Keys History

Archive by category ''Keys History


    Perfect spots abound for those looking to snorkel off the Keys

    If are visiting  the Florida Keys, and you aren’t a diver or don’t feel like taking a one-day “resort” scuba course, you still have an excellent opportunity to see the colorful reefs and tropical fish by snorkeling in the warm waters of the Keys. The Keys ...


    Indian Key, an introduction

    “There is no portion of the American coast more dangerous to the mariner where more property is annually wrecked, than on the Florida Reef. Its contiguity to the gulf stream, and forming a sort of Scylla to that Charybdis, the Bahama Islands, are the main causes which make it so dangerous...


    No matter how it got to the bottom, The Eagle is a great dive

    “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed!” So announced American Astronaut Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969, when he and fellow Astronaut Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to land on the moon Six hours later, Armstrong stepped off the ladder of the lunar module saying...


    After 75 columns, thank you

    It was October 2012 when I first pitched this column to David Goodhue at The Reporter. By 2012, my mentorship with Jerry (Wilkinson) had been developing for several years and I had been absorbing a plethora of historical nuggets relating to this string of islands. Frankly, I needed an outlet. 


    A little Green Turtle and green turtle history

    Berlin Felton moved to Upper Matecumbe in the early 1930s — all the way from Rock Harbor. When Felton struck up a business partnership with Alonzo Cothron, the two formed the A&B Company. Alonzo represented the A and Berlin the B. Among the list of A&B holdings was the A&B Docks compound ...


    Historic Upper Keys Walking Tours 2.0

    Unlike my beautiful wife Michelle who spends her days catering to clients while creating exquisite hair and make-up at Ciao Bella Salon and Day Spa, I work largely from home — spending the majority of my time at the desk doing my best to ignore the plaintive (and sometimes not so plaintive...


    Wreck of the Benwood deserving of some respect

    It was a busy day at the wreck of the Benwood. There were several dive boats tied to the mooring balls. As I approached the wreck, I saw all manner of scuba divers — from those decked out in rebreathers and other technical gear to others who appeared to be finishing up dives to...


    The evolution of the Matecumbe School

    The first Matecumbe School, a one room building, was hammered together with wood and nails out at the beach on Upper Matecumbe in the early 1900s. The Atlantic’s salty breezes helped cool the classroom and keep the mosquitoes at bay. A few years later the structure would be moved south to...


    Taking a toll: Human collectors vanishing, but not at Card Sound bridge

    Ten miles off South Dixie Highway on Card Sound Road, tourists in shiny red convertibles pass commuters in silver and black pickup trucks. Some are heading to the biker bar Alabama Jack’s — where they serve deep fried conch fritters and cocktails in plastic cups. Other are making...


    Was Indian Key founded upon Houseman’s subterfuge

    John Jacob Housman is best known as the notorious wrecker of Indian Key. In addition to being a cut-throat operator, he was also an ethically challenged one. 

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