Although Native Americans had doubtlessly roamed
the area for centuries, the recorded history of South Miami began at the turn
of the century when the rich farmlands of South Dade lured pioneers down
through Little Hunting Ground (later known as Coconut Grove) to Big Hunting
Ground (now known as Cutler).
In 1897, W.A. Larkins, an early pioneer and
founder of South Miami, brought his family into the lush wilderness at the
southernmost end of the wagon trail that is now the Ingraham Highway. He
started a small dairy and a year later established a post office near what is
now Cocoplum Circle.
Upon the completion of the Miami to Homestead
extension of the Florida East Coast Railroad in 1906, Larkins bought the
property west of what is now Red Road and south of Sunset Drive and established
the first grocery and general supply store located in the area. Additionally,
the US Government moved the post office to that location, and the surrounding
community was named Larkins in honor of its Postmaster.