Thursday, August 26, 2021

Greta's visit to Tahiti Beach

Eighty years ago, on January 25, 1941, my great-grandmother, Greta Miriam Chandler Adams, visited Tahiti Beach in Coral Gables, Florida, according to the note written on the back of this EKC real photo postcard. She was 46 years old at the time. A detail shot of the beach/lagoon at the bottom of the post shows a water slide and a pier.

According to a great 2019 article by John Allen for Coral Gables Magazine, the bullet-point history of the beach goes something like this:
  • 1925: George Merrick buys an overgrown stretch of bayfront property in Cocoplum from the Deering family. In a media blitz, he crowns it the future hot spot of Tahiti Beach.
  • First half of 1926: Development proceeds quickly on Tahiti Beach. There are special events and lots of dancing. All the cool kids want to be seen there. Times are good.
  • September 1926: The Great Miami Hurricane levels Tahiti Beach.
  • Late 1926: The newly formed Coral Gables Hotels Corporation takes over and rebuilds Tahiti Beach in speedy fashion.
  • January 1927: Tahiti Beach reopens to the public. Admission is 50 cents.
  • February 1927: Admission is now free.
  • Labor Day 1928: Everything is free: Admission, parking, dancing.
  • Summer 1930: Tahiti Beach tries to reinvent itself again in the wake of the Great Crash. The tragic drowning of a child stifles any buzz.
  • 1930s and 1940s: Tahiti Beach is simply a lagoon with occasional beach parties. This was when my great-grandmother visited.
  • 1974: Real estate developers commence with plan to create waterfront luxury estates and a marina, ending the era of Tahiti Beach.

1 comment:

  1. I was just bummed that they did not in fact go to Tahiti, which is still on my bucket list!