Front Cover

Title: Facts about "The Island City," Key West, Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/FI26300016/00001
 Material Information
Title: Facts about "The Island City," Key West, Florida
Alternate Title: Key to the Gulf
Facts about Key West
Physical Description: 12 p. : ill., ports. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: S.l
Publication Date: 1908?]
Subject: Key West (Fla.) -- Pictorial works   ( lcsh )
Key West (Fla.) -- Description and travel   ( lcsh )
Monroe -- 12087   ( ceeus )
Original Location: History Dept., May Hill Russell Library; 700 Fleming St., Key West, FL 33040.
General Note: Across bottoms of p. 10-11 is "Key West Cigar Manufacturers' Association stamp (reduced facsimile) is guarantee that cigars are genuine Key West made." The bottom of p. 12 includes a collection of views of Key West including the Monroe Co. Court House and Jail and several factories.
General Note: Pages 2-11 include photos by Harrison, Key West, of: Geo. W. Allen, W.D. Cash, W.R. Porter, John Lowe, Jr., Geo. S. Waite, Wm. B. Curry, J.B. Browne, E.A. Waddell, Thos. Reedy, Geo. L. Babcock, Dr. J.V. Harris, Judge Alvarez, Judge B.B. Whalton, Judge G.G. Brooks, Shirley Bott, G.W. Reynolds, M.W. Curry, Dr. J.N. Fogarty, J.R. Curry, Jr., Geo. L. Lowe, L. Wotfson i.e. Wolfson?, L. Marstnez, Capt. J.L. Watrous, A. Louis, E.H. Gato, A.W. Arnold, H.E. Korn, Jno. Wardlow, Dr. C.F. Kemp, Com. Beehler, Maj. Hunter, G.B. Patterson, W.T. Thompson, M.B. Darnall, Egbert P. Ball, E.M. Semple, C.A. Elgin, Col. F.C. Brossier and two scenes.
Funding: (Florida heritage collection); (Ephemeral cities)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: FI26300016
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAB0059
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Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
Full Text



"The Island City"



In buying cigars
You want the best;
They're the kind that arc
"Made in Key West."

Compliments of
Capital $100.000.00
Conducts a General Banking Business.
Depository and Disbursing Agent for U. S.
President. Vice President.
Cashier. Assistant Cashier.

Ga. W. Allen W. D. Cash. W. R. Porter. John Lowe, Jr.
Photos by Harrison, Key West.

Among the more important cities of the
United States there are a few special features
which entitle Key West to a uniqueness and
distinction which are all its own.
For many years it has been famous through-
out the world as a great cigar manufacturing
center, and the Key West-made cigar has long
been in favor with consumers everywhere. This
industry has for many years given employment
to thousands of workers who are liberally paid,
and in turn the large weekly pay roll has added
its quota to the general prosperity of the com-
The trade from coastwise and foreign ship-
ping and the traffic from the numerous fertile
islands (or Florida keys as they are best known)
the sponge-gathering, and the fishing have con-
tributed to the steady growth of the community
until Key West is now a city of some 25,000
More recently the city has attracted the eye
of the world by reason of the work now in prog-
ress of extending the Florida East Coast Rail-
way from Miami to Key West, which is located
on an island some distance from the mainland.
Already the advantage of having a main line
of railway within two or three hours' sail of
the city is being felt in a way which is most
beneficial to all lines of trade.
Reference to the map will show Key West
to be the nearest Gulf seaport to the Panama
Canal, (it being nearer by several hundred miles
than Galveston, New Orleans, Mobile or Pensa-
cola) the advantages of which are obvious and
need no exploitation here. ft is also needless
to dwell upon the desirability of direct railway
service to the mainland in connection with the
Panama Canal. These things are among the
certainties of the near future, and their influ-
ence in the growth and development of Key West
will be great almost beyond computation, as they
are factors which, naturally, will increase the
commerce of the city to a point bordering on
the phenomenal.
With these introductory remarks it is desired
to refer specifically to the present industries, en-
terprises and numerous local features which havy

Geo. S. Waie Wm. B. Curry. J. B. Browne. E. A. Waddell.
Photos by Harrison, Key West. Real Est. & Ins.

