: nroe obiinty
oe Co u nt Y
tiny emeralds that dot the far south coast of Florida-va the Over-Sea Railway, the con-
struction of which is one of the most wonderful pieces of engineering known, canneverbeforgotten.
-- -- .
-Im e archs of conc ; e steel b e ee i e t e te te e t
-' S^ ".iiaf e "' r, '" "" '- ', "' .I "'
NO other city in the United States occupies such a unique position as Key West. Its approach
is different from that of any other city in the world. The wonder trip over the keys--those
tiny emeralds that dot the far south coast of Florida--via the Over-Sea Railway, the con-
struction of which is one of the most wonderful pieces of engineering known, can never be forgotten.
Immense arches of concrete; huge steel bridges, where in some instances the further end is lost in
the horizon many miles away, compose the roadbed for the novel and interesting journey-the only
one in the world where a trip to sea is made by rail.
The view from the car windows beggars description. The
opalescent waters, the larger and smaller keys where tropical
growth is variant, the varicolored seaweeds showing through
the water, the deep-blue sky and the wonderful cloud effects,
make a picture long-to-be-remembered and never-to-be-for-
gotten by all those who are so fortunate as to make this trip.
The scenery on the island is semitropical and most
interesting for the tourist and visitor, and hotel accom-
modations are ample.
The architecture of the houses, low and solidly built, gives
an old-world charm and foreign atmosphere to Key West.
From behind lightly closed shutters, down the longstreets, one
almost listens for the tinkle of guitar or strains of La Paloma.
The place has as much personality as New Orleans, an
atmosphere intangible and indefinable, and its code of liv-
ing, like that of all islands, is autocratic, easy unto itself.
The pretty Spanish and Cuban girls as well as the
lovely American maidens, the navy men in flawless white
uniforms, the trim marines and 0. D. Soldiery from the
barracks all form a picturesque pageant on a Key West
The coffee shops, the fish markets, the "turtle crawls,"
and the street vendors crying their wares, form a marvelous
medley of sound and color.
Spend your winter vacation in Key West, the only
FROST-FREE city in the United States.
) Key (Vest and Monroe County- Florida
i& -rF^ i -
A MASTER mind conceived the idea of constructing a
railroad from the mainland of Florida across the
Florida Keys to the island and City of Key West,
and was bold enough to carry its plan into effect. Henry
M. Flagler, Florida's greatest builder and developer, began
this work in his seventy-sixth year and lived to see the
dream of many years an accomplished fact. This work,
with its massive concrete arches and pillars of reinforced
concrete coming up out of the ocean from solid bedrock,
will be a living testimonial and monument for ages to come,
to the patriotism, courage and ability of a great American.
The history of the world fails to show a greater work
conceived, undertaken and carried to completion by a
private citizen. From the mainland to Key West, a dis-
tance of approximately one hundred and seven miles, is a
string of small islands known as the Florida Keys ("keys"
being a corruption from the Spanish "cayo" meaning island),
with channels between varying in depth from a few inches
at low tide to twenty feet. Through these channels the
waters of the Gulf of Mexico run into the Atlantic Ocean
and back again with each varying tide.
Where the water between these keys was shallow the
construction was easy and required only the throwing up
by steam shovels of the marl and limestone rock adjacent to
the line of proposed embankment. In those places where
the water was deep and the flow of the current strong, the
problem was met by solid concrete piers of huge size and
solid concrete arches.
No one who has not seen for himself can form any
adequate estimate of this great undertaking. He who has
not looked up from below at the immense arches of con-
crete and the spans of steel, who has not stood at one end of
Knight's Key Bridge and tried in vain to see the farther
end, lost in the horizon seven miles away, or who has not
from a distance endeavored to measure the leagues of
trestle, can realize that here is the greatest accomplishment
of modern engineering ever conceived and carried into com-
pletion by one man.
When the construction was begun there were no prece-
dents for much of the work, and numerous problems were
encountered that railroad building had never before had
to overcome, and new applications of problems that had
already been solved were to be made. Water for drinking,
the food for thousands of men, and every pound of material
used in building the road had to be brought from elsewhere.
Florida East Coast Railway Extension Long Key Viaduct
SKey'VWest and fonroe County-Florida
THE construction of the roadbed over the one hundred
and twenty-eight miles presented a variety hardly
equalled by similar work anywhere else. The build-
ing of the roadbed south from Homestead was through the
swamps of the Everglades. The land was low and partially
covered with water. It could not be graded with any appliance
ever used for such purpose. Emergency dredges were con-
structed that would float in shallow water, and these were
started southward, each eating out a channel for itself and
discharging the material on what became the roadbed. The
material was marl, or coral rock, which is found in a thick,
plastic mass, dazzlingly white in color, which in exposure
to air and sun becomes harder and harder as time goes by,
and presents a surface as smooth as glass. This formed a
grade for the rails as firm and solid as the best rock-ballasted
right-of-way in the United States. Today a canal from
twenty to thirty feet wide borders the road on either side
for many miles before it reaches the keys.
Across the keys the construction more closely resembled
that of ordinary railroad building. There were dense jun-
gles of vegetation to be penetrated, but this was largely
a matter of perseverance and unusual hardship. It was when
open water was reached that some of the most serious prob-
lems and difficulties were encountered.
Three great viaducts spanning wide gaps of water be-
tween the keys are typical of all. Long Key Bridge, two
and three-quarters miles in length, built on arched spans,
is perhaps the most picturesque. These arches, each eighty
feet long, were built on trap rock brought from Clinton,
on the Hudson River, and set in heavily reinforced con-
crete. This bridge was among the most expensive pieces of
work on the entire line, costing approximately five hundred
thousand dollars per mile.
Knight's Key Bridge, stretching a little more than seven
miles, is carried five miles on eighty-foot deck-plate steel
girders, laid on reinforced concrete piers, and two miles
The Bahia Honda Bridge is 5,056 feet long. It is of the
"through truss" type in which the trusses rise many feet
above the track level and flank the moving train. In this
bridge are twenty-seven spans and nine arches of concrete.
The deepest water of the construction work was found here,
approximately thirty feet to bedrock.
Four drawbridges are placed at intervals, one at Knight's
Key Bridge, one at Key West, one at Indian Key and one
at Jewfish Creek.
