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Major Cyrus Graves 359

Posted By Gabrielle Phillips, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Garden Name - Cyrus 359
Garden Address -  1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

I dedicated these seeds to the late Major Cyrus Graves, son of Homer Graves and Almira Maccomber of Melbourne Beach.  Graves married Caroline Daws in 1850 and had 6 children: Azalia, Charlotte, Clotilda, Rodney, Lottie, and John.  Graves was a retired veteran of the Union Army before he moved into Melbourne Harbor. In 1883 he bought land from the government for $1.25 an acre in an attempt to open up a plantation and grow pineapples and other tropical fruits.  He purchased six hundred acres in 4 years and for him business was very well.  Then things took a turn for the worst; in 1895, the freeze, known as the “Big Freeze” wiped out all of the local growers including Graves own plantation and he didn’t make an attempt to set the plantation back on its feet.

Incorporated in 1909, the locals could look at and visit what is now known as Melbourne Beach.   From that point on, acres of land were bought from Major Cyrus to add chapels and a help house to build up the community.  Florida is big on its history and Major Cyrus has a huge part in it. Every year in Melbourne Beach since 2011 they celebrate their Founders day (May 3rd) in honor of the late Cyrus with a full day of events for people of all ages to participate in such as Graves Kayak and Canoe Races, Pineapple paddle board races, and Pineapple runs.  Cyrus has passed but his name will continue to live.


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FIU College of Architecture + The Arts


Xavier Cortada
Artist-in-Residence
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 430
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.






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