SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Car Dale Tower: 1912

Car Dale Tower: 1912

Circa 1912, another view of Old Miami and some long-gone landmarks. "Car'dale Tower and landing and Musa Isle Fruit Farm, head of navigation, Miami River. Steamer Lady Lou entering the mouth of state drainage canal." The origins of the name of the tower, which overlooked the Everglades, are obscure. Sometimes spelled as "Car'dale," also "Car Dale" or "Cardale." View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Personal History

When my wife and I had a cleaning service, an elderly couple we serviced had owned the Musa Seminole Village attraction just off 27th Avenue. This is not ancient history.

Canal System

The canal system made South Florida habitable by diverting water away from stagnant ponds which would fill every summer and generate incredible quantities of disease-bearing mosquitos. My current house sits where one of those ponds used to be, as is evidenced by the three feet of algae-generated limerock clay (marl) lying under the topsoil.

Musa sapientum

Musa, the name of the island, is also the genus name for the banana plant.

A Beauty

I can just imagine that summer's day…blue sky, warm temperatures.

Would be quite something to colorize.

Alligator Joe

I googled Musa Isle Fruit Farm and apparently our old friend Alligator Joe worked his magic here.

Miami River

Musa Isle, with its observation tower and the adjoining Seminole Indian village, were popular tourist attractions in early Miami. They stood on the North Fork of the Miami River just east of today's NW 27th Ave. The tower afforded a view of the Everglades, which began a few hundred yards beyond the tower where a waterfall and rapids obstructed further boat traffic.

The Lady Lou is starting up the Miami Canal, an engineering marvel which had just been completed all the way to Lake Okeechobee in 1912. This canal helped drain the East Everglades, allowing for the westward expansion of Miami for another 20 miles or so to where the Everglades begins today.

I'm a little late to the party...

having moved to South Florida only 3 years ago, but it really impressed me to learn that Miami was essentially nothing at the start of the last century. I think there were estimates of between one and two thousand in population in 1900.


In early January 1912, the new Cardale Resort with a skating rink and tower
opened at Musa Isle, the former site of Richardson's Grove,
on the south bank near today's 25th Avenue. On opening night the boat
Cardale left the Avenue D (today's Miami Avenue) bridge at 8:30 p.m.
Round-trip fare was 25 cents and included admission to the skating rink.


I wish I could have seen Florida when it looked like this. Kind of reminds me of the Humphrey Bogart movie "Key Largo."


This doesn't even look REAL. How strange.

Lady Lou

Here is a little blurb from Google Books about Biscayne Navigation Co. and the Lady Lou. Seems she was associated with a casino operator.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.