Construction was commenced in 1905 and the first train
was operated into Key West on January 22nd, 1912. Exact
figures covering cost of construction are unobtainable, but
the closest estimate reached is $49,000ooo.ooo.oo.
Florida East Coast Railway Extension Bahia Honda Bridge
ey. .est and Monroe County- Florida
A' Key West it was found by the builders of the Over-
sea Railway that there was insufficient acreage to
build the huge piers needed, the slips for the ocean-
going ferries, and the passenger docks, so all of the land
needed for terminals was made by pumping material in by
hydraulic dredges. Magnificent concrete-lined piers have
been constructed, capable of docking forty steamships at
one time, two ferry slips have been built, and docking space
for yachts has been provided. The island, so constructed,
has an acreage of about nineteen acres, adjoins and connects
with the island of Key West, and is called Trumbo, the
name of the engineer who operated the dredge used in
Key West is the southernmost city of the United States;
being situated as it is on the last of the Florida Keys, it is
approximately one hundred miles from the Florida main-
land, ninety miles from Havana, and only 1,075 miles from
the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, hundreds of
miles nearer South America and the Panama Canal than
any other American port. The great Key West extension
of the Florida East Coast Railway places the city in direct
communication with the eastern and central sections of the
United States, and saving from one to three days' travel
time in reaching other ports, reloading and making delivery.
One of the most potent examples of this saving in time is
in the shipments of Isle of Pines pineapples. These pines
arrive in solid carload pack, are repacked two cars to three
on the Key West pineapple rack, and delivered in Chicago
twenty-four hours earlier than possible in any other method
The Peninsular and Occidental Steamship Company
has four passenger steamers, the palatial "Cuba" and "Gov-
ernor Cobb," the "Miami" and the "Mascotte," operating
daily service between Key West and Havana, and biweekly
service between Key West and Tampa. The trip from Key
West to Havana is one hundred and five miles and consumes
about six hours' time. The two larger boats have each a
capacity of 425 passengers and make regular trips and fast
time schedule between Port Tampa, Key West and Havana,
connecting at Key West with the Florida East Coast Rail-
way and at Port Tampa with the Atlantic Coast Line
Railway, both having through trains to important points in
Florida and the United States. The trip from Key West to
Havana is short but at the same time most interesting and
inviting. The five- to six-hour voyage is in itself a most
enjoyable event, while the trip through the wonderful Is-
land of Cuba is an indescribable pleasure. The steamships
and the Florida East Coast Railway trains use the same
terminals. There is no transfer, thus making the connec-
tion for passengers and baggage most convenient. In
Havana sailings may be had to the Panama Canal, points
in Mexico, South American ports, and West Indies cities.
S. S. "Cuba"- Palatial Passenger Ship of P. & 0. Steamship Co. Oval: Railway Terminal
Key' West and Monroe Count -Florida,
L i~UU______ ~ f _________ -.. .> / _______________-Z -,.,. r.Tr/ ____ __ -g^L P
T HE Peninsular and Occidental Steamship Company
also operate three huge steel ferries, the "Henry M.
Flagler," the "Joseph R. Parrott" and the "Estrada
Palma." Upon these boats solid trains of loaded cars are
despatched daily between Key West and Cuba. From Key
West these loads are of American-produced goods destined
to Havana and interior points of Cuba, where these cars are
reloaded with fruits, sugar, tobacco and molasses direct
from the plantations of Cuba for our American markets.
The ships of the Mallory line arrive twice a week from
New York and two from Galveston. You leave New York
at noon, arriving and leaving Key West for Galveston four
days later, and are due to arrive in Galveston three days
after that. The boats are splendid, modern steamships, with
commodious and spotless staterooms, and meals to tempt or
assuage the most temperamental appetites.
Besides the above modes of travel Key West has daily
aeroplane service between Key West and Havana operated
by the Aeromarine Airways, Inc. The six big flying boats
operated by this company are models of convenience and
luxury. The interior of each has the appearance of an
elegant club. The seats are beautiful wicker chairs, hand-
somely upholstered in brown leather. Each of the flying
boats is equipped with electric lights and every modern
convenience of travel, including a complete wireless outfit.
The trip to Havana is made in seventy-five minutes. These
boats make connections with morning and evening trains
in Key West.
Special charter trips can also be arranged, in which you
will have a genuine treat. Refreshingly cool and comfort-
able flights over Florida's most beautiful scenery to Tampa
and Miami, delightful fishing trips to historical old Fort
Jefferson located at Tortugas. The color and charm of
Florida and surrounding territories have been told a thou-
sand times, but never is it so captivating, so overwhelmingly
beautiful as when it grips you in its splendor from a flying
boat. Dainty buffet luncheons are served in the beautiful
mahogany cabin of the eleven passenger boats on these
special charter flights.
To land at the gateway of the Gulf of Mexico and
Caribbean countries, at a harbor where the navies of the
world could rest, at a dock where forty steamships may lie
at one time, where great steel ferries await loaded trains to
steam across the blue waters, convinces one of the immense
opportunities of this city. The white wings of commerce
waft the rich productions of many countries through her
gates. It is fast becoming the receiving port for the big
fruit and vegetable shipments of Central and South Ameri-
ca, Cuba and Porto Rico.
F. E. C. Railway and P. & 0. Steamship Terminals. Oval: Freight-car Ferryboat "Joseph R. Parrott"
, K ey"Vest and Monroe County- Floridct
g iT'-- ^ .^ :s ^^-^
THE outward resemblance of Key West to the Rock
of Gibraltar is in decided contrast. There are no
high hills or immense rock to give the impression of
invulnerableness, but, instead, this harbor is sheltered on
the north by low keys and shoals, which form a complete
protection on that side, whereas seven miles south of this
line of keys there is a parallel line of reefs and shoals, so
that the anchorage appears to be more like an open road-
stead than a harbor, large enough and deep enough to afford
easy access to the largest ship afloat, and capable of berthing
hundreds of such ships. The appellative of "The Gibraltar
of America," being given to Key West, is justified by its
analogous position, coupled with its greater strategic advan-
tages than Gibraltar, Spain. The dominating influence of
Gibraltar for British supremacy in Europe finds its counter-
part in the position of Key West, the one commanding the
Mediterranean Sea and the approaches to the Suez Canal,
and the other the Gulf of Mexico and the approaches to the
The harbor is fine and commodious with thirty feet of
water at mean low tide available over bar to main ship
channel, and thirty feet of water can be carried from bar
to anchorage in the outer harbor. Outer anchorage is from
one to two miles in width and about five miles in length,
with thirty to forty feet of water obtainable throughout,
and is a very good and safe anchorage, except under very
extreme weather conditions. The channel from the outer
to the inner anchorage has a minimum depth of twenty-six
feet, with a minimum width of eight hundred feet. There
is a depth of twenty-six feet alongside of piers on the com-
mercial waterfront of the port.
