By William E. Brown Jr.
Title: Munroe Family Papers, 1903-1979
Creator: Ralph Middleton Munroe and family
Extent: 21.0 Boxes. More info below.
The collection includes correspondence, logbooks, photographs albums, slides, and diaries pertaining to various members of the Munroe Family who settled in Coconut Grove, Florida.
Ralph Middleton "Commodore" Munroe, avid yachtsman, successful businessman, and celebrated patriarch of the Munroe family, made Coconut Grove his home in the late 1800s. Munroe and his family moved to South Florida from Staten Island, New York, to provide a more beneficial environment for his wife, Eva Maelia Hewitt, who suffered from tuberculosis. Unfortunately, both his wife and daughter succumbed to illness and died shortly after their move to Miami.
Munroe subsequently split his time between Staten Island and the Grove, often staying at the Peacock family hotel, The Bay View House, later known as the Peacock Inn. Several years before the turn of the century he bought land recognized today as the Barnacle State Historic Park, where he built his permanent home. Munroe also founded the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, and through his continual enjoyment of sailing and boating life, met his second wife, Jessie Wirth. They had two children, Wirth and Patty.
The Commodore's passion for the sea was only matched by his interest in photographing. Munroe's constant recording of the beauty of Miami with his camera provides an invaluable and lasting visual record of the time and place. The Ralph M. Munroe Family Papers consists of letters, diaries, household accounts, journals, and photographs chronicling the activities of one of South Florida's earliest families. Among the holdings are, the typescript of the popular autobiography, The Commodore's Story, as well as diaries written by Patty Munroe detailing South Florida "happenings." Photographs offer at look at South Florida scenic sites during the first three decades of the twentieth century.
Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research
Acquisition Source: Marilyn Catlow, 1994.
Related Materials:Everglades Digital Library : Everglades Biographies, Ralph Middleton Munroe http://everglades.fiu.edu/reclaim/bios/munroe.htm..
Kent, Gertrude M. The Coconut Grove School in Pioneer Days, 1887-1894. Coral Gables, Fla.: Parker Printing, 1972
Note: Several of the photographs in this collection are published in this booklet.
Munroe, Ralph. The Commodore's Story. Various printings and editions.
Parks, Arva Moore. The Forgotten Frontier: Florida through the Lens of Ralph Middleton Munroe. Miami, Fla.: Centennial Press, 2004.
Parks, Arva Moore. The History of Coconut Grove, Florida, 1821-1925. Thesis (M.A.), University of Miami, 1971.
Parks, Arva Moore. Miami: The Magic City. Miami, Fla.: Centennial Press, 1991.
Preferred Citation: Munroe Family Papers, Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida.
Processing Information: Processed by William E. Brown Jr., September 1994.
Finding Aid Revision History: Revised by Beatrice Skokan, Manuscripts Librarian, 2015.
"Ramblings with Ralph" c. 1925
Diary of Patty W. Munroe, 1920-1921
Diary of Patty W. Munroe, 1921-1922
Diary of Patty W. Munroe, 1936-1939
Note: The three Patty W. Munroe diaries were donated by her daughter, Marilyn Catlow.