already made of Key West one of the foremost
cities of the United States.
THE CIGAR INDUSTRY.-The manufacture
of cigars is the principal industry in Key West,
and Key West-made cigars are known and appre-
ciated in all parts of the world. Prior to the
70's but little was done here in the way of cigar-
making. There was now and then a small dealer
in cigars who made his own stock, but it was
as late as 1871 when the first factories of impor-
tance were erected here. One of the largest of
the early factories was organized by a New
York firm, Seidenberg & Co., with Samuel Wolfe
as manager, and another by a New York firm,
A. S. Rosenbaum & Co., with W. D. Cash as man-
ager. Each of these factories gave employment
to about 350 people. The late John J. Philbrick
was also one of the early manufacturers on a
large scale. The industry in Key West grew
out of the unrest and internal dissension in
Cuba. Because of the turbulence prevalent in
that country many people left Havana and came
to Key West. Among them were many excellent
cigar-makers, and they demonstrated that for the
purpose of making cigars the climate of Key
West was far superior to that of Havana. In
fact it excels any other place in the world. The
peculiar character of the climate is due not so
much to latitude as to the surrounding waters
and the effect of the location of the Gulf Stream.
The tobacco leaf is very sensitive to the rise and
fall of the barometer, and Key West therefore
has a great advantage over other places in that
it has very few damp days, and it is extremely
rare when the state of the atmosphere interferes
in any way with the manufacture of cigars. The
conditions seem always just right for working
the leaf. The early manufacturers found that a
great inducement to engage in the manufacture
of cigars in Key West lay in the fact that not-
withstanding the higher wages then paid and
that are now being paid, they could import the
raw material, manufacture it into cigars and sell
the product in New York much cheaper than the
Havana manufacturers could place their goods

Those. Reedy. Geo. L. Babcock. f Dr. J. V. Harris. Judge Alvarez.
Photos by Harrison, Key West.

on the New York market. From a small begin-
ning the industry grew to its present steady and
magnificent proportions. At the present time
there are employed in the Key West factories 3,-
500 cigar-makers; 1,100 women leaf-strippers;
150 pickers and packers; 150 wrapper selectors.
The cigar-makers make from 150 to 175 cigars
each, daily, and for which work they are paid
at the rate of $19.00 on a grade of cigars the
average wholesale price of which is about $70.00
per 1,000. The strippers make $6.00 to $7.00 per
week. Pickers are paid $45.00 a week. Wrapper
selectors are paid $20.00 to $27.00 per week.
Thus it will be seen that about 5,000 people, or
20 per cent. of the total population are employed
at good wages in the manufacture of cigars.
Such a condition makes a prosperous and happy
SPONGE INDUSTRY.-Sponge fishing is one
of the important industries of Key West. The
business which has grown into large proportions
had its beginning here many years ago, and was
started by early settlers who came over from
the English colonies, near by. The waters around
Key West abound in sponge of the best quality.
There are now 300 boats and 3,000 men from
this city engaged in sponge fishing. Product
sells to some twenty odd buyers at auction for
about $1,000,000 annually. The men engaged in
the business earn $60.00 to $75.00 per month.
The grades from best to poorest are sheepswool,
velvet, yellow, grass and glove sponge. Leading
dealers in New York handle only Key West
sponge because of its superior quality.
REAL ESTATE.-Real estate is active, and
there is an increasing demand for property at
steadily advancing prices. Than this there could
be no better index to the solidity of Key West.
There cannot be found on the globe a more de-
lightful place of residence, and this combined
with exceptionally fine general business conditions
make Key West an ideal city for a home. Rents
are moderate, but sufficient to pay a good per
cent on the investment. There are few vacant
storerooms or residences, and investment in the
erection of others is constantly going on and is
proving profitable. The growth of business is en-

Judge B. B. Whallon. Judge G,G. Brooks. .Shirley Bott G. W. Reynolds.
Photos by Harrison, Key West.

coaching upon the residential section, and home-
builders are now beginning to occupy the hereto-
fore unused or suburban parts of the island.
Real estate interests are in the hands of capable
RAILWAY EXTENSION.-The novelty of Mr.
Henry M. Flagler's extension of the F. E. C. Rail-
way across the sea 1o Key West has caused the
tremendous undertaking to be known throughout
the world. The great enterprise is now so far
finished that its completion to this city is one of
the certainties of the near future. The "iron
horse" already comes to within 45 miles of Ksy
West, and much of the grading over the interven-
ing keys has been done. Extensive dock accom-
modations have been provided for at the railway
terminal in Key West. From this point trains
will be ferried across to Havana, 90 miles dis-
U. S. NAVAL STATION.-The Naval Station
at Key West, Fla., at present under the command
of Commodore W. H. Beehler, as commandant, oc-
cupies an area of about 60 acres, on the water
front, at the west side of the island. It has a
coal depot with a storage capacity of 25,000 tons
of coal, which is being enlarged, and has appli-
ances to furnish at each of the two piers 100 tons
of coal per hour. There is a distilling plant and
fresh water cisterns with a storage capacity of
1,200,000 gallons of fresh water; two fine machine
shops, with all modern tools and appliances; store
houses; dwellings; barracks, and one of the most
powerful wireless telegraph stations on the coast.
This wireless station has a reliable range of over
1,000 miles, in communication with New York,
Bermuda, Porto Rico, Colon, along the west coast
of Central America, and up through the United
States to Chicago.
2. It is the most important naval station
south of Norfolk, and is being developed with ap-
pliances for a torpedo station and depot in all re-
spects superior to that which is now at Newport,
R. I. This is being built at Fleming Key 60
acres, just north of the railroad terminal. In the
harbor, plans are being made for a battleship

