Sunday, March 6, 2011


some colorful history off the coast of Miami…

There stands a group of seven unique houses… on stilts in the Biscayne Bay

they happen to have a bawdy, raucous

and all out mischievous history. isn't that the best kind?


Now built on concrete pilings…these stilt homes,

some around since the thirties

have seen their share of hurricanes…

But doesn’t seem to dampen their party spirit at all!



The first one was built by“Crawfish” Walker, who had a bait-and-beer shack for passing fisherman during the prohibition era.

…and apparently made a famous crawfish chowder from crawfish caught beneath the shack!


Soon several more shacks sprung up,

some built by prominent Miami businessmen.

These little wooden structures had a colorful history of" “ boozers, gamblers and flashy women.” ha…love it

In the 1940′s the Quarterdeck opened, featuring electricity, a bar, dining room and gaming tables it was featured in Life Magazine in 1941.

Soon, other clubs on stilts with an “anything goes” atmosphere opened up –

police raids began in the 50′s to stop prostitution and illegal gambling.

In the 60′s someone grounded a 150′ yacht on the flats and named it the Bikini Club.

women in bikinis were served drinks free…live music day and night

gotta love the 60’s…no?



This bawdy little bit of history on stilts was recently saved from demolition

with the help of a group of conservationists… An agreement was reached to preserve the structures under the Stiltsville Trust

Let the party go on!


Stiltsville....learn more here


Sheri said...

Awesome pictures. I love that area. Nothing better than a boat day taking pic and watching the dolphins. We are blessed to be in Florida :)

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Agree Sheri...and what a fun history, eh! Enjoy your sun!!

Leo said...

When I was first married, my husband and I used to do there all the time and dock up to one of the houses and hang out. Thanks for bringing back fun memories!!

Renée Finberg said...

you know
i grew up water skiing around
stilts ville.

it is the coolest!

Jane said...

I have always been fascinated by Stiltsville. It's such a part of south FL history...and should remain so.
Jane (artfully graced)

Arica said...

totally rad facts. had no idea! i've only been to the florida/caribbean area a handful of times but next time i'm there i want to check them out for sure!

Kathi said...

I have the book,"Stiltsville" by Susanna Daniel. It's a cold and rainy day here in Alabama. Might be time for a good book!

Thanks for sharing you photos and the story behind these great places!

Ivy Lane said...

wonder what it is like during a big storm..... love the sunset pic!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

My stars!
How on earth do they survive storms??

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Well...they have been rebuilt after storms. There once were close to thirty...the numbers have dwindled down due to the hurricanes.

Unknown said...

Love a rebel!....smiles.

Cher' Shots said...

Great pictures, great history! Party on!
'hugs from afar'

Melissa said...

Love the history behind them! Yay that they were saved!

mermaid gallery said...

makes me want to visit Florida even more....

teaorwine said...

Loved Stiltsville long ago. Watch out for the barracudas. ;) I saw one swim right next to a water skier once out by Stiltsville.

Joyce said...

These look like a lot of fun. We have a bar/restaurant like this on the Fox River. Only way there and back is a boat. xo

Farmgirl Paints said...

I can't imagine. Cool idea, but I have a history of sleep walking. That would be a crap way of waking up;)

Stephanie said...

What FUN and INTERESTING stories these are. True oasis' that a word?

I love how they look sitting in the water, it would be awesome to stay there and hear the water all around you.

Off to check out more of Stiltsville!!

Acanthus and Acorn said...

What a great little bit of history and fun...may they long live on in all there raucous style!!!

Lila said...

I love learning the history of things. Thanks for reeling me in!
Lila Ferraro

Karen Deborah said...

Is there an age limit on the free drinks for bikinis thing? I am probably not what they have in mind but shoot for for free drinks......

shamanaccount said...

Very historical indeed and that one needs to be conserved. Just by the sight of it makes one wonder how colorful life by sea would be in those stilts. Dangerously exciting.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos Linda. Loved the history.

There are houses on stilts down by the Mississippi, here. They are called "club houses". Some folks live in them year round, but for the most part they are summer and weekend places. I can imagine the parties now and long ago. Ah...the stories these stilt houses could tell.

Zelda said...

scary !!! in the storm , but whooaa must be great to sleep inthere

somepinkflowers said...

oh my goodness--->

i had completely forgotten
about these...


{{ actually
i know it from the 60s;
the 60s... }}

My Galveston Cottage said...

What a really interesting post! In TX, that would be a no go. If you've got your silts in water, then you gotta take down or move the whole place. I like the idea, though, of boating up to a place for a spontaneous party!

Anonymous said...

Loved it! Thanks for teaching me about stilt houses.

Anonymous said...

So cool! I would love to visit those! Interesting stories! Thanks for sharing! Really enjoyed reading this!

Carrie A Groff

Simple Daisy said... very interesting!! I would love to LIVE in one of those amazing stilt places!! So cute:)


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