by Madeline from Miami
|Mrs. Becky Matkov (from Mrs. Matkov)
The Miami Circle is very important to the people in Miami because: do we have a lot of history in Miami? No we don’t! The Miami Circle is a rare historic site that was built into the oolitic limestone bedrock at least 2000 years ago. So we want to save the Miami Circle. Many years ago, native people owned the land that the Miami Circle is laid on. They were important because we can learn from their story. That’s why Mrs. Matkov and many other people here tried to save the Miami Circle when it was going to be used for a new building. The Miami Circle is very important to us and a lot of other people too.
Who is Mrs. Becky Roper Matkov? Mrs. Matkov is a person who has dedicated much of her life to saving important historical places in Miami. Miami is a city with a short history. Mrs. Matkov works with the Dade Heritage Trust to bring attention to the importance of preservation and to teach the children and adults of Miami about the historic treasures in our community.
|The Tekesta Miami Circle (http://www.hartford-hwp.com/Tekesta/bin/circle.jpg)
What is The Miami Circle? Miami history starts in the Miami Circle where the Indian tribe called Tequesta lived. The Tequesta was a small peaceful Native American tribe. The Tequesta Indian tribe was there way before houses, video games and radios. They are one of the first tribes in south Florida and they settled near Biscayne Bay. They built many villages on the mouth of the Miami River and along the coastal inland. Like the other tribes in South Florida, they were hunters and gatherers. Archeologists think that the Tequesta probably built the Miami Circle. The Miami Circle is more than 2000 years old. The Miami Circle is made out of limestone. There are other stone formations called henges that are similar to the Miami Circle. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England. There are many other historic henges like Woodhenge and also Thornborough Henge. Most of these are in England and Ireland, but there are also henges in North America and Scandinavia. There is a modern henge called Keppel Henge in Canada. It was finished in the year 2000 to celebrate the millennium.
Why Mrs. Matkov’s Work matters to our Community:
The Miami Circle is very important to architects. It’s important to architects because they need to observe buildings so they can learn how to build. The Miami Circle is 2,000 years old and it hasn’t broken down because it was buried. The Miami Circle was a very beautiful site. It was made right next to the water. The Miami Circle was buried just off Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami, on the south bank of the Miami River, where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay. In prehistoric times some people think there was a building over the circle that rotted away. The owners of the property where the circle was found were going to make it into a condo. They didn’t make it into a condo because there aren’t many historic places in Miami and many people protested and worked hard to save it from being developed into a new condominium.
One of the people who worked the hardest was Mrs. Becky Matkov. She contacted state legislators and people in Miami and helped them to understand the importance of the Miami Circle. She helped convince the leaders of the city and state that the circle was important enough to save from development. After the circle was saved 10 years ago, they buried it again. They buried it to protect it from the weather until a park can be built around it. Mrs. Matkov and the Dade Heritage Trust also help protect and bring attention Miami’s other historical treasures. One of the most famous is Vizcaya. Viscaya was built by agricultural industrialist James Deering in 1916. Vizcaya has a main house, ten acres of floral gardens and hardwood hammock. It is a one of a kind historic landmark. Other famous historical places in Miami are the Deering Estate, The Biltmore hotel, and The Gusman Theater downtown, just to name a few. Without people who care about history and saving architectural treasures, younger people might never get to see them.
THANK YOU MRS. MATKOV – You are our hero!
Mr. Knowles’ 3rd Grade Class