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The Devil's Punchbowl

Updated: Dec 7, 2022



Situated about two miles south of the Miami River, along the shore of the bay, is perhaps one of old Florida's most interesting historic sites– the Devil’s Punch Bowl. Located on what is now private property in Miami in the 3000 block of Brickell, the Punch Bowl is a fresh water spring close to the shore.

The historic watering hole has quenched the thirsts of Indians, explorers, pirates and pioneers throughout the centuries. Perhaps even The Barefoot Mailmen filled up their canteens there. Ships would fill up their kegs with the cool water to take on their trips. A 1923 article in the Miami Herald featured the punch bowl, reporting that early Grove pioneer Commodore Ralph Munroe said that the Punch Bowl was a watering hole as long as his memory reaches.

The Punch Bowl was also mentioned in the memories of Mrs. Mary Brickell, a one time owner of the site, who claimed that the punch-bowl has always been in existence, antedating her possession of the land.

The spring was circular and rock-enclosed, giving it a bowl shape, and it was about four to five feet deep and three feet in diameter at the top. The site is located just south of today's Wainright Park and immediately north of Vizcaya.

I stopped in at Ralph Munroe's house which is still standing in Coconut Grove. It's called The Barnacle House and it is lovely. What a location! I also added a picture of his wife's grave which is on the Coconut Grove's Library which is property he owned when she died.

And I stopped in to look at Mary Brickell's old mausoleum which was built on her property. The Mausoleum is the only surviving structure that is directly connected to the Brickell family and is situated on land they once owned on Brickell Point. At one time the Brickell Mausoleum held the remains of her husband William Brickell, who died in 1908 and Mary Brickell, who died in 1922 and their daughter Edith Brickell. This mausoleum was their private family cemetery located on their homestead. In 1948, however, daughter Maude E. Brickell complained that the nights were too noisy at the mausoleum location and moved the remains of the family members to Woodlawn Cemetery. They donated the land to build a park. Visiting Brickell park sure was crazy seeing this mausoleum just sitting there in the center of the high rise buildings.

As an aside, Ralph Monroe's wife is buried on The Coconut Grove Library property which was property that he owned at the time of his wife Eva's death. Her grave still sits there today in a little fenced in area.


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