Best known for the creation and development of Miami Lakes, a 3,000-acre master-planned community, the family-owned and operated company maintains being the largest landowner in the Town of Miami Lakes through apartment, office, industrial, retail, and hospitality holdings. Keeping to our roots, The Graham Companies continues to be involved in the agriculture business with dairy, beef, and pecan orchard farming located in Moore Haven, Florida, and Southwest Georgia.
Graham’s Dairy Inc. is founded by Ernest R Graham as a milking, bottling, and distributing company.
Jerry Toms takes over operations of Graham’s Dairy milk plant. Jerry became Vice President of The Graham Company (F.K.A. Graham’s Dairy Inc.) and then President of Graham Farms with his son, Tommy Toms, as Vice-President. Today it is the third generation of the Toms family working alongside the Grahams that continue to oversee the dairy and other agriculture interests of The Graham Companies. Jerry’s son, Tommy, followed in his father’s footsteps serving as president of Graham Farms up until his retirement in 2014 with his younger brother, Babb, working alongside him as vice-president. Babb Toms took over the reins as president of Graham Farms upon Tommy’s retirement.
Graham’s Dairy In. ceases its own bottling and distribution of milk but continues to sell to other distributors.
Lester Collins is hired as the land planner for Miami Lakes. As the mastermind behind the winding, tree-lined streets, the creatively shaped lakes, and parks, he helped make Miami Lakes an award-winning community as well as a great place to live, work, and play.
Final master plan for Miami Lakes, a new town.
July 22, 1962: Opening day for Miami Lakes with the first section of homes available for purchase in the Lake Patricia neighborhood.
Philip L. Graham addresses the crowd on opening day. He pointed out that the land on which Miami Lakes would be created had few redeeming natural features. He stated, “We’ve been blessed with one of the ugliest pieces of ground anywhere. You don’t have to worry about the developer screwing it up, we can only make it more attractive.”
Aerial view of Miami Lakes
Lake Patricia Shopping Center opens. The concept was that every resident should be able to buy a gallon of milk and get a haircut within a mile of their home. With that in mind, this convenience center was designed to meet the basic needs of Miami Lakes’ residents. The shopping center and others throughout the community were planned as small commercial operations with each center supported by retailers such as barbers, dry cleaners, convenience stores, restaurants, and gas stations.
Miami Lakes Riding Academy. One of the many amenities offered to the new residents of Miami Lakes. Residents could stable their horses at the Riding Academy. Non-riding guests used the clubhouse and enjoyed the shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pitching pits, and playground equipment. Large groups gathered in the Riding Academy’s entertainment area. Equipped with a sheltered- outdoor barbecue, tables, and square-dance floor, the area accommodated up to 200 guests for dances and parties.
In 1964 construction began for the Miami Lakes Country Club clubhouse and the first hotel, the Miami Lakes Inn; they opened in August 1965. The 18-hole Championship Golf Course was an added amenity for the residents and guests of Miami Lakes. The Golf Course was originally designed by Bill Watts in 1962. At that time the Miami Lakes Inn had a Scottish theme in keeping with the emphasis on golf and as a tribute to the Scottish heritage of the Graham clan.
Floyd Luckey, Bill Graham and Bob Graham meet to discuss a “Town Center,” which was projected for future development only after the New Town had enough people to support it.
The Graham Dairy barn on the west side of Miami Lakes was the last operating dairy in Dade County when it closed in 1979 and operations shifted to Moore Haven, FL.
Main Street Shopping Center Ribbon Cutting.
December 5, 2000. The Town of Miami Lakes incorporates and becomes the 31st municipality in Miami-Dade County.