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Monday, Oct. 28th; Brian, Vicky, Michael and I escaped Miami for a few hours to enjoy and appreciate some of the local history and take a few photos- which became 150+. Our destination? The Barnacle Historic State Park. A pleasant escape from the modern world, which was well deserved and desperately needed for you can develop horrid doldrums when you have a load of weight on your shoulders.

The beautiful, Victorian home, with a whimsical name, belonged to a quieter time. A tropical hardwood hammock, hides the grandeur of the home, which comes into view once you’ve walked through the snake-tongue path, that leads to the visitor center. Before entering the park, you must play your part of the respectable visitor and donate your entry fee of $2 and slip it inside of the tube-like mailbox. Once you’ve done your deed, you have the option of enjoying a leisurely walk about the the grounds of The Barnacle or take an insightful tour and learn of its history and the homes owner/creator, Ralph Middleton Munroe.

The Barnacle was built in 1891, though it was never established, until a few years after Mr. Munroe had lost his first wife to the horrible disease of tuberculosis. During this time, he had also suffered through the most unfortunate lose of his daughter (while in the care of her grandmother in State Island). Munroe had left for State Island to morn after having endured such tragedy.

In 1886, Munroe decided to make Coconut Grove his permanent home and purchased the future site of The Barnacle Historic State Park, which was at the time 40 acres (160,000 m) of bay-front property. He paid $400 in cash for the property, which from what our tour guide mentioned, was something NO ONE would do and was something he was laughed at, but this man knew what he was doing. It wasn’t until two years later, in 1888, that he sold his home in Staten Island to remain year round in Coconut Grove.

Munroe built his boathouse directly on the bay in 1887 with living quarters on upper floor and a workshop on lower floor. Fully established in every regard but one, Munroe decided to start the construction of his house “The Barnacle” in 1891. He met his second wife, Jessie Wirth, on a sailing trip in 1894, and was married a year later in 1895.

The Barnacle, built in 1891, offers a glimpse of Old Florida during The Era of the Bay. Situated on the shore of Biscayne Bay, this was the home of Ralph Middleton Munroe, one of Coconut Grove´s most revered, charming, influential pioneers. A man, quite ahead of his time indeed; Munroe’s principal passion was designing yachts- among having built his home and other inventions/ideas he built and created. In his lifetime, he drew plans for 56 different sailboats. As a seaman, civic activist, naturalist, and photographer, Commodore Munroe was a man who cherished the natural world around him. In the 1920s, it was representative of the original landscape within the city of Miami. Today, it is one of the last remnants of the once vast Miami Hammock.

It is a beautiful and breathtaking place to visit and relax with company. So bring your camera, for something may catch your eye. Oh, an for those of you wondering if the place is haunted, from what our tour guide had said; he hadn’t seen anything nor had any personal encounters, but from my experience and from the mist I saw form before me to then vanish, I believe that Munroe and his late wife and her sister with perhaps his previous wife are still wandering about the grounds- shame I couldn’t snap a photo of it. 😦

Photo’s from our tour:

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