Historic venue in Biscayne Park packed for lecture from famed Miami historian (includes video story)

About 40 people crowded into one of Miami’s historic sites last Friday to hear a celebrated local professor describe the city’s century-long evolution from wilderness to metropolis.   

An Evening with Paul George was held at a 19th century-style Biscayne Park log cabin where locals discussed topics such as where the name ‘Miami’ came from, the expansion of national railroads into the city, and the background of the venue where they gathered.

George, the dean of Miami historians, is a native who was influenced to study history in high school. 

“I had a wonderful history teacher when I was in twelfth grade at Archbishop Curley High,” said George.  “He gave me a great feeling about history in general.” 

George decided to dedicate himself towards researching Miami history when writing his dissertation at Florida State University. He says that the city’s rich past – particularly the police in the 1920s, interested him. 

”I started researching, newspapers, whatever I could get my hands on,” he said. “It was just so exciting.”

During his presentation last week, visitors spoke about their own experiences on the railroad, books and articles they had written, and more. 

The log cabin was constructed in 1933, around the time of Biscayne Park’s creation. It was once the village’s hall and police station. Since its restoration, the cabin has served as a symbol of the city’s inception. 

George, a professor at Miami-Dade College since 1991, says that anyone can learn about Miami’s origins 

“Most people can enjoy a city without knowing its history, but if they get to know it, I think they’ll enjoy it even more,” said George. And it’s out there. There’s books, and articles, and interviews on tv, and documentaries…  and I’ve been part of all those things, so I know there’s a lot of stuff out there if somebody wants to latch on to it.”

Anthony Cruz is a freshmen majoring in Digital Media and Communications. He hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.

Anthony Aguirre is a Florida International University student currently in his junior year and pursuing a Bachelor's degree in digital journalism. He is interested in sports and working out.

Carolina Alvarez is a Florida International University student currently in her sophomore year pursuing a bachelor’s degree in digital communications. She enjoys film, music and fashion.

Alejandra Fonseca is currently a student at Florida's International University. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in digital journalism. Her interest includes films and fashion. Fonseca enjoys writing think pieces about important movies and shows.