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Miami, Florida: 1908

Circa 1908. Who would care to hazard a guess as to the location of this bustling metropolis? Extra points for Street View. Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.
UPDATE: The guesses as to the location of "Anytown, USA" (this post's original title) were, quite literally, all over the map -- from Deadwood to Buffalo to Whitehouse, Ohio. Many incorrect guesses for Titusville, Florida. The correct answer, and original caption: "12th Street, looking east, Miami, Florida."

Circa 1908. Who would care to hazard a guess as to the location of this bustling metropolis? Extra points for Street View. Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

UPDATE: The guesses as to the location of "Anytown, USA" (this post's original title) were, quite literally, all over the map -- from Deadwood to Buffalo to Whitehouse, Ohio. Many incorrect guesses for Titusville, Florida. The correct answer, and original caption: "12th Street, looking east, Miami, Florida."


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Bay Biscayne Bank

According to the Sanford Fire Map of 1899, the Bay Biscayne Bank was around the corner on D Avenue, on the NE side of the intersection, up the block on D Avenue slightly. Of course, it may have moved across the street to the NW corner by 1909. In the 1909 edition of Florida East Coast Homeseeker, it ran an ad noting it had moved to new digs in the Fort Dallas Bank Building; the one with the columns on the immediate left, and just west of the bank building, would have been the Biscayne Hotel in 1899. The weather bureau opened a station in the Bank of Bay Biscayne Building at that same location in 1911, so by then the building seems to have dropped the Fort Dallas appellation. The picture of the bank building provided by the NOAA website must be looking NW at it catercorner across the intersection.

That was fun

That was fun.

I was one of the Titusville people. Got it wrong. Oh well.

How about doing something like this once a week?

I had not a clue

But I thought maybe somewhere up north because of the awnings, which I thought might protect from the harsh winter snow. Duh! I could not have been more wrong. Turns out they were protection from the hot sun of Florida! Having lived there for a tortuous 6 months, I should have known better.

Halcyon Hometown

Finally, a shot of MY hometown, Miami!

When Miami scrapped its old street naming system in 1921, they threw out the house numbers along with the street names for the present day quadrant system.

The shot was taken on today's Flagler Street (formerly 12th Street) looking east at Miami Avenue (formerly Avenue D). The lions on the left guarded the Bank of Bay Biscayne, which stood on the northwest corner of Miami Avenue and West Flagler Street. The Halcyon Hotel, with its distinctive turrets, stood at East Flagler and 2nd Avenue (formerly 12th Street and Avenue B). It can be seen down the street on the left side.

It'd be great to see some more Old Miami shots! Thanks, Shorpy!

Definitely Miami

From "Early Miami Through the Eyes of Youth" by William M. Straight, M.D., p.69:

"How did you get your dairy products and your groceries? Well, there were two grocery stores, little things. I think the first one was operated by a Mr. Brady, E. L. Brady, who moved here from Titusville."

On Page 63, there's mention that Avenue D is now Miami Avenue. 1200 Miami Avenue:

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I know, I know!

It's the home of the Ace Novelty Company in Walla, Walla, Washington. What do I win?

It's downtown Miami

The Historical Museum of Southern Florida puts E.L. Brady Grocers, 1200 Avenue D, in Miami at that point. Avenue D is now South Miami Avenue. I'm not familiar with the area to know if the street numbering was retained.

Miami Map 1919

This map shows Avenue D (now Miami Avenue) and 12th Street to be somewhere under the pilings for MacArthur Freeway. Too bad about the grand old house on the left a few blocks up. That shoulda been a keeper.


I enlarged the photo, combed all the print details, how can you possibly recognize it a hundred years later????!!

(Thanks for the fun though.)

Location is.

Titusville Florida

Thank you, Mr. Brady the grocer

It's Miami.

I'm thinking

Titusville, FL

Let me guess

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that this city is in Florida?

Titusville, FL

Looks like it's in Titusville, FL, though I'm having trouble pinning down the exact location for a Google Street View.

E. L. Brady Co. Grocers

At the corner of Avenue D and 12th Street in Miami:

Follow up

Follow up to my earlier comment about E.L. Brady; according to the same obituary, E.L. Brady was an earlier settler of Titusville, FL, and started a grocery there, too.

So this could be Titusville, FL.

Let's see now

There's a tag that says "Florida," but there's also a tag that says "Detroit."


E. L. Brady opened one of the first grocery stores in Miami, Florida. In 1908, the Bank of Bay Biscayne was located next door. I think this is the intersection of Miami Avenue and Flagler Street.

Miami Florida

Avenue D and 12th Street. Now Flagler Street and Miami Avenue. See if I can get a Street View.

Miami, FL?

Possibly Miami, as per an obituary for E.L. Brady (pulled from the "E.L. Brady and Co" store on the right, beyond the real estate agent).

That would make this shot somewhere in the vicinity of Flagler and Miami Avenue.

Deadwood, SD?

Shot in the dark guess. Just seems very western.

Gag! I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Embarrassing since I was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, and my grandparents + my mother moved to South Florida in 1917.

