Ocean Reef Morris and Alice Baker Circa 1960 Postcard Early Development 1948 Minnesota’s Morris and Alice Baker were hoping to buy the already established Anglers Club, but it was not for sale. Instead, in 1946 Baker purchased the 40 acres of North Key Largo encompassing the Despatch Creek Fishing Club. Channels were dredged, docks built, land filled and roads created. George Coffin was hired to design and build the Ocean Reef Inn. Bathrooms at the inn were serviced by a water tower and, because of the challenges of transporting water in the 1950s, bathroom signs read: “Don’t take a shower ‘til you smell; We haul our water and it costs like hell.” The club has changed a great deal since those days. By the end of the 1950s, the “fishing club” would incorporate 1,300 acres. After Morris’ death in 1959, his sons, William and Roger, who operated Seabound Properties Inc., a subsidiary of Baker Properties Inc., took over operations. Improvements were made including construction of villas, golf courses, and country clubs. In October 1959, the price of a house designed by Coral Gables architect Edward Rempe, according to an article in the Miami Herald, was $25,000. On March 3, 1969, the Baker family sold their interest in Ocean Reef. It would prove the most expensive single property transaction in the history of Monroe County. Harper Sibley, Jr., a financier and Ocean Reef property owner, along with Miami developer, Morris Burke, purchased Ocean Reef for 8 million. After Sibley and Burke purchased the once intimate fishing club, the name officially changed to The Ocean Reef Club.