A few months ago, El Hombre procured a boat. No particular reason why, he just wanted one, went on the hunt, and found one for a reasonable price. Once we got it all fixed up, we have been exploring the waters of Miami-Dade County. This past Sunday was no exception. We docked out of Coconut Grove and decided to find some new sites to explore. Afterall, Miami is a different city, even on the water, and there continues to be unique spots even at sea. Stiltsville is no exception.
Ever since I started seeing photos of these houses hovering above the water, I have been fascinated. Stiltsville has been around since the late 20s, early 30s and is apparently a hotspot during the spring and summer months for boaters to hang out on the sandbars and flats on the weekends. But these parties didn't start in the past few years, Stiltsville was one of the original party spots in Miami. Rumored to have been a hotbed for gambling and drinking during prohibition, people have been making their way out there since it's inception, to throw down and have a good time. Kind of fitting now, given Miami's reputation, right?
Now most of these homes are empty, their residents moving onto firmer grounds after hurricanes and storms. Seven homes remain, darkened windows and birds on roofs. The only way to get there is by boat, and stay far off during low tide or you may get stuck. Once we got out there, and found a safe place to drift without getting stuck, we admired these homes on stilts, like giants taking quiet moments over calm, clear blue waters while staring off at El Farito and Key Biscayne. You can't help but wonder what was life like back then. How did people weather the storms, how did they survive? Looking across the calm, serene blue water, did it make up for the terrifying nature of whipping winds from hurricanes and waterspouts? Did they flee conventional life to live free from traditions and societal pressure, and did they get lonely at all? We will never know, but it's interesting to imagine.
Of course I took a few photos:
To learn more about Stiltsville, check out the following links:
Biscayne National Park Info
If you don't have access to a boat, the South Florida Historical Museum offers a tour by Dr. Paul George, a leading South Florida Historian