Five thousand ships a year, with a dead-weight tonnage
of between 20,000,000 and 25,000,000, pass in sight of
Key West and a large majority of those eastbound are on
their way to Europe. To them Key West is an "oasis" in
the vast stretches of sea, for it is the last American port
they see during the trip. And returning, Key West is the
first American port they sight. Once a ship has taken her
course at sea, outward or inward bound to the Gulf of
Mexico, she passes nearer to Key West than to any other
American port. She can turn from her course and reach
Key West in less than an hour. The facilities in Key West
for attending to the wants of any ship that comes here are
adequate in every way. There are good wharves and ware-
houses, with a plentiful supply of water, coal, fuel-oil, lubri-
cating oil, ship supplies, and the city is possessed of fine fire-
fighting facilities, which are available to all vessels calling
here with fire in holds. There is a 75,000-barrel storage
of bunker fuel-oil and a delivery capacity of I,ooo barrels
per hour. The Government has extensive steam facilities
for loading and discharging coal. If the ship is in need of
repairs, there are modern machine shops here to do the work.
Texas Oil Plant at Porter Dock Company
M Key 'Vest and lonroe County -Florida
T HE importance of Key West as a. Naval Base was
long ago recognized by the Government. Commodore
Rodgers in 1823, in writing of Key West, said:
"Nature has made it the advance post from which to watch
and guard our commerce passing to and from the Missis-
sippi, while, at the same time, its peculiar situation and the
excellency of its harbor point it out as the most certain key
to the commerce of Havana, to that of the whole Gulf of
Mexico, and to the returning trades of the Caribbean."
The Seventh Naval District has its headquarters here,
and in every war in which the United States has been en-
gaged, since 1822, the Naval Station has played an impor-
tant part. During the Mexican War it was the base of
supplies, and during the Civil War the base and headquar-
ters of Admiral Farragut. It was here that the entire
strength of the navy was mobilized at the time of the Vir-
ginius affair, and during the Spanish War all of the forces
of this hemisphere were based at Key West. During the
late World War our force protecting the oil supplies from
Tampico and Port Arthur had its headquarters here. A
year or so ago, when the Administration, in putting into
effect its policy of retrenchment, began a wholesale closing
of Navy Yards, the one in this city was kept in operation.
The Navy Yard is one of the beauty spots of the city,
in its setting of tropical growth. Enclosed by a wrought-
iron fence, hundreds of bright-hued oleanders and hibiscus,
brilliant against the deeper green of the coconut palm,
surround the concrete barracks and officers' quarters. The
drive through the grounds is by winding lanes, hedged with
crotons and sisel, and from the dock one may look for count-
less miles over the untroubled calm of the Florida Straits.
South of the Navy Yard there is located the new Sub-
marine Base which was completed in 1921 at a cost of
more than two and a half million dollars, and enclosed
within the boundary fence of the Navy Yard itself is the
second largest wireless station in the world with a powerful
radius of more than fifteen hundred miles.
In addition to the permanent personnel stationed at the
Naval Station here, various of the ships of the United
States Navy call here for supplies, and during the winter
months the Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron Num-
ber One maintains its winter headquarters in Key West,
bringing scores of men and dozens of aeroplanes, hydro-
planes and bombing machines to this city for the Fleet's
annual maneuvers. The "White Wings" are in the air
daily, and the latest inventions in bombs and bombing ap-
paratus are tested out in these flights.
Naval Scenes-Entrances to Navy Yard. U. S. Marines. Naval Docks
Si'eyhest ani Monroe Gounty-Florida
T HE location of La Casa Marina, the palatial tourist
hotel operated by the Florida East Coast Hotel Com-
pany, and one of their handsomest hostelries, was
opened in 1921. Charmingly located on the southern shore
of the island, overlooking the iridescent waters of the Flor-
ida Straits, it has proved a most delightful stopping-place
to the winter visitor, and the tourist en route to and from
the Island of Cuba.
Stretches of silver beach, the bluest of water and stately
palms, with beautiful flowering shrubs in all their tropical
loveliness, form a perfect setting for the beautiful hotel
building of the Spanish Renaissance type, fire-proof, with
extensive loggias overlooking the sea pavilion style, and so
arranged that every room is an outside room.
There is a stately ballroom on the first floor, and one of
the attractions of the winter season is the series of dances
given. These are enjoyed by guests of the hotel and by the
society set in the city, to the members of which invitations
are issued by the management. Another feature of the
winter's entertainment is the series of dinner-bridge parties,
largely attended. The hotel is conducted on the American
plan and the table is provided with the best the market
affords and in great variety, and the dining-room service
cannot be excelled by any other tourist hotel.
One may be busy from early morning until late at night
with golf, tennis, surf-bathing, motorboat excursions to sur-
rounding keys, fishing trips for which the hotel management
furnishes fishing boats and expert fishermen, afternoon teas
and dancing, delightful dinners, evening concerts, balls and
various other entertainments which are provided; or the
time may be spent delightfully in peaceful quiet. Outdoorlife
in this perfect clime makes the strongest claim, and every
day brings new opportunities for life out-of-doors.
The bathing beach on the ocean side is a famous feature
of the resort, for winter surf-bathing at Key West is one
of the joys of the season. A new bath-house has been built,
and a pier for fishing boats and landing for private yachts
has been provided. At the fishing pier there is a fleet of
power boats, sailboats, dories and all kinds of craft for hire,
fully equipped with tackle and bait and with competent
fishermen in charge.
Splendid tennis courts have been completed, overlooked
by the glass-enclosed loggia, and on the grounds adjacent
to the hotel is also a clock golf course.
The open waters of the sea rippling in crescents of tur-
quoise and jade, fading into steel as the moonlight shadows
creep on, give a tropical charm and allurement to the place;
and when in the evening illuminated by myriads of electric
lights artistically arranged, this is indeed a bit of fairyland.
