Friends in Miami
Among early Friends who came to South Florida were Jonathan Dickinson and, locally, John Collins and John Pancoast. Although there are reports of periodic gatherings, the Miami Meeting is the result of efforts of Barnard and Jesse Walton, Philadelphia brothers whose yearly journeys fo Florida gathered Friends. Winter residents Susanna and Beulah Parry held First Day Worship in their Coral Gables home beginning in the 1940’s, and it continued in rented spaces in the YMCA, Simpson Park, Vizcaya, and Sunset Elementary School. The Meeting was organized in 1950 under the guidance of the Friends Fellowship Council.
The present meeting house was constructed in 1960 on four lots in Coral Gables. The lots and a large part of the construction were gifts of the Parry sisters. The architect was Marion Manley, AIA, and the builder was Lyle Roberts, contractor. Except for a loan from the Meeting House Fund of Friends General Conference, the meeting
house was free of debt. The same year the Iglesia de los Amigos was organized as a mission of North Carolina Yearly Meeting as a result of the arrival of Cuban Friends who came to Miami at that time. Our meeting house has served as home to these Cuban Friends, a Peace Center during the Vietnam War, and a Friends Elementary School.
Today the Miami Meeting belongs to the Southeastern Yearly Meeting and Friends General Conference. Many Friends’ concerns find expression here, including support for a bilingual cooperative preschool.
– Peter Forrest
Bartram House was built around 1911 and then remodeled and stuccoed in 1924. In a disagreement between the owner, William Loesch, and the developer of Coral Gables, George Merrick, there was an enactment by the State legislature in 1927 that decreed that his land could never be part of Coral Gables. This changed in 2002 when the residents of Coral Waterway petitioned to join Coral Gables. The Meeting and Riviera Presbyterian Church were successful in excluding our properties for the time being.
At the time of the purchase from Riviera Presbyterian Church in 1979, the house was called “The Well.” We renamed it after John Bartram, the colonial botanist, and his son, William, who became a famous naturalist and author. The Bartrams travelled in Florida on botanical expeditions, and William later became a temporary resident. The Seminole Indians called him Puc-Puggy, meaning “The Flower Hunter.”
Bartram House is now home to the Quaker Center for Peace, Education and Social Justice.
Founding Members of the Miami Friends Meeting
|Benjamin Harrison Branch, Jr.||Beulah Haines Parry|
|Marjorie Lee (Broune) Branch||Susanna Haines Parry|
|Eleaonor Prescott Carrel||Clara Worthington (Haines) Parry|
|Russell B. Hampton||Malcom Earl Perkins|
|Mary E. (Satterthwait) Hampton||Edmund Janes Price|
|Clinton Arthur Hampton||Mary Straun (Jamison) Price|
|Genevieve Hood||Ruth Carter (Marshall) Roberts|
|Buffum Lovell||Edwin Morris Singleton|
|Juanita (West) Lovell||Stephen Cochran Singleton|
|Malcom Read Lovell||Roy Russell Waterbury|
|Grace Ethel Low|