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South Miami is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, in the Miami metropolitan area. The population was 10,741 at the 2000 census and as of 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 12,281.
South Miami's central business district is directly served by the Miami Metrorail at the South Miami station on Sunset Drive, connecting the suburb to downtown Kendall, Downtown Miami, and Miami Central Station at Miami International Airport.
South Florida had been roamed by Native Americans (Tequesta, Calusa, and Jaega), probably for centuries, before white pioneers advanced through Little Hunting Ground (later known as Miami's Coconut Grove neighborhood) to Big Hunting Ground (now known as the Cutler neighborhood of Palmetto Bay).
Wilson Alexander Larkins (1860–1946) was 36 years old when he, his wife (Katie Estelle Burtashaw) and five children, and their livestock arrived in Fort Dallas (now the Lummus Park Historic District of Miami) in 1896. He purchased property west of Red Road and Sunset Drive, where he built a home and barn. He also built the first general store east of that area in 1898 at what is known today as '"Cartagena Plaza" or "Cocoplum Circle" (actually in Coral Gables, Florida), and as the community grew, he established a post office in the community. Larkins became the first Postmaster, a role he held for sixteen years; he named the area Manila, but the majority of the settlers, who began building homes around his store, preferred the name of "Larkins" in his honor.
A depot was placed along the Florida East Coast Railway in 1904, and in the same year, John Moses Dowling (1842–1927) built the first house within what is now South Miami city limits. His son-in-law opened the first store on the west side of the tracks, called the White Palace Grocery.
Other prominent historic families have historic buildings and streets named for them, such as Dorn Avenue (Southwest 59th Avenue) and the Shelley Building, among others. Harold W. Dorn and his brother Robert moved to the area in 1910; their primary interest was growing mango and avocado. Mary E. Dorn was the first president of the Cocoplum Thimble Club, the first Women's club in Larkins. In 1925, the Dorn brothers built the Riviera Theatre at 5700 South Dixie Highway; in 1934, Charles T. Fuchs moved his Holsum Bakery from Homestead to South Miami on the land where the Riviera Theatre had been.
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