Lost Lake Caverns

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Lost Lake

Considering Miami's flat topography and barely above sea level location, pointing out that South Florida is not known for its show caves is a little like saying that Alaska is not known for its palm trees or the Sahara Desert for its snow skiing. Yet the Miami area was actually once home to an attraction named "Lost Lake Caverns".

It wasn't much of a caverns; it was more of a rock pit with a sinkhole, actually, with what few natural formations there had been augmented by human tunneling and decoration (the depiction of a giant, boat-swallowing cavern in the advertising card reproduced above is an obvious exaggeration). The attraction claimed that the sinkhole had once been used as a hiding place by soldiers during the Seminole Wars, when it had been dubbed "Fort Lonesome". It was developed as an attraction by the late 1930's.

Lost Lake was found just west of Miami, south of Bird Road just east of Tropical Park. A Glass Bottom Boat ride was offered on the lake, which was also home to a large flock of trained mallard ducks. The attraction also featured a small aquarium and "Florida's Famous Rare Fruit Collection".

A fire destroyed the gift shop around 1950 and the attraction was closed. In the mid-fifties what was left of the abandoned attraction had become a hiding place for the homeless rather than soldiers, and it was considered a public nuisance. What was left of the caves was destroyed with dynamite, permanently closing Miami's only show cave. In the years since the Palmetto Expressway went through beside Tropical Park and the area has been completely covered in mixed commercial and residential development. Lost Lake Caverns has been completely lost.

Note: the attractions profiled on this site are no longer in business.

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Advertising card image above from the author's collection.

This site Copyright (c) 1997-2011 by Robert H. Brown