In partnership with the Archaeological Society of Southern Florida, the Deering Estate presents a free lecture on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm. The September lecture is «Highway through Hell: The Making of Loop Road and the Tamiami Trail.» Lectures are held in the Visitor Center Theatre.
It's been 100 years since the idea was born by a captain named Jaudon and later a baron named Baron. But it's much more than that, in fact it could be one of the most complex transportation phenomena in United States history.
Cesar Becerra, South Florida historian and «Everglades Evangelist» (Miami Herald 1997), will talk about the Miami to Marco Highway as it was once, albeit briefly, known. Later changed to the Ta-Miami Trail and later still just the Tamiami Trail, Becerra will weave hearsay and history while showing some newly-found images from his and other collections. Becerra is slowly working on a fiction-based historical novel focusing on the Loop Road. He has made a name for himself as a bona fide Everglades historian, consulting on a bevy of projects the latest of which will one day air on PBS nationally. In 1996 he was bestowed the Angel Heart award from the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs for his publishing of the Everglade magazine and illuminating the important contributions that the Federation played in protecting wild lands in Florida and giving birth to Everglades National Park. He is the past caretaker of the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove, where quite a bit of the early conservation fight to protect Paradise Key, later known as Royal Palm State Park, was tackled. After the passing of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Becerra was asked to write her official obituary in the Florida Historical Quarterly. He is a lead consultant of Everglades collections for FIU's Green Library where most of his findings, memorabilia and research now reside for public access. Becerra has interviewed countless Everglades pioneers and has paddled the Ten Thousand Islands from Everglades City to Flamingo and straight through them in a rare crossing after Hurricane Gordon from Tamiami Trail to Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook. Although he has been seen crossing Alligator Alley from time to time, he favors the slow, methodical ebb and flow of the Tamiami Trail as one of the best ways to cross the state.