:.:.'/, ",Le -I
Casa Marina ("The House-by-the-Sea")
Key Vest and aonroe Count -Floridac
K EY WEST'S greatest asset is its climate, which is the
most equable in the United States. The Ice King
and Jack Frost are unknown here. At its best-no,
even at its average-the climate here is a thing so wonder-
ful that you can scarcely believe at the end of a month that
you have had thirty such golden days. Lying far out to
sea the island is always fanned by trade winds laden
with salt air; Key West weather at its best, in those in-
credible spring days of warm, fresh winds, almost accom-
plishes the impossible; it is both tonic and soothing; it at
once invigorates and calms you. The calmness is accentu-
ated by the inevitable sense of remoteness which palms and
tropical flowers give you, as you read in your letters from
home of frost and blizzards in the North. There is ever
a cool breeze in summer and in winter the days and nights
are like the first delightful days of autumn.
The lowest temperature ever recorded on the keys was
41 degrees, which occurred January 12th, 1886, and the
highest recorded in twenty-five years was 93 degrees, oc-
curing only twice-August I Ith and September 2nd, 1903.
While the cold wave in January, 1886, brought freezing
conditions as far south as Cape Sable, there was no frost on
The prevailing wind direction is easterly, inasmuch as
this section is in the belt of the easterly trades. As a rule
the breezes are fresh and calms are very rare.
The wet and dry seasons are fairly well defined, the
wet season extending from May to November, inclusive,
and the dry season from December to April, inclusive.
The average normal temperature, as shown by the rec-
ords of the Weather Bureau is, for each month in the year,
as follows: January, 68.8; February, 70.8; March, 72.8;
April, 75.5; May, 79.o; June, 82.2; July, 83.7; August,
83.8; September, 82.5; October, 78.7; November, 74.3;
December, 70.1. Average, 76.9. It will be seen from this
tabulation that the greatest range of average temperatures
is fifteen degrees during the entire year.
The average normal rainfall, as shown by the records
of the Weather Bureau, is, for each month of the year, as
follows: January, 1.98; February, 1.64; March, 1.48;
April, 1.30; May, 3.36; June, 4.25; July, 3.59; August,
4.69; September, 6.79; October, 5.38; November, 2.36;
December, 1.84. Annual, 38.66.
Key West, therefore, is not only the warmest city in
winter, but the coolest in summer. When other parts of
the country are sweltering in their summer heat waves, or
freezing in their winter's slush, Key West has a delight-
ful, equable climate, comparable to no other part of the
The Dining Room
The Dining Room
Casa Marina Interiors
S.iey 'Vest and Monroe County Florida
THE principal industry in Key West is the Cigar Busi-
ness. You who have had the exquisite pleasure of
smoking a Key West cigar know that nowhere else in
the world are cigars made as are made here in Key West.
The Key West cigar is famous the world over. Thousands
of times daily the request, "Give me a Key West cigar," is
made throughout the country, and in each instance the
term "Key West" is used as synonymous with "Havana."
Made of the purest Havana leaf, in a climate similar in
every respect to that of Havana, and by Cuban and Ameri-
can workmen who know better than anybody else in the
world how to make cigars, the Key West cigar is the leader
wherever good cigars are sold.
Cigarmaking was introduced into Key West nearly a
century ago by Cubans. The first advertisement appeared
in a local newspaper, the first issue of the first newspaper
published regularly in English in Key West, The Key West
Gazette, on April 20th, 1831, and was headed "Key West
Segar Manufactory." In 1876 the number of factories had
increased to twenty-nine, with about twenty-one hundred
employes. The average daily output of these factories was
estimated at 171,000 or 62,415,000 annually.
Since that time cigar-manufacturing has gone steadily on
as the main industry of the city; it has had its ups and
downs, but has never fallen below the volume mentioned.
Several years' production have been fifty per cent more, and
wages have been close to two million dollars per annum, an
increase of about one hundred per cent. This increase of
wages, out of proportion to the cigars produced, is caused
by the fact that the class of goods produced has steadily been
growing higher in recent years.
Other cigar-manufacturing cities have been bidding and
fighting for years to take the "Clear Havana" factories
away from Key West; they offer big inducements in land,
buildings and money to get them, because the cost of cigars
made in a "Spanish System" Clear Havana Factory means
so large a percentage in wages. Retaining these factories,
establishing others, and success of making the best cigars on
earth is not due to accident, but to the natural advantages
we possess. Our nearness to the raw material market, with
good shipping lines in all directions, our great percentage
of native-born and permanent resident workmen, equable
climate in which Key West excels, which conditions keep
tobacco soft, avoids breakage, permits natural sweating and
curing all the year, and our clear atmosphere produces good
water, so necessary in the treatment of tobacco.
There are located here many great concrete and steel
factories, employing thousands of workers, manufacturing
cigars which are yearly worth millions of dollars and en-
riching the United States Treasury hundreds of thousands
of dollars per year in the sale of stamps.
Key West Cigar Factories
Key West and Monroe Count Flor rida
U 7 __: __. _
KEY WEST'S exports, practically every month in the
year, exceed all other ports of Florida combined. In
1922 the imports amounted to $4,974,942.00, and
the exports to $26,675,845.00. There was a passenger
movement through this port of approximately 75,000.
The City of Key West has taxable property amounting
to $9,057,3oo.oo, with a bonding capacity of $I,652,100.00.
The city is now bonded at $1,044,700.oo, a new bond issue
having been passed in the spring of 1923 of $2000,0.00,
for the purpose of developing the City Park, building a new
golf course of eighteen holes, and further street improve-
ment. Bank deposits average for the year $1,700,000.00,
while the clearings amount to $10,ooo,ooo.oo.
Monroe County has taxable property amounting to
$5,227,092, with only $21I,500.oo bonded indebtedness,
which includes school and road bonds.
There is invested in manufacturing in Key West the
sum of $5,ooo,ooo.oo, with a yearly payroll of $2,600,000.00.
Key West has forty miles of paved streets and sidewalks
with contracts let for many more. The automobile drives
about the city and the county are being improved from year
to year, and a new road to the end of Stock Island, across
the connecting causeway, has been completed, with a further
extension planned to connect the next key-Boca Chica-
and construct the road throughout its length.
