When a display and presentation of Palmetto Bay history was made during the recent State of the Village Address event much of the information was provided by a group of residents who had been involved with the village even before incorporation, and chaired by Palmetto Bay’s first vice mayor, Linda M. Robinson.
“I had long thought we needed to preserve the history of Palmetto Bay and how it was started, so earlier this year I went to village manager Ed Silva and to Councilmember Karyn Cunningham and suggested that,” Robinson said. “What they decided was that we should form a ‘heritage group’ to do that, and they appointed all the people.
“They wanted us to plan the 15-year anniversary. I had about 20 people on the committee, so about half did that and the other half did history. We came up with some great ideas for the anniversary celebration but they were too expensive to do.”
Robinson said they then decided to focus on the history of the area leading up to the incorporation of the village. Her late husband, Ken Robinson, had kept virtually everything in the way of messages, meeting notes and documents from those days, and afterwards, all of Miami’s Community Newspapers’ Palmetto Bay News editions. Working with long time residents Donna Latshaw, Bev Gerald, Henry Clifford and former Councilmember Dr. Ed Feller, as well as others, they began to assemble the information.
“We used that to create a timeline of village history before incorporation for the community capsule, and we also put that on the walls at Village Hall for the State of the Village Address night,” Robinson said. “We worked with Fanny Carmona on that and she did a great job. And we had Dr. Paul George come and do a historical presentation, and there was a booklet of Palmetto Bay history made, which is free for residents at Village Hall.”
Current Mayor of Palmetto Bay Eugene Flinn was also involved in the process. According to Mayor Flinn, “I am most appreciative to continue the efforts at preserving Palmetto Bay history – and contributing some of my memorabilia from the incorporation effort resulting in this village we all are proud of. I have been a part of the 5th, then 10th anniversaries. It’s a pleasure to see the excitement continue with the 15th.”
But they weren’t done there, and they want to continue with what followed after incorporation.
“I think what they’re going to do is reappoint the group after the first of the year so we can continue on with the history,” Robinson said.
“It took a lot of work but we had a great time. And Bev said that she wanted people to know how long we fought to incorporate, because most people don’t know, especially the new ones.”
Robinson said that there likely will be a historical display in one of the rooms at Thalatta Estate and in the community room at the Palmetto Bay branch library in Ludovici Park.