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The Beginnings of Detroit, Florida — 23 Comments

  1. Thanks, Jeff. Always an interesting and educational read in your publications, as my cousin now lives on fill east of US-1 north of Palm Drive/Florida City Canal. As a child my family traveled out to Bay Front Park along this canal often, sometimes in summer most every night of the week. I remember the migration of crabs across the road, birds and turtles. Are the pumps still functional on the canal to help drain the glades? Fond memories. Interesting, as a family we had little contact with Florida City, so I really know little about it, hence good to read your articles.

    • The pumps in the canals have long-since been decommissioned as the South Florida Water Management District now controls the water level in the canals. To the best of my knowledge, the water level is not manipulated to aid agriculture any longer.

  2. Another great read. I think I gave some photos to the Historical Association of Southern Florida (History Miami) that my mother had kept. Several are labeled “Detroit”. I used them in my grad school report about farming in South Florida . Did I include copies to you as well? I really look forward to your posts. Thank you.

  3. Jeff:
    Charlotte Geronimo Schmunk still resides in Homestead. Her family came from the FL City area. Just a suggestion she may have some insight or articles or pictures that may be of interest to you.

    • Hi Vicki, Thanks. I’ve spoken to Charlotte and she has been very helpful. Her father was a prominent figure in Florida City in the 1930s.

  4. Thanks Jeff, I was raised west of Florida City on Tower Road, across the street from the road that went into the Navy Pumping Station. My mother built the house that stands there now. The only part that she didn’t do was the plumbing, electrical, and the setting of the trusses. It has with stood many hurricanes.

  5. This was very interesting. My Benson family was from the Princeton area. I know a lot of the area you are talking about. I didn’t realize that Florida City started out as Detroit. Thanks for the information.

  6. Very nice read, thanks so much. I was raised in Princeton and was hoping you had more information about the Mathis name on the first picture.

  7. WOW! I grew up in Homestead 1936 to 1954 when I left for college. I never heard any of this history. I delivered the Miami Herald from 1946 to 1954 and knew many people but none of those mentioned. One of my paper customers was Mr. Blanchard who was head of the Florida City Farmer’s Market.

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