Books like Stiltsville
2010, Susanna Daniel, Susanna Daniel
Stiltsville is a group of wood stilt houses located one mile south of Cape Florida, on sand banks of the Safety Valve on the edge of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The structures stand on wood or reinforced concrete pilings, generally ten feet above the shallow water, which varies from one to three feet deep at low tide.
Most sources claim the first stilt shack was built in the early 1930s, but some Dade County historians say that there were a dozen shacks in "the flats" as early as 1922.
"Crawfish" Eddie Walker built a shack on stilts above the water in 1933, toward the end of the prohibition era, allegedly to facilitate gambling, which was legal at one mile offshore. Crawfish Eddie sold bait and beer from his shack and was known for a dish he called chilau, a crawfish chowder made with crawfish he caught under his shack. Thomas Grady and Leo Edward, two of Eddie's fishing buddies, built their own shack in 1937. Shipwrecking and channel dredging brought many people to the area and more shacks were constructed, some by boating and fishing clubs. Local newspapers called the area "the shacks" and "shack colony". Crawfish Eddie's original shack was destroyed by the late-season Hurricane King of 1950.