“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Miami in Miami-Dade County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Wagner Homestead

Miami River Greenway

Wagner Homestead Marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, October 19, 2014
1. Wagner Homestead Marker
Inscription.  This 1850s structure is the oldest standing house in Miami-Dade County. It was built by William Wagner, a German immigrant and U.S. Army veteran. After being wounded in the Mexican-American War in 1847, Wagner returned to Fort Moultrie, Georgia to recuperate and married Eveline Aimar, a French Creole.

In 1855, Wagner's former Army unit was assigned from Fort Moultrie to Fort Dallas along the north shore of the Miami River. There, Wagner joined forces with Captain Sinclair, a sea captain with two schooners, and established a sutler's store to serve troops during the Third Seminole War (1855-1858). With help from Captain Sinclair, Wagner built a steam-powered coontie mill on Wagner Creek. The production of starch from the native coontie plant (Zamia pumila) which grew profusely in the pine woods became a means by which Miami's early settlers could earn cash. In the late 1850s, Wagner built a house nearly 50 yards from the creek that would come to bear his name. The Dade County pine house is a hand-hewn, peg-fastened and wood shingled example of 19th century shelters.

In 1875, acting on a suggestion by the Reverend Bishop Verot
Wagner Homestead Marker at door of house image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, October 19, 2014
2. Wagner Homestead Marker at door of house
Wagner Homestead 1857 Restored 1987 by Dade Heritage Trust, Inc. Funded in part by The Bureau of Historic Preservation, Florida Department of State with the assistance of The Florida Historic Preservation Advisory Council. Dedicated April 9, 1988.
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of St. Augustine, Wagner built a small Catholic chapel known as the "Little Church in the Pine Woods," which burned down in 1892. The "Little Church in the Pine Woods" was regarded as the earliest house of worship in the Miami area since the Spanish missions.

Wagner sold his property to Julia Tuttle in 1893, then bought it back from the probate court in 1899. He died on the land in 1901 at the age of 76. William Wagner was regarded as a true pioneer who lived to see the incorporation of Miami in 1896.

Development in 1920-1970 prompted the Wagner Homes donation to the Dade Heritage Trust, a non-profit preservation group who undertook the Wagner Homes' restoration and relocation to Lummus Park, named after Miami's third mayor (1900-1903) John "J.E." Lummus. The Miami City Commission designated the Wagner Homestead a historic site in 1984.

Catholic chapel circa 1890 Historical Museum of South Florida
Erected by Dade Heritage Trust and the Villagers.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureSettlements & SettlersWar, Mexican-AmericanWars, US Indian. A significant historical year for this entry is 1847.
Location. 25° 46.587′ N, 80° 12.136′ W. Marker is in Miami, Florida, in Miami-Dade
Wagner Homestead Marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, October 19, 2014
3. Wagner Homestead Marker
County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Northwest North River Drive and Northwest 3rd Street, on the right when traveling north. The Wagner Homestead and marker are located in Lummus Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 404 NW 3rd Street, Miami FL 33128, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Dallas and the William F. English Plantation Slave Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Lummus Park Historic District (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dade County (approx. half a mile away); Gesu Catholic Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Tequesta (approx. 0.6 miles away); Menendez on Biscayne Bay (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Tower of Snow (approx. 0.8 miles away); Port of Miami (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Miami.
Also see . . .
1. William Wagner House. City of Miami Planning Department (Submitted on October 22, 2014.) 

2. William Wagner House Designation Report (pdf file). City of Miami: Historic Preservation (Submitted on October 22, 2014.) 
Wagner Homestead image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, October 19, 2014
4. Wagner Homestead
Wagner House, circa 1925 image. Click for full size.
By HistoryMiami, 1988-212-42, circa 1925
5. Wagner House, circa 1925
Wagner Homestead Marker image. Click for full size.
By, 2004
6. Wagner Homestead Marker
Exerpt from - Florida's indigenous peoples and later European settlers processed the coontie's large storage root to extract an edible starch. For this reason the coontie was often commonly called Seminole bread during the late 1800s.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2018. It was originally submitted on October 21, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. This page has been viewed 444 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 21, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 25, 2021