Amid all the uhntz-uhntz and cosmetic surgery, many seem to forget that the 305 was, in fact, once part of the Deep South. Before Julia Tuttle and our founding fathers established the Magic City, Miami was known as Fort Dallas. Formerly located on the William English Plantation near the Miami River, the fort, which was constructed around 1844, was used as slave quarters by owner William English. English, who is credited as one of the early settlers of the "Village of Miami," abandoned his plantation during the California Gold Rush. The estate was seized by the U.S. Army during the Second and Third Seminole Wars in 1849 and 1855 and renamed Fort Dallas after U.S. Navy officer Alexander James Dallas. When the wars came to an end, the fort was left uninhabited yet again. The structure served several purposes thereafter. It was a post office, a trading post, and even the Dade County Courthouse. But during the late 19th Century, the original boss lady of Dade, Mrs. Tuttle, purchased the property and used it as a storage unit. In 1904, Tuttle's son renovated the building, adding a porch and center gable. It was later rented out as a single-family home and a tea room. Long ago, plans were announced to demolish Fort Dallas. But thanks to a committee led by the Miami Woman's Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1925, the structure was relocated to Lummus Park. Today the building is used as the headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Though not open to the public, Fort Dallas is the only remnant of Miami's slave and militia past.
Readers' choice: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens