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Happy Mother's Day Julia: Thank YOU for the Magic City!

Daub and Firmin sculpture of Julia Tuttle, the mother of Miami, located in Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami
"The Mother of Miami!" Photo By Jerome Soimaud.

Miami quite literally lost its mother last time it was quarantined. See, Julia Tuttle who fought so hard for the potential of a metropolis, died, victim of the Yellow Fever outbreak that reputedly made its US debut right here in the magic city—closing it off from the rest of the world. "The Mother of Miami" died on September 14, 1898, heralding the outbreak of Yellow Fever and subsequent quarantine just two years after the founding of her beloved Miami.

Here we are one-hundred-twenty-two years later, in Miami, the only US city founded by a woman, celebrating Mother’s Day, albeit according to the dictates of COVID-19: We are quarantined, confined, our movements restrained by a virulent virus. Names and dates may have changed but ingredients are eerily reminiscent of plagues past.

As we celebrate this Mother’s Day, it is our hope that we choose to reflect on the current confinement, not as punishment but as reward for a life spent in expectancy. May we pause long enough to appreciate our predicament amid the wherewithal to celebrate a woman, who, though she did not have the right to vote, birthed a city most magical—HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY JULIA TUTTLE, thank you for the magic that is Miami!

For more and Julia Tuttle and other pioneers, please visit us at where we offer a curated history of the founding of South Florida.

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