Much harbor improvement is under way and contem-
plated. The Government is now using an appropriation of
$80,ooo.oo in channel work, and a bill has been introduced
in Congress for a resurvey of the harbor looking towards
the deepening of the channel to municipal and commercial
docks to thirty feet.
A great deal of building of new homes in the outer dis-
tricts of the city is being done, and there has been extensive
laying of concrete sidewalks for several months.
The electric-lighting plant is adequately equipped to
supply industrial and manufacturing needs, and to enlarge
its facilities according to the demand. The city is also
supplied with splendid gas service.
The city has a splendid shopping district, with a wide
variety of attractive shops. You can buy anything you want
in Key West and get good quality at a reasonable price.
Key West has one English daily newspaper, The Key
West Citizen, and one Cuban daily, published in Spanish.
The question of accommodations to the traveler is always
an important one. Key West has several good hotels of
varying sizes: The Over-Sea, the Jefferson, the Panama,
the Blenus, besides the Casa Marina, all run on the
European plan with rates from two to five dollars per day,
and there are also several smaller hotels where good accom-
modations may be had. Attractive living places are to be
found, apartments and small bungalows, boarding facilities
and many light-housekeeping apartments.
Key West's Business Section Duval Street
H ISTORICAL data show that Key West was formerly
the dwelling place of numbers of key Indians, all of
the larger keys to the mainland being so inhabited.
History also records fierce battles between the mainland
and key Indians, the latter being driven from key to key,
making their last stand at Key West, and there being
annihilated. Their whitened bones, with which the island
was strewn, gave it the name of Cayo Hueso, meaning
Bone Key, and pronounced Ki-yo Way-so, which was
readily changed into Key West.
After the Indian regime, Key West became a pirate's
stronghold. Lying at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico,
and commanding the straits of Florida, many tales are told
of the exciting experiences of ships with the pirate fleets.
Spanish doubloons, two hundred years old, have been up-
A Beautiful Scene Along the Water's Edge--Vastly Different Are the turned with the soil, and it is possible that Captain Kidd
Natural Decorations and Atmosphere of Florida
treasures lie buried beneath the beach sands at the roots of
some coconut tree.
In 1815 the island of Cayo Huesa was granted to Juan
Pablo Salas in consideration of the services rendered by him
at different times in the Royal Artillery Corps, by Don
Juan de Estrada, the then Spanish Governor of Florida.
Salas in 1822 sold the island to John W. Simonton for the
munificent sum of $2,000.00.
Key West was settled by people from almost every part
of the world. The original proprietors, who made it their
home, were wealthy and educated people from New York
and New England. They were soon joined by the sons of .
some of the best families of the South. Then followed ;
Spaniards and Frenchmen, who were experienced men of
affairs. Cosmopolitan in character, the ideals, customs and i
beliefs of its founders still prevail. u L- aCs ai
The Loggia at Casa Marina
l Keyhest and Monroe County-Florida
^P.-O'.-.';i' g ft ~ -__ mi-- -A
CHURCHES of almost every denomination may be found
in Key West, and strangers will find a warm wel-
come in all of them. Those who maintain regular
organizations are the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians,
Episcopalians, Christian Scientists and Catholics. Several
of these denominations have more than one church. The
churches are strong and the church activities many.
The churches of the city are wisely located, reaching
conveniently the entire population, no one of them being far
removed from any who wish to attend and who have special
preference for this or that denomination. All who desire to
do so can find here pleasant church homes, where they will
be cordially welcomed, and in whose fellowship they can
have useful fields.
The pictures herein presented show that these churches
rejoice in excellent houses of worship.
Our schools compare favorably with the best in the State.
The city schools are full, especially during the winter, when
many visitors put their children into the public schools here
during their stay in the South. There are grade schools
serving all parts of town and a high school that ranks well
in the State, both in its scholastic record and its athletic
prowess. The program being carried out by the officers is
simple. It is two-fold: First, to make the public schools
unquestionably the best in the city, and, second, to make
them adequate to accommodate all the children of the city.
A new High School, modern in every respect, is in course
of construction, and when finished the present High School
will be remodeled and turned into a grammar school, giving
far better facilities for handling extra pupils.
In addition to the public schools of the city, there are
numbers of small public schools; there are the Catholic
church schools and Convent of Mary Immaculate, which
claims the distinction of being the oldest educational insti-
tution on the island of Key West, established in 1868, by
the Sisters of the Holy Name.
A progressive, up-to-date Woman's Club supports a
Public Library of several thousand volumes, with a quiet
reading room, equipped with modern rest rooms and con-
veniences. There is also a local chapter of the American
Red Cross, and the fraternal orders are well represented.
The Masonic bodies include a Shrine Club, and the I. O.
O. F., Redmen, Woodmen of the World, B. P. O. E., K.
of P., P. O. S. of A., and the Knights of Columbus all have
CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS OF KEY WEST
Fleming Street Methodist Church. Harris Grammar School. First Methodist Church. Congregational Church
Roman Catholic Church. Division Street High School. Protestant Episcopal Church
Key 'est and Monroe County -Florida,
THE Seventh Lighthouse District, with headquarters
at Key West, extends from Hillsboro Inlet on the
East Coast of Florida to Cedar Keys on the West
Coast. There are in this district eight important seacoast
lights on the exposed Florida Reefs, and four on the Gulf
Coast of Florida, besides one hundred and sixteen oil lights,
thirty-four automatic gas lights on fixed structures, twenty-
three gas-lighted buoys, and nine hundred other aids to
navigation, a total of ten hundred and eighty-five. In 1911
there were only three hundred and fifty-nine aids in the
district. This shows an increase of over 200 per cent in
Each of the large skeleton iron tower lighthouses on the
Florida Reefs have three keepers; each month one of the
keepers is ashore on leave of absence. Each station has two
motor boats, and telephone connections with the mainland.
Only a few years ago these stations were entirely isolated
from the mainland and had only sailboats with which to
communicate with shore. Dry Tortugas Light Station on
Loggerhead Key, sixty-four miles west of Key West, is
entirely isolated, but the keepers have excellent quarters,
an intercommunicating telephone system and all other mod-
Buoy supplies and materials for construction are kept at
one or more depots. There are two in this district, the
larger one located at Key West, with authority already
issued to purchase land for a site for one large depot, entail-
ing an expense of about $250,ooo.oo, to be erected at Key
The Superintendent, with all his office force, as well as
the majority of all employes of the Seventh District, make
their home in this city.
