The Greater North Miami Historical Society

 

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Pumkin Artical

Painter has a basket full of happenings that relate to the library, some are funny, some are sad and then there is a serious side. Take a look on the funny side, or the Pumkin on the steeple every Halloween.

The Pumpkin is not the only item from the diverse world around the library. Occasionally there were snakes in the building. The first ones known about way back in 1977 when Dr. Phillip Allen and Pat Kramer brought over a couple of very large snakes for a hands on approach for the kids who were in the summer reading program. The snakes were not exactly out of the wilds; they came up from the Crandon Park Zoo for an educational outing with North Miami kids. Painter is full of stories if can get him stopped long enough on his mundane library assignments he has more than a pile of pumpkins on the roof stories.

On the serious side, in 1975 the book count jumped 50 books in one day when Frank A. Smik Jr., the owner and director of North Miami's "GAllery Three," donated his art reference library. This donation was in the name of his wife who had a life long interest in art. At the time of the donation Smik said, "If I can open the horizons for young people through the gift of these books (on art) to the library I feel it will be a tribute to my wife".

Pumkin Artical

The Smik family had been located in North Hami since World War II, if not before the war. His Dad Frank Smik Sr. had a barbershop on the north side of NE 125th Street just west of NE 6th Avenue. That was in the days of the 15-cent hair cut. Smik Sr. moved the barbershop to Miami Shores (the high rent district) about 1945 and raised the price of a haircut to a quarter. The Smik family maintained their residence in the North Miami even though the business was down in Miami Shores. The family was always a supporter of the art and library program in the city.

There is more to this library story that precedes the municipal operation of the library, however there is very little information written about the women of the Biscayne Park Women's Club, and the teachers from the William Jennings Bryan School Bryan like Mildred Mahood, and a lot of mothers from the neighborhood P.T.A.. If you have some history on these fine ladies and mothers please copy us. We are pretty sure it was the local women who saw the need not only for the children but the literacy of the community.


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