You never know what surprises will turn up in a simple search on the Internet.
The Belle Isle Blog found this for sale on eBay while searching Belle Isle history and issues. We bought it for $4.50, shipping included, so we could bring it to you.
It’s a vintage, linen postcard from 1937, a view from Miami Beach westward, back when there were no high-rises (we know that Belle Towers was built in 1957).
The one structure you can see on our island, we believe, is the old Joseph H. Adams estate, which included the boathouse that in 1942 or 1943 was used by the University of Miami as the original marine lab for the Rosentiel School of Marine Sciences.
(If any historians out there can add to this, we’d be appreciative. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
According to the Rosentiel web site, a piling collapsed under the boathouse in 1945 and it could no longer be used, so Marine Lab staff
moved into converted apartment building on Santander Avenue in Coral Gables. There they had seawater for the aquariums brought in by tank truck. Later, of course, the moved to a fine facility on Virginia Key.
Our postcard predates that development, and gives this description of pre-war Miami Beach paradise:
“Miami Beach is located on a narrow, yet attractive peninsula. There are casinos, bathing pavilions, shore resorts and exquisite little bathing places along the ocean front, from the jetties northward, to primeval mangrove studded roads that mean “a bathing beach on your own.’’
The card postmarked March 1, 1937, and is addressed to Miss Ella Huich of Tuscola, Illinois. The writer (and look this over for yourselves) raves about “Cuban pineapples,” and Florida grapefruit (3 x 25 cents!) and oranges, and “magnificient” seafood.