Besides being the headquarters of the Seventh Naval
District and the Seventh Lighthouse District, Key West
has the following Government establishments: United
States Army Barracks, Fort Taylor, Naval Air Station,
Naval Base Hospital, Marine Hospital, Marine Barracks,
Coast Guard Patrol Base, Customs Service, Immigration
Service, Weather Bureau Station, New Submarine Base,
powerful Government wireless station with a radius of
over fifteen hundred miles, Biological Station, Fish Cultural
Station, Plant Quarantine Service, and many other activities
representing all departments and bureaus of the Federal
All of the Government reservations are open to the
public upon application and visitors are cordially welcomed.
Many of the departments are different to those which can
be visited at other points, especially the lighthouses and the
Fish Cultural Station, at which the Government is making
a study of the habits and natures of the fish which abound
in these waters, and of which there have been identified
over six hundred varieties.
KEY WEST'S PUBLIC BUILDINGS
Marine Hospital. Entrance to U. S. Army Barracks. Weather Bureau. First National Bank. Lighthouse. Federal Building and Post Office
County Courthouse. Ovals: Maine, and Sailors' and Soldiers' (Federal) Civil War Monument
STey 'est and Monroe County- Florida
IA^1'' ^^^ ^^^-"'^^ -^ -, -_--- ,- __
OF all the sports, probably fishing is dearest to the
hearts of its followers. The charm of "going fishing"
has held us since childhood, but the season in the North
is far too short for our delight in the game. Florida, with
the greatest coastline of any of the other States, is famed for
the variety and extend of its fishing grounds, but a more
abundant supply of game and edible fish can be found in
the waters in the immediate vicinity of Key West than on
the entire shore line of the United States. More than six
hundred varieties of fish abound in these waters, and the
year has no terminal, for different seasons give different
varieties of fish, and the waters are always open to the
launch or boatman.
The angler in quest of sport can find here the games of
all salt-water fish, the tarpon, sailfish, sawfish, amberjack
the mutton fish and the barracuda. When we speak of
gamy fish the remark instantly suggests the tarpon to the
tourist and to many residents, but local fishermen disagree
on which is the gamiest fish. Some say the mutton fish, "the
bulldog of the sea"; others the lightning-like amberjack, or
the bullheaded jack, or the barracuda, "the tiger of the
sea." But a tarpon catch, the wiliest and showiest fighter
in these waters, is the dream of many anglers. Tarpon are
always plentiful, but particularly in March, April and
May. During the spring season of 1923 a tarpon six feet
long, weighing one hundred and seventeen pounds, was
landed on March IIth. Drops for tarpon fishing are with-
in easy access of the city from one to two miles where they
may be easily hooked. It is easy enough to get a bite, but
hard enough to land the fish. The movement of the fish is
lightning-like, it knows dozens of cunning turns to free it-
self, and an angler's gratification is excessive when he
succeeds in landing "The Silver King."
For gamy, salt-water fish the best fishing grounds in the
country extend along the Florida Reef from Bahia Honda,
thirty miles east of Key West, to the Marquesas, twenty
miles west of the city, and the sport affords its followers
thrills like the hunting of big game in Africa. Anybody
who can turn a reel or pull in a handline may angle to his
heart's content. He may fish successfully in the vicinity of
almost any of the keys, and he is likely to catch anything
ranging from a grunt or lane snapper to a giant tarpon, a
sailfish, an amberjack, or a score of other sturdy fighters.
The Florida Keys are the yachtman's paradise, particu-
larly in winter. Year after year the fact is becoming more
generally known throughout the country, and the time is
SHOOTING AND FISHING AROUND KEY WEST
A Day's Catch. The Florida Flamingo. Trap-Shooting at Long Key. Turtle Haul. Aeroplaning Between Key West and Havana
SKey 'est and Monroe County -Florida
,. -. .,l. -
not far distant when the pleasure boats will cruise through
the keys in thousands. The keys now are the rendezvous
of some of the best-known yachtsmen. The harbor at Key
West affords splendid anchorage for yachts, sheltered and
protected, and with a depth sufficient for ocean-going yachts,
with abundance of turning room.
Day in and day out, all the year round, there is no other
city in the country where sea-bathing can be enjoyed to so
great an extent as it can at Key West. The sand beaches
slope very gradually into the sea, and the reef, seven miles
out to sea, breaks the force of the waves, and leaves a calm,
exhilarating bathing place, devoid of the strain of the buffet-
ing of the sea. One may go swimming every day in the year
in the waters off Key West with the consciousness that the
water will be just cold enough and just hot enough, what
swimmers declare to be "just right." The water is particu-
larly clear and limpid, and swimming is a delightful sport
three hundred and sixty-five days in the year.
The tennis enthusiast will find splendid and fast courts,
ideally located, and well maintained.
A sporty eighteen-hole golf course will be in prime condi-
tion for playing for the winter season of 1923-1924, located
on Stock Island, the nearest key to Key West and connected
by road with this island. The golf course will comprise
about one hundred and fifty acres on the gulf side of this
island, will contain many natural hazards, and will furnish
a diversion that Key West has long needed. A yacht basin
will be constructed, bathing beaches and bath-houses will be
provided, and a beautiful country club will be built. The
golf course is municipally owned, and its construction is in
the competent hands of Messrs. Langford & Moreau, golf
architects of Chicago, who have planned and carried into
execution many of the finest golf courses of the State.
Long Key Fishing Camp, sixty-five miles north of Key
West, has an ideal location, its four miles of sandy, white
beach caressed by the bright varihued waters of the Florida
Straits, and its hundreds of coconut palms giving it a semi-
tropical atmosphere so appealing to the winter visitor in
the South. The Camp consists of a central office, reading
room and dining room, with separate cottages for the guests.
While fishing is primarily what you visit Long Key for,
expert fishermen and craft being provided by the hotel
management, other pastimes are arranged for the guests,
among them being trap-shooting. Long Key Fishing Camp
is the most widely advertised and most famous of all fishing
camps in the world, and numbers among its winter visitors
annually some celebrated writers of big-fish stories.
