Flagler Monument Island

Flagler Monument Island Highlights:
  • Uninhabited man-made island
  • Named for Miami pioneer Henry M. Flagler
  • Home to an obelisk sculpture and monuments dedicated to Flagler
  • Once a popular spot for picnics, the island’s facilities fell into disrepair before its eventual restoration
  • Damage from numerous hurricanes has resulted in ebbing and flowing quality of the island’s beaches and public spots

Constructed in the early 20th century by John S. Collins, a local farmer and investor, and Carl G. Fisher, a race car pioneer and investor, Flagler Island is different than the other Venetian Islands constructed within the same time period. It is by far the smallest, with a land area of only .2 square miles. With no inhabitants or homes, the primary purpose of the island was to dedicate a memorial to Henry Flagler, Miami pioneer.

For quite some time, Flagler Island was a popular picnic, volleyball, and beach spot, and was considered a hidden treasure of the Miami and Miami Beach areas. However, it fell into disrepair until a bond was passed in the early 1990s to rejuvenate the area. While upkeep and renovation of picnicking, beachfront, bonfire, and volleyball areas remains undergoing, the original Flagler Monument is worth the short boat trip from the mainland or Miami Beach.

The original obelisk monument and sculptures were located at the center of the island and still stand today, resurrected from damage by a 2006 restoration project. Each of the four sculptures at the obelisk’s base are said to represent four signature characteristics of Miami Beach and stand facing each of the four cardinal directions. They represent Education, Industry, Prosperity, and Pioneer, respectively.

Did You Know?
  • Flagler Island was originally a perfect circle. However, since its completion in the early 20th century, hurricanes and continuous strong tides from Government Cut have completely reshaped the island into its current eye-like shape.
  • During the dredging process for the island’s construction, workers discovered what appeared to be a war club of Tequesta Native American origins. You can see the club at the Florida Museum of Natural History today.
  • Flagler Island is currently considered a neighborhood in Miami Beach, despite the fact that it is uninhabited and was not actually sold to the city until 1939.
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