History of the Little River

The Little River is one of the four original rivers that flow into Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County. It was settled by the Tequesta indians at the time of European contact.

In 1536, a group of French Huguenots (Protestant refugees), Spanish Jesuits (a Catholic monastic order), and some soldiers landed at the site of a Tekesta village or town in [modern day] El Portal and established there a mission near a fresh water spring in the Sherwood Forest section of El Portal. For several decades, the Europeans and Tekesta were neighbors, but despite efforts by missionaries to impose their European ideology, the Tekesta tolerated the intruders, and so their relations were peaceful.

Tekesta Taino Tribal Band of Bimini
Looking upstrea from in front of Mettair river house. Beyond the railroad trestle were the Boiling Springs. 1920s. From Thelma Peters _Lemon City_.
  • History Paddle – Sunday, March 3, 2024 - Bring your Kayak and join Dade Heritage Trust and the Little River Conservancy for a paddle on the Little River learning about the history and historical hydrology of this ancient waterway. The historic Little River is amazingly beautiful and BIG! Learn about its environmental heritage and advocacy efforts to ensure its long-term health. Great Sunday …
  • Aerial photograph of the pre-drainage Little River, 1924 The Historical River - The Transverse Glades became the Little River at about NE 1st Avenue: a trickle in the dry season and a torrent in the wet season. It was joined by a spring trace that was harnessed to power a coontie mill near Sherwood Forest Park. The river flowed past the Tequesta Indian mound, where there was a bubbling spring in the middle of the river, according to early plat maps of the area.
  • The Big Mangroves at the Mouth of the Little River Charles Torrey Simpson - At the beginning of 1903, Charles Torrey Simpson, the famous naturalist and shell specialist, retired from the Smithsonian Institution and bought 15.5 acres of land near the mouth of the Little River.