Miami, Florida

That's my guess.

Doesn't Look Like Florida to Me

My guess is Titusville FL, because that is the only place I can find a E L Brady that is a Grocer on the 1900 and 1910 census. Am I correct?

Titusville, Florida

Home of E.L. Brady, Grocer.


This was taken in Miami, Florida at the corner of what is now Flagler Street and Miami Avenue. Everything in the original photo is gone, even the street names! Flagler and Miami used to be 12th Street and Avenue D, respectively.

Florida town

I believe this is Titusville Florida.

Titusville, FL

I think I see an atlas rocket taking off from the cape in the background.

Titusville, FL

Just a guess.

Just a Guess

Titusville or Miami, FL.

Hazarding a Guess

I'm going to guess we're looking at Old Miam, South Miami Avei?


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Stop 17 on the historical walking tour.

Historical marker north of the building.

Welcome to Miami

Looks like it's somewhere on what is now South Miami Avenue - possibly where the Route 970 overpass is now located?


had an Avenue D in 1908 and a grocer called E.L. Brady.

Is it Louisville?

I think this may be Avenue D in Louisville, KY.


Probably wrong, but I'll hazard a guess at Brooklyn; 1200 Avenue D is near the intersection of Flatbush, which would make that little side street on the left E. 23rd St.

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A guess

Buffalo, NY.

Found a reference to a wedding in the NY Times where Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Brady from Buffalo attended.

Not a palm tree in sight

The grocer E.L. Brady originated in Lagrange, Florida and relocated to Titusville, Florida in 1886. He would eventually became the first grocer in Miami, Florida at Ave. D and 12th Street. Today, this intersection would be Flagler Street and Miami Avenue. An interesting 1901 photo of the mustachioed Mr. Brady can be seen here.

Titusville Fla.

Probably S. Washington St.

After Titusville, FL

After Titusville FL Mr. E.L. Brady, Grocer, moved to Miami and opened up his grocery store on Avenue D. Not sure what that is called now though.

Miami, Florida ...

perhaps the corner of D (now Miami) and 12th Avenues?

Judging by the number of wires

I would say: NYC.

Anytown, USA is Titusville, Florida

Anytown, USA is Titusville, Florida

"E.L. Brady and Brother Grocery Store, a well established business located on Washington Ave. in downtown Titusville, put into use a delivery wagon in order to provide better customer service."

Miami, Fl ?

On March 3, Flagler dispatched John Sewell and twelve of his best black workers from Palm Beach to Miami to begin work on the townsite. They began by grading the site of Flagler’s hotel. (72) By late March the railroad extension had reached a point just below Arch Creek near today’s Northeast 135th Street. (73) Increasing numbers of people were coming to Miami. In order to provide them with a place to stay, Harrington and Tyler leased the Miami Hotel from Julia Tuttle — even before it had a roof over it. Located on today’s South Miami Avenue near the river, the hotel contained a dining room on the first floor and rooms on the second which only could be reached by ladder, since a staircase had not been completed. (74) A former steamboat, the Rockledge, was converted into a floating hotel by E. E. Vail, towed to Miami and docked at the foot of Avenue D (today’s Miami Avenue). (75)

Several new businesses had just opened or were about to open as March drew to a close. These included Frank Budge’s hardware store, Frank Duren’s meat market and green grocery, E. L. Brady’s grocery store, and the Lummus Brothers’ general store; additionally, a drug store, candy shop and pool room looked out over Avenue D. The lumber to build the Bank of Bay Biscayne building was being hauled to its lot next to the Brady grocery store. (76)

Fort Pierce / St. Lucie, FL

Man, is this a depressing indicator of change.

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ETA: Darn, not correct!


Looks like E.L. Brady's Grocery store was located in Titusville, FL. That could be the site of this shot, perhaps...

No Doubt

That's downtown Anytown. (Read the heading.)

Is this it?

Not much left from 1908.

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Found it?

I found reference to E.L. Brady's grocery store which leads me to believe this is Titusville, Florida.

The building was home to E.L. Brady's grocery store. He first established his business in LaGrange, but moved to Titusville in 1886, occupying a wooden building at Main Street. The 1895 fire destroyed his store and many wood structures in the commercial district. Brady rebuilt his grocery in this building

Some leads

A search for E.L. Brady's grocery brought up a couple things. This page mentions the cart part of the business, which would place this in Titusville, Florida, to the East of Orlando.

This link contains a picture of an historical marker in Titusville, which mentions that the building where Brady's grocery would have been housed in 1908 still stands, and is to the right of the sign. I'm pretty sure I've located the sign in street view here:

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The gardening has changed from the pictures, but the background matches up perfectly. The only step from here would be to go a few ticks over on street view and turn around, but this is where I stopped. Either I have the wrong spot or the view has changed considerably.

Anytown USA = Whitehouse OH

If you google "Schmid's Furniture" and have google uncorrect it, there's a PDF link to a report on Early Whitehouse History. In there is a reference to Schmid's Furniture on Toledo Ave (which looks very different today in Street View)

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