Bathing Scenes at South Beach
I ey Vest and Monroe County-Florida
FOR many years, before the Florida sponge attracted
attention, it was said that the entire sponge supply of
the United States was derived from the Mediterranean
and later on some few shipped into this country from the
Bahamas. From best information, it is said that about the
year 1852 some few sponges were gathered in the waters
about Key West and shipped to New York, a venture which
resulted in the establishment of a market for the Florida
From that time on Key West became the home of the
industry in this country, and numbers of fishing vessels were
fitted out as spongers. The sponge beds about Key West are
among the best in the world, and sponge gathered here is
considered to be especially desirable. Diving suits are un-
necessary as the water is so shallow and clear, and the heavy
shoes of the divers kill the young sponges, so that when the
Greek divers made their appearance about 1904 with full
diving apparatus and commenced fishing for sponge in this
way, many beds were made unproductive for years.
The gathering of sponge and the subsequent bleaching,
selling, clipping and baling are all of great interest to the
visitor. The sponges are gathered in small boats. One man
in the bow carries a glass-bottomed bucket which he forces
.-,' "_p.-_& '--,-'KKCJj
down into the water and searches the bottom of the ocean
for sponges. A man in the stern skulls the boat very lightly
so that the motion is very slow. When a sponge is sighted
the sponger reaches down into the water with a very long
hook, some are as much as thirty feet long, hooks the sponge,
tears it away from the rock to which it is attached and
brings it into the boat. Later they are put into shallow
water along the shore edge in what is known as "crawls,"
and there the living matter of the sponge dies. They are
then brought to the market and sold in strings. Offers are
made by the buyers which may be accepted or rejected by
the seller, and in the end a "string" sells for from $6.00 to
$8.00 per string. The sponge dock presents a most interest-
ing face when the sponge fleets are in and the buyers are
busy. Clippers then take the sponge, trim it up for the
market, and they are packed in great bales in a compress for
At Chase, sixteen miles above Key West, it has been
demonstrated that sponges can be grown or farmed by artifi-
cial propagation, and that the cultivated article is in every
way superior to those of natural growth. There exists the
only sponge farm in the world. The estimated yearly in-
come from the sponge industry is approximately $IOO,000.
,, .-- ,:. 2. ".*^ 7y .-_ ". "-'' < 4* ,.. .- -*-- :'
THE FAMOUS KEY WEST SPONGE
A Customary Scene at the Sponge Market, With Two "Close-Ups" of This Product
Aif "'h`st andM Honro Countu--l'lorid
HARKS used to be hunted for sport and because it was
felt that their destruction was doing a service to human-
ity. Now, however, the sea monster benefits the human
race not only by his taking off, but by the utilization of his
body in the manufacture of serviceable products-leather,
ivory, oil, glue, fertilizer and edible delicacies.
On Big Pine Key, thirty-two miles north of the City of
Key West, the Ocean Leather Company has a fishing sta-
tion and tannery, making exceptionally durable leather from
the skins of sharks. This company is now turning out about
two hundred shark-skins a day. The hide of the average
shark yields some ten square feet of leather. As to supply
of raw material, it has been calculated that about a mil-
lion and a quarter sharks pass daily in and out of the waters
of the Florida Straits in the long stretches of coral rock.
The sharks are taken in huge gill-nets, each of which ex-
tends to some five hundred feet in length. In these the
sharks are caught by their gill, and as many as three hundred
and sixteen have been taken in one net in a day. Needless
to say, the new leather can be put to many uses apart from
the making of boots and shoes. By-products are not wasted;
for instance, sharks' heads are melted down for glue; sharks'
teeth are sold to jewelers, and sharks' fins are a Chinese
dainty fetching one dollar each.
Fishing, as an industry, aside from the shark-fishing
above Key West, is one of the most important. More than
five million pounds of fish are annually shipped out of Key
West, and it would be impossible to estimate the numbers
of pounds caught in the waters adjacent. The largest ship-
ments are made of kingfish and mackerel which are caught
in stupendous quantities, and of crawfish, millions of which
abound in these waters. The crawfish are shipped alive and
in cans, the canned ones are all shipped to New York, while
the live ones are shipped throughout the country. To can,
the crawfish are steamed and the clear, creamy white meat
of their tails only are put up in one-pound tins. The de-
mand is such that it is impossible to keep orders filled, and
live crawfish have been shipped as far as San Francisco.
They were iced five times during the trip and were still
alive when they arrived at their destination.
The turtle is being utilized by Mr. A. Candaywho, after
years of experimenting, has perfected the turtle soup that
has become so popular, and established here the only turtle
soup canning factory in the world.
The turtles used in the manufacture of the soup are
caught in the Caribbean Sea along the coasts of Mexico and
Nicaragua. The turtles weigh from twenty-five to a thou-
sand pounds. It is interesting to watch the turtles in the
"crawls"-pens built in the water where they are kept.
The turtles in the "crawls" are fed regularly on seaweed.
They eat no meat of any kind, but thrive on the seaweed
which is caught for them.
AQUATIC SCENES AROUND KEY WEST
Commercializing the Dreaded Shark. A Record Catch. Pilot's Speed Launch. Golfing in the Tropics
S ey Vlest and Monroe County -1loridta
M ANY points, relics of the early history of Florida,
still remain, among them old Fort Taylor construct-
ed in 1845, commanding all of the water entrance
into Key West, the two Martello towers on the water's
edge, both of which have been wrecked and make interest-
ing ruins to be visited.
About seventy miles north of Key West is located Indian
Key, famous in the old days as an important port, an im-
portant wrecking center. At Tea Table Key, about one
mile away, was a small naval post in 1838, and a revenue
cutter patrolled the waters round about. Living in constant
dread of an attack from the Indians, the people on Indian
Key repeatedly petitioned the Government to furnish troops
for their protection. Early in August, 1838, the cutter left
the waters in that vicinity, leaving no one on the Govern-
ment reserve except one officer and ten sick men. On the
7th of August the Indians swooped down upon the settle-
ment on Indian Key and massacred every soul on the island
except the Howes, who were hidden in a cistern, burnt all
houses, except one in which was prominently displayed a
Masonic apron. This house is still standing.
Sixty miles west of Key West lie the Tortugas group of
islands, the most westerly of the Florida Keys. The name
Tortugas means "turtles" and the islands are so called be-
cause of their appearance when first sighted. On Garden
Key in this group is located historic old Fort Jefferson,
begun while Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War. It has
been estimated that every brick in this structure, which was
three stories high and covered the entire key of about ten
acres, cost the United States Government a dollar apiece.
