Post card to Belle Isle – 73 years ago


View of bridge to Belle Isle from Miami Beach, circa 1937.

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).


Original Boathouse -- RSMAS gallery

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

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

Water view of boathouse

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.

Post card from Miami Beach


4 responses to “Post card to Belle Isle – 73 years ago

  1. I was born at St. Francis on Miami Beach in 1957 I would like to see this 1937 post card side-by-side with a current view from taken the same location.

  2. Michael Koetting

    I love this postcard. How beautiful! The bridges across the entire causeway are unique and each are such a perfect visual asthetic to my life on south beach. I love riding my bike across the causeway, experiencing all the beauty the bay has to show off. It is so nice that the bridges have been kept intact over the years.

  3. Pingback: Another Venetian Island history lesson — in plates | Belle Isle Blog

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