Miami is noted as "the only major city in the United States conceived by a woman, Julia Tuttle", a local citrus grower and a wealthy Cleveland native.
The Miami area was better known as "Biscayne Bay Country" in the early years of its growth.
Miami and its suburbs are located on a broad plain between the Florida Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east, which also extends from Florida Bay north to Lake Okeechobee.
The elevation of the area never rises above 40 ft (12 m) above mean sea level in most neighborhoods, especially near the coast.
When landlords began to rent homes to African-Americans in neighborhoods close to Avenue J (what would later become NW Fifth Avenue), a gang of white men with torches visited the renting families and warned them to move or be bombed.
An Indian village of hundreds of people dating to 500–600 B. A Spanish mission was constructed one year later in 1567.
Spain and Great Britain successively controlled Florida, and Spain ceded it to the United States in 1821.
The highest natural point in the city of Miami is in Coconut Grove, near the bay, along the Miami Rock Ridge at 24 feet (7.3 m) above sea level.
The surface bedrock under the Miami area is called Miami oolite or Miami limestone.