From Arch Creek to the town of Miami Shores, the area now known as the city of North Miami has undergone many changes over the years, and residents and officials have kicked off a year of celebrating that unique history in honor of the city’s 90th anniversary.
North Miami began the celebration by cutting a cake and with a ceremony honoring 90-year-old residents at Tuesday’s council meeting. They plan to have a year-long celebration of North Miami and its past, present and future.
The city will also host a 90th anniversary festival with food, music and giveaways at 2 p.m. Saturday at the MOCA Plaza, 770 NE 125th St. The festival will serve as a way to celebrate the past and present cultures the city has cultivated over the years.
“North Miami is kind of like a salad, we are all in that bowl but we can still identify ourselves,” Mayor Smith Joseph said.
The city’s history begins with the area being dubbed Arch Creek, just before the start of the 20th century after residents of Elmira, New York, arrived in the area. After a few years of treating the farmland in the area, the town of Miami Shores was created.
By 1932, the village of Miami Shores was incorporated and the town to the north with the same name had an identity crisis.
“They wake up the next day and they don’t exist anymore,” said historian Seth Bramson, a member of the Greater North Miami Historical Society.
And from then on the area was called North Miami. It now houses everything from a pony ranch to at the Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park to the Museum of Contemporary Art and campuses of multiple universities.
North Miami has had its share of scandals, corruption and strange behavior in and out of City Hall in recent years, but the city’s supporters think there are still bright days ahead.
“It’s an interesting city and the city is working very hard to prove that diversity can work well,” Bramson said.
Over the nine decades, the city’s population of about 60,000 has grown to make it one of the largest in Miami-Dade County, with a diverse population that is about 59 percent black (including the increasing Haitian population), about 32 percent white and about 27 percent Hispanic, based on data from the 2010 Census.
“It’s great to live in a city and a community where anything can happen at any moment,” Councilman Scott Galvin said. “Who’d wanna go live in a small town where everyone looks and sounds the same?”
For more information on the city’s 90th anniversary celebrations, visit northmiamifl.gov/celebrate.