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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.Julia Tuttle subsequently convinced Henry Flagler, a railroad tycoon, to expand his Florida East Coast Railway to the region, for which she became known as "the mother of Miami." Black labor played a crucial role in Miami's early development.During the beginning of the 20th century, migrants from the Bahamas and African-Americans constituted 40 percent of the city's population.The Miami area was inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Native American tribes.The Tequestas occupied the area for a thousand years before encountering Europeans. In 1566 admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida's first governor, claimed the area for Spain.The city's nickname, The Magic City, comes from this rapid growth.
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.
In the 1980s and 1990s, South Florida weathered social problems related to drug wars, immigration from Haiti and Latin America, and the widespread destruction of Hurricane Andrew.
Racial and cultural tensions were sometimes sparked, but the city developed in the latter half of the 20th century as a major international, financial, and cultural center.
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.