What Do You Know About Florida Keys Names

Ever wondered about Florida Keys Names and why certain locations are named as they are? You may be on vacation in the Florida Keys, or a resident, and asked that question. If you’re boating and come across Alligator Reef, don’t think the name means it’s overrun with reptiles. The reef was named after the USS […]
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Barbara Edgar – Matecumbe Historical Trust – Letter

Upper Keys historian Brad Bertelli made a recent public claim about local history that contained many errors and omissions that need clarification. I guess Brad was using his creative writing skills. Yes, the Upper Keys Historical Preservation Society (HPSUK) was formed in 1976 by a small group including Irving Eyster, which Brad omitted. Darlene Brown […]
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Florida Keys Memorial – Hurricane Monument – Islamorada

Standing just east of U.S. Route 1 at mile marker 82 in Islamorada is the Florida Keys Memorial Hurricane Monument designed by the Florida Division of the Federal Art Project and constructed using Keys limestone (“keystone”) by the Works Progress Administration. Unveiled in 1937 with more than 4,000 people in attendance, a frieze depicts palm […]
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The Story Behind the Abandoned Florida Keys Overseas Railroad

If you live in Florida, you’re probably familiar with some of oil tycoon Henry M. Flagler’s work. Back in the early 1900s, Florida was a popular winter destination for the upper crust, and some of the Florida’s most extravagant works of architecture were commissioned by Flagler himself. Flagler College (Ponce de León Hotel) in St. […]
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Key West’s Strangest Love Story – Undying Love – Count Carl von Cosel

Writer/musician/playwright Ben Harrison tells the true macabre story of Key West’s own “Count” Carl von Cosel and his passion that defied death, for an episode titled “Grand Gestures”. Von Cosel achieved international fame in 1940 when the corpse of his true love (and former tuberculosis patient) Elena Milagro Hoyos was discovered in his secluded house […]
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Diana Nyad Donates Historic Cuba-Key West Swim Gear To Key West Museum – Video

Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad dedicated an exhibit at Key West’s Custom House Museum Friday, featuring items she wore during her landmark 2013 swim from Havana to Key West. The installation includes the bathing suit, goggles. and custom-designed jellyfish protection face-mask Diana Nyad used during the nearly 111-mile swim that took almost 53 hours. Nyad donated […]
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Marathon – The Middle Keys by Jerry Wilkinson and Laura Albritton

A new pictorial history of Marathon – The Middle Keys traces the community’s growth from the earliest known settlers, through its Overseas Railroad era and the wrath of Hurricane Donna. Then there are the oddball Keys events, like the plight of an unfortunate whale shark paraded through town and Mitzi the dolphin who became a […]
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Affordable Housing Units Approved for Historic Old Tavernier Hotel

The owner of the Old Tavernier Hotel at mile marker 91.8 recently received approval to transform the former lodging into affordable housing. The Monroe County Development Review Committee gave the final go-ahead on the minor conditional use permit requesting the change at its Aug. 30 meeting. These type of requests do not require public hearings after […]
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Historic Tavernier Hotel Could Serve as Affordable Housing

The storied Tavernier Hotel at mile marker 91.8, around since the early 1930s when it was used as a movie theater, has closed its doors for good to overnight visitors. But the owner of the pink and green building hopes to revamp it into something the Florida Keys seems to be in desperate need of […]
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Sand Key Lighthouse Built in 1853 | The Florida Memory Blog

Lighthouses in the Florida Keys have a tough task to manage. The area is not only strewn with coral reefs and shoals, but is also a favorite highway for destructive hurricanes and other storms. The Sand Key Lighthouse, the southernmost lighthouse in the United States, has been in operation since 1827, and has borne witness […]
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Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses Getting Help

The Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation has received permission from the Coast Guard to replace the zinc anodes on the Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses Carysfort, Alligator, Sombrero and American Shoal reef lights, according to foundation officials. Zinc anodes, which serve as a sacrificial metal, are used to preserve the iron legs of the lights, much […]
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Key West Greyhound Track – Tiniest in America

The Key West Greyhound Track was once billed as the Tiniest Track in America, this oval was located amid auto graveyards and cheap trailer parks in the poorest section of America’s most southeastern town. [this was actually on Stock Island] It was the literally the last stop on the road for young pups or aging […]
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Little Palm Island The Florida Keys Resort You Can’t Drive To

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is a piece of paradise discreetly located off the fabled Florida Keys coastline so remote it’s only accessible by sea-plane or boat. A best-kept secret for US presidents and celebrities, your escape is simply waiting to drink you in. No phones, no TVs and no shortage of fun and romance. […]
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Zane Grey Group 1st Florida Keys Conference in Islamorada

For the first time in its history, Zane Grey’s West Society is having its 34th annual conference east of the Mississippi, and it has chosen Islamorada as one of its host sites. A few of the events set for June 20 to 23 in Islamorada are open to the public, and new members are welcome […]
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Harriette’s – Upper Keys institution for 34 years

One word keeps coming up, over and over again, when people talk about Harriette’s Restaurant in Key Largo: Family. And it’s not just owner Harriette Mattson, whose breakfast-and-lunch restaurant at mile marker 95.7, celebrated 34 years on May 17. It’s the staff and the customers, too. Pat Baker, who has been at Harriette’s since the […]
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Florida Keys Lighthouses Endangered Historical Resources

The 6 Florida Keys Lighthouses are among the 11 “most endangered” historic sites in the state this year, says a statewide preservation group. This week, the nonprofit Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, meeting for its annual conference in Tallahassee, released its list of 2016’s most threatened historic resources. The lighthouses are on the list. Here’s what […]
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Conch Key & Little Conch Key History – 1st Documented in 1849

The first mention of Conch Key and its baby sister island to the southwest, Little Conch Key, can be dated back to the mid-19th century, according to local historian Jerry Wilkinson. The two islands were first documented in the 1849 memoir of F.W. Gerdes, “Reconnaissance of the Florida Reefs and All the Keys.” “The first […]
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A LOT OF STUFF ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE NAVY IN KEY WEST

The presence of the US Navy in Key West dates back to 1822, when Lt. Commander Matthew C. Perry sailed the Navy schooner Shark into Key West Harbor and claimed the island for the United States. Only about 100 people lived here at that time. Although Florida had become a US territory a year earlier, […]
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Florida Keys History – Northwest Channel Lighthouse

1855: Northwest Channel Lighthouse was first lighted. This lighthouse was located eight miles (13 km) from Key West, Florida, at the entrance to the northwest channel to the Key West harbor. The first light was a lightship put on station in 1838. It is not known if the lightship survived the Great Havana Hurricane of 1846, which destroyed […]
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