During the Civil War and afterwards there were many
Government prisoners incarcerated there, prominent among
them Dr. Mudd, who figured in the assassination of Lincoln.
On Bird Key, less than a mile due east of Garden Key,
is located the old military cemetery, and many old tomb-
stones are still standing. The Government has turned this
key into a bird reservation, where gulls are protected during
the nesting and hatching season. Two miles to the west-
ward is Loggerhead Key, on which is located the last of
the lighthouses on the Florida Reef. These, with North
Key and East Key, compose the Tortugas group.
Delightful fishing parties can be arranged to this loca-
tion, by aeroplane, or by yacht. The Florida Reef extends
beyond the Tortugas group several hundred feet, and inside
the reef it is very calm and forms a magnificent basin. Right
outside of the reef is good fishing for trolling for barracuda,
kingfish and mackerel, while inside and close to the reef is
excellent fishing for bottom fish.
Between the fort and Bird Key is a wonderful marine
garden over which one can ride for miles. This garden has
exquisite sea fans, sea baskets and seaweed of variegated
colorings, which form a scene of incomparable beauty.
THE OVERSEA RAILWAY
A Tropical Perspective of Long Key Viaduct
Keij E V"WtSI ctpimi Mfonroe Count F lorida
ROM an investment viewpoint, the Florida Keys, ex-
tending from Key West to Biscayne Bay, are potential
gold mines. They comprise the chain of keys that were
famous as wonder spots of Nature, even before the dream
of the railroad was visualized and became a reality.
While the keys possess all the magic of sunshine and sea,
of abundant and beautifully colored fishes, of odd and won-
derful coral growths, white and brown and red and blue,
with intermediate shadings-marine gardens that are not
exceeded in splendor by others anywhere in the world-yet
their assured future lies in their practical side.
These keys are of nearly pure carbonate of lime, and are
little else than undigested plant food.
All tropical fruits and vegetables without a single excep-
tion grow readily on the keys, but experiments that have
been made have resulted in scores of farmers specializing in
certain crops. The latest is the date palm, which grows
rapidly and bears delicious fruit abundantly. Thousands of
date palms have been planted on the keys for commercial
purposes during the last two years. Citrus fruits, especially
limes, grow unusually well. The limes of the keys are not
the usual small green limes of commerce. The limes grown
here are almost as large as lemons, thin-skinned and of
particularly delicate flavor, and yet very acid. Housewives
once using the key limes in their cooking, are never satisfied
to go back to the use of lemons.
Grape cuttings planted in March produce grapes in
August. The quality rivals anything California has ever
produced, and the crop can be landed in the Northern mar-
kets two months ahead of the California crop. Four-year-
old grape vines will bear as many as two hundred bunches
of grapes, and the fruit begins to ripen in May.
Mangoes and avocado pears, cantaloupes and water-
melons, and nearly all kinds of tropical fruits, papayas,
grapefruit, oranges, guavas, tangerines, bananas, sapodillas,
sugar apples, and nearly all other fruits that grow have
their seasons here, being the first to ripen and can be first in
the Northern markets and get the highest prices.
Asparagus grows so like a weed that it is diligently hoed
out of existence. Shoots of this vegetable are frequently cut
two feet long with no fibrous substance the entire length.
And an asparagus bed once started is an endless source of
Untold fortunes await the truck farmer, in growing
tomatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, onions, squash and
pumpkins. Two hundred and fifty acres planted in toma-
A KEY TOWN
Oval: One of the Many Sand Beaches Shaded by the Coconut Palm, a Common Sight Along the Florida Keys
Ifey Vest and Monroe County- Florida
^^ -i, -t?.- -i-i =A___ -._ -
toes on Key Largo this past season yielded a return of
$250,000.00. Pepper plants, three years old, bear endless
There are immense groves of bearing coconuts. The
"copra," or dried coconut, is worth $150.oo per ton on the
beach, and five trees will produce a ton each year.
But the opportunity for investment on the keys is not
confined to farming. Probably more money will be earned
in the immediate future by making developments for cot-
tages, hotels, fishing camps and pleasure resorts generally.
Miami Beach, which may be considered the first of the
easterly chain of keys, was a dense growth of mangroves a
dozen years ago. Today it is a paradise of polo grounds,
golf courses, hotels, cottages, casinos, bathing pavilions, pine
trees and coconut palms. It has excellent paved streets and
a million-dollar concrete driveway, over which hundreds of
automobiles pass in an hour.
What has been done at Miami Beach can be repeated on
many of the keys between there and Key West. The keys
in many instances have white sandy beaches, lined with
coconut palms, and are ideal spots for the building of winter
homes and hotels.
Key Largo is the longest of all the keys. It has more
than thirty miles of ocean and bay-front beach and a road-
way running its entire length. The fishing along the keys
is the best in the country, and Key Largo is no exception.
Angel Fish Creek, at the head of Key Largo, has a great
reputation among tourists who enjoy angling, and at night
the riding lights of pleasure craft at anchor in Angel Fish
Creek present the appearance of a small electrically-lighted
city. The keys comprise the only section of Florida that is
frost-free, and the fishing in their waters is incomparable.
Upper Matecumbe is the most thickly settled of all the
easterly keys. There are numerous clubhouses located there,
where some of the best known business men in New York
and Louisville spend their winter vacations.
From Big Pine to Boca Chica there is a succession of
channels, creeks, small islands and lagoons. This territory
will soon be made accessible by the proposed driveway over
the keys, and the beautiful marine gardens may be observed
in all their beauty. Clubhouses, cottages and hotels will dot
the keys and thousands will be attracted to these wonder
isles of Nature.
The Florida Keys are nearing that stage when their
development will be widespread-when instead of speaking
of a chain of islands from here to the mainland, we will
speak of the beautiful driveway through miles of groves,
past hundreds of coconut trees, over waters of clearest blue
and jade, with the ever-changing colors of the Atlantic and
Gulf ever in sight.
Some of the Tropical Fruits Grown in Monroe County
MAP of KEY WEST, FLORIDA
Forfurther information about Key West and Monroe County, apply to
SECRETARY, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
KEY WEST, FLORIDA
Printed by The Record Company, St. Augustine, Fla.