What becomes of a grove of hardy mangoes when the trees, not knowing any different, keep on bearing fine fruit even many years after they have outlived those who first planted, nourished, and tended them? It changes a little day by day, and month by month, and is transformed, of course, but still remains a place of beauty, of a different kind. So long as the trees remain, there is shade, greenness, and opportunity to pause and breathe in deep the smell of good earth.
The early pioneers of Cocoanut Grove, and pioneers they were, quite often supplemented their meager and irregular incomes with their own larger or smaller crops of delicious avocados and mangoes.
In her 1940 autobiography Pioneer Reminiscences, Mrs. Harlan (“Minnie”) Trapp, whose stately home still stands only a block and a half away from the site of this haunted grove, at 2521 Bayshore Drive in Coconut Grove, recalls the following:
The famous Trapp avocado tree, now fifty- four years old, stands at the rear of the house… After my arrival I had quite a bit of pin money from its fruit, as we supplied many of the visitors at the Royal Palm Hotel, each avocado bringing one dollar. This does not sound so extravagant when I tell you that salad for six people can easily be made from one of these large avocados.
Mrs. Haden, widow of John Haden, who originated the famous Haden mango, is still living in Coconut Grove. She came the same year I arrived as a bride and we have shared many experiences.
During the later struggles of the fruit growers and farmers in Dade County, Commodore and Mrs. Arthur Curtis James gave liberally to help them become established, Many of our young people have received their education and start in life largely through their kindness.
This particular grove has in recent years been lost to us, but remains for now through the painting, and perhaps awaits in a larger and kinder home that we have known before yet now forgotten, but shall see again, by and by.