded in 1891, and facilitated a donation of its books and logs to the university library's Special Collections section. She also ran a Christmas Day event at the club for people who were alone for the holidays.

"She was an amazing woman," added Parks. "We became friends more than a decade ago when she shared some George Merrick material with me. With her support, I have been working on a George Merrick biography which I just finished -- all 450 pages. She has been a true collaborator and mentor."

In addition to her sister, Merrick is survived by her brother James Heath.

A memorial service was held at the Coral Gables Merrick House.