The Deering Estate Museum is located in the Cutler neighborhood of Palmetto Bay in Miami-Dade, Florida. Dating back to 1896, the property is steeped in history during a time when the area was being transformed by industrialist Henry Flagler and his railway.
Samuel H. Richmond built Richmond Cottage for his family in 1896. The two-story, ballon frame, vernacular home was part of the Town of Cutler settlement. Today, it is one of the oldest wooden structures in Miami-Dade County and the last remaining structure of the former Town of Cutler.
Around 1900, Richmond’s wife Edith transformed the cottage into The Richmond Hotel with a three story gabled addition. It was the only hotel between Coconut Grove and Key West and became an outpost for visitors conducting the business of Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railroad. 15 years later the hotel closed.
Deering Estate History
In 1916, Charles Deering purchased Richmond Cottage for his winter home. He had the property renovated and redesigned to include electricity, plumbing, gas hook-ups and fireplaces.
Over the next 2 years, he created a self-sufficient homestead by adding the Power House, Carriage House and Pump House. Deering also had the estate enclosed by limestone and concrete walls, built the Deering family signature boat-turning basin and Chinese Bridge.
The last structure added to the estate was a 3-story Mediterranean Revival Stone House in 1922. The residence featured modern conveniences, including an Otis elevator. Deering featured his extensive art collection in this home. He also hid his large collection of spirits in a Prohibition Era wine cellar. Deering enjoyed this home until his death in 1927.
Florida Purchases Estate
In 1985, The State of Florida purchased the Deering Estate for $22.5 million. The property became part of the National Register of Historic places in 1986. Today it is a museum that is open to the public.
Visiting Deering Estate
There are regularly scheduled tours and events throughout the year at the Deering Estate. Here are some options you can explore:
- Historic Museum Tour
- Kayaking Tour
- Natural Areas Tour
- Night Hike and Campfire
- Bird or Butterfly Walk
- Sunrise Photography
Visit the Deering Estate website for more information on this historic property.