In July 1899, Congregational minister Solomon Greasley Merrick (1859-1911) and his wife Althea (1859-1937) purchased sight unseen the surrounding 160 acres for $1,100. Several months later, Merrick and his son George (1886-1942) came from Massachusetts to prepare an existing wooden cottage for the arrival of the family. Locals including Bahamians helped plant vegetables and grapefruit trees. The vegetables and existing guava trees were their only source of income until the grapefruit groves began to bear. In 1906 Althea designed a rock house including the original cottage that is still visible at the rear. Named "Coral Gables," its limestone rock came from what is now the Venetian Pool. When his father died, George took over the groves, added land and dreamed of a planned community. It became a reality in 1921 when he sold the first lots. During the Depression, Ethel Merrick, George's sister, made it a boarding house called Merrick Manor. Members of the Merrick family resided here until 1966, when W.L. Philbrick bought the home and created Merrick Manor Foundation to save it. The City of Coral Gables acquired and restored it in 1976. Coral Gables Merrick House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.