MPNOD- Miami Pioneers and NAtives of Dade historical society
Hello MPNOD member,
Here is a fresh update from the Miami Pioneers and Natives of Dade Historical Society
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MP/NOD November 4 Meeting at the Museum

Please note the change of time and venue for this November 4th Meeting: 2pm at Coral Gables Museum at 285 Aragon, next to Books & Books. Convenient parking is available in the city garage across the street.

Don't Forget: Daylight Savings Time changes on Sunday, October 4th when clocks "fall back" one hour.

If anyone needs a ride to the meeting, please let us know.

Guest Speaker Malcolm Lauredo

Malcolm Lauredo is the Director of Historic Research at the Coral Gables Museum, as well as the Editor in Chief of the Museum’s monthly history journal, The Historic Riviera.

He will present "Sacred Ground; the Rise, Fall, and Revival of Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery," the history of Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery, a historic African American cemetery located in Brownsville.
Malcolm Lauredo Director of Historic Research, Lead Historian, Coral Gables Museum
The cemetery is the final resting place to many Miami luminaries and pioneers. Malcomb will share some of the research the museum has conducted and the restoration plan they’ve been pursuing.

Malcolm is currently in the process of conducting research for a book with Coral Gables Museum’s Executive Director John Allen that will focus on the history of Miami’s cemeteries.

Malcolm is also producing a documentary on the history of Coral Gables that will be entering post production in February.

President's Message

Special thanks go to Bob Rich for a wonderful story-telling session about his memories of old Miami and the Miami River community, featuring some colorful characters and some fabulous stories. We look forward to having Bob Rich back with us again the the future.

Our upcoming November meeting will be our first joint meeting with the Miami Memorabilia Collectors Club and I do hope and trust that we will not only have the pleasure of seeing each of you there, but that you will bring one or more people who have our same interest and the same caring of, for and about our local history.

Our speaker will be Malcolm Lauredo, the historian of the Coral Gables Museum, and I know that you will truly enjoy hearing about that wonderful institution and its plans for the future.

In December, although the location is not set, we will have a joint holiday party with our friends from the Memorabilia Club. Details will be announced soon.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me either in person, via phone (305) 757-1016 or by email at

Looking forward to seeing you in November, and, as always, with all good wishes.
Seth Bramson Signature
Seth H. Bramson

Future Meetings at Museum

Your MP/NOD board has been in discussions with the Coral Gables Museum about holding our monthly meetings there in the future. Details to follow.

Dues Reminder

If you have not done so already, send your check for $20 (plus an additional $10 if you wish to receive the printed and mailed newsletter) made to MPNOD to our Treasurer Marlene B. Carlin, at 14900 SW 71 Ave, Miami, FL 33158. Thank you!

Remembering Our Miami Pioneer Charter Members

John Sewell

(July 20, 1867 to December 1, 1938)
Third Mayor of Miami

John Sewell was one of the 14 original charter members of the Miami Pioneers.

Sewell was born in 1867 in Elbert County, Georgia, and moved with his parents to Florida when he was 19 years old. Sewell, working for Henry Flagler, served as foreman and superintendent for the Florida East Coast Railway during the construction of the line from Jacksonville to Miami and later joined the hotel construction department.
John Sewell
After helping to construct The Royal Poinciana Hotel and The Breakers Hotel at Palm Beach, Sewell moved to Miami in 1896 to work on the Royal Palm Hotel. While working on the hotel, Sewell stumbled upon the burial grounds of the Tequesta Native-Americans Indians. Sewell gave away some of the skulls as souvenirs, and ordered African-American laborers to move the remaining bones and bury them in a hole.

Sewell remained in the employ of the Florida East Coast Railway until 1899, when he left to concentrate his efforts on the mercantile establishment jointly owned with this brother. (Although for some years the Sewell Brothers claimed that their establishment was Miami’s first business, later information indicates that Isidor Cohen’s store might have opened shortly before Sewell’s).

Sewell served as Mayor of Miami from 1903 to 1907.

After serving in local politics, Sewell began the construction of his house in 1912. Built on the highest point in the city, the house was named Halissee Hall from the Seminole word meaning "New Moon."

Sewell wrote a self-published autobiography, John Sewell's Memoirs and History of Miami, Florida. It included an appendix describing his witnessing the attempted assassination of president-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. The book is valuable as a primary source of information on pioneer days in Miami and Sewell, of course, was one of the founders of our organization, the oldest historic organization, club or group in Dade County, founded in 1936.

He is buried in the Miami City Cemetery.

His brother, E.G. Sewell also served as Mayor of Miami. Sewell Park, along the Miami River is a ten acre waterfront property just west of the SW 17th Avenue bridge over the Miami River named for E. G. Sewell. The park includes grills for barbecuing, a children’s playground, and some beautiful waterfront views. The legend of underground caves on the property persists.
Bring a Friend
As always, let's share the love of local history with family and friends. Bring a friend, a neighbor or a family member to the next meeting.
Your officers and board of directors are always eager to hear your suggestions, comments and feedback on matters of importance to you.



Every member is encouraged to contribute to the historical society by serving on the board of directors, helping with refreshments, the telephone and mail committees, programs and more. Let us know how you can help.
Corresponding Secretary Mary Pyle leads the telephone committee, along with Pat Ware and Janet English. Please share your thoughts and feedback with them when they call. If you have any questions about the telephone committee, contact Mary via email:
After our meetings, our group traditionally enjoys refreshments and social time. If you’re able to contribute to this effort, please bring some small snacks, cookies, brownies, chips and dip, or a similar item that you’d like to share with your friends.
Miami Pioneers and
Natives of Dade Historical Society
PO Box 144353
Coral Gables, FL 33114-4353
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