The next time you’re driving along Old Cutler Road in Palmetto Bay or Cutler Bay you might give a thought to the guy it was named for. The historic highway, now newly refurbished in some sections and still a busy alternate route for those wishing to avoid some of the traffic along multi-lane South Dixie Highway (US1) got its name from the first settlement in the area. That in turn got its name from the first Post Office for the tiny community, and that was named by permanent resident William Fuzzard in honor of his friend and mentor, Dr. William C. Cutler.
Dr. Cutler was a prominent Massachusetts doctor who came down here in the 1870’s and bought 600 acres of land. It was just $1.25 an acre back in those days…can you imagine?
He had been involved with the production of the bovine vaccine virus to combat a smallpox epidemic in Chelsea, Massachusetts and became quite famous not only in the United States but worldwide. Dr. Cutler hoped to establish a plantation here to raise fruits and veggies, but his attempts to lure people down to settle in South Florida just didn’t work despite repeated attempts and he died in 1899, his dream unfulfilled.
Things changed in the 1900’s when Henry Flagler brought his railroad down here, and the area slowly began to develop, eventually becoming the well-populated place it is today. What a difference from in the early days, when “traffic” along the route now called Old Cutler Road was limited to foot traffic, people on horses or in wagons, or in the case of Mr. Fuzzard, a white mule named Samson. What would they think if they saw it now?
Max Mayfield, the former director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami and now television’s “go-to” guy whenever hurricane season rolls around, as it has once more, will be talking to the members of the Cutler Bay Business Association at their monthly meeting on Thursday July 10. The meeting will take place in the penthouse of Cutler Bay Town Hall, located at 10720 Caribbean Blvd., from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Since the first big storm of the 2014 season, Arthur, has already “visited” the area but spared us down here, it’s wise to be prepared for the rest of the hurricane season.
Speaking of the windy season, the summer months and early fall should be “interesting” as various local, state and national elections draw closer in November and lots of candidates in the various races for the seats up for grabs will be talking to us, live and via the media, to get their views and plans across. Oddly enough, hurricane season and election campaign season come to a close at about the same time.
Thought of the Day:
The greatest achievements were at first and for a time dreams.
— James Allen
Gary Alan Ruse contributed to this column. Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to <Michael@communitynewspapers.com>.