history

The Story of Coral Gables: Part 2

(Note: To read the beginning of the story, go to the first episode at the bottom of the blog.)

The pioneer life of the Merrick Family in what is now Coral Gables was especially difficult for George. Despite his great intellect, he was not allowed to have any formal schooling from age thirteen until age twenty because he had to work to help support his family.

He worked side by side during this time with men from the Bahamas who were hired to help as laborers on the Merrick plantation. These men became his friends, and for the rest of his life, George became an advocate for the disadvantaged.

The harshness of his adolescence did not prevent him from furthering his education by reading everything he could get his hands on. These enormous challenges did not dampen his spirit. He continued to dream. George had to sell the produce of the plantation in Coconut Grove and Miami. He said once in an interview that it was during this time that he imagined that his cart, filled with produce, was moving in the mist of Beautiful homes. The seed of the City of Coral Gables had been planted in the heart and mind of a young poet.

Welcome to the Coral Gables Blog

We believe that it is fitting to begin the Coral Gables blog with the history of our City Beautiful, but there is so much important information to share with you regarding market trends and life here that we have decided to share our history over time in short episodes.

Coral Gables was founded in 1925, but its history began in October 1899 when George Edgar Merrick arrived in Florida with his Yale-educated father, Solomon, to prepare their newly purchased property for the arrival of the rest of the family.

George was thirteen years old.  A youth of great intellect who had attended a New England prep school, he seemed to be destined for an ivy league education.  He was a poet at heart and wanted to become a writer.

Their new home was a 160 acre property (in what is now Coral Gables) that Solomon purchased without seeing.  It was wild pine land with a shack, a mule, and a barn.  The family had spent all it had to purchase this most unwelcoming place.  They had no income and knew upon their arrival that it would take years of hard labor and sacrifice to make this land a productive plantation.