M. W. Curry. Dr. J. N. Fogarty J. R. Curry, Jr. Geo. L. Lowe.
Photos by Harrison, Key West.

anchorage basin south of Woman Key where
the navy has a rifle range. The keys to the west,
north of the West Channel, all belong to the Gov-
ernment, and will be utilized for naval purposes.
3. Dry Tortugas, another coaling station, part
of this naval station, 60 miles distant, has a coal
storage capacity of 15,000 tons. Recent examina-
tions of the harbor at Key West show a channel
35 feet deep and 1,100 feet wide, with access to
the Belknap Basin. Arrangements are being
made to make this naval station the headquarters
for torpedo boats to cruise in the inland water-
ways between the reefs and the keys along the
Florida coast, giving the naval base at Key West
complete command of the approaches to the Gulf
of Mexico, Carribean Sea and the Panama Canal.
4. While vessels are at the Naval Station at
Key West from two to three hundred workmen
are employed, besides fifty stevedores when han-
dling coal. There is a garrison of fifty marines,
which will be doubled when Cuba is evacuated,
and fifty sailors, including the crews of the two
station tugs, Massasoit and Osceola. Plans for
sea wall, additional pier, dry dock and marine
sailing have been approved. The dry dock should
take a 20,000 ton battleship, and the marine rail-
way, which is under course of construction will
take torpedo destroyers of 800 tons.
ARMY.-There are four military reservations
on the island.
KEY WEST BARRACKS, the headquarters of
the artillery district of Key West, and the only
garrisoned post, is at the corner of White and
Southard streets, on the street car line. Area,
about 23 acres. Garrison, 4 companies of the
Coast Artillery Corps, and a band. Parades, daily
except Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at
8 a. m. Parade on Wednesdays, except summer
months, 30 minutes before sunset. Band concerts
Monday and Fridays at 7:30 p. m. Wednesday,
except summer months, 4:00 p. m. Wednesday
in summer, 7:30 p. m. A banyan tree is on the east
side of the parade ground. Open to the public.
PORT TAYLOR. Corner Emma and Southard
streets, area, about 63 acres; contains modern bat-

L. Wotison. L. Marstnez. Capt. J. L. Watrous. A. Louis.
Photos by Harrison, Key West.

teries for defense of Key West Harbor. The
brick fort was begun in 1845. The Government
is to spend a large sum of money upon Fort Tay-
lor in the construction of sea walls, barracks, etc.,
and the garrison at Key West Barracks, will be
moved there. Artillery drill daily except Wednes-
days, Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30 a. m. Admis-
sion by pass obtained from any officer at Key
West Barracks.
shore of the island at end of White street.
county road. These are good examples of the-
fortifications of forty years ago and will repay
a visit. Open to the public.
CUSTOM HOUSE.-It will not be amiss, even
though the space available is limited in this pam-
phlet, to give a brief outline of the custom
business transacted at Key West.
As far back as 1822 and but shortly after the
acquisition of Florida by the United States, ne
future commercial importance of Key West was
recognized by the authorities at Washington and
by special legislation the President was author-
ized to establish a custom house at this point.
A collector and other officers were appointed, and
the following year a revenue vessel was attached
to the port. It was not, however, until the year
1828 that a collection district was regularly es-
tablished for south Florida, and Key West was
constituted the port of entry. It so continues
to this day, although a number of sub-ports have
since been established to accommodate the con-
stantly growing commercial demands of the dis-
trict. The first to be established was at Punta
Gorda on the west coast of Florida, made neces-
sary by the extension thereto of the railroad and
the development of the phosphate interests. Next
came the sub-port of Palm Beach on the line of
the Florida East Coast Railroad, and as this link
of steel was extended south to the Magic City of
Miami another sub-port was demanded at that
point. Within the past year the further exten-
sion of the Florida East Coast Railway along the
islands south to Knight's Key and within forty
miles of Key West, another sub-port has been es-

E. H. Gato. A. W. Arnold. H. E. Korn. Jno. Wardlow.
tablished at that point from which steamers
loaded witi passengers ply to and fro between
there and Havana, Cuba.
Reverting again to the early history of Key
West and its recognized commercial importance
we find that shortly after the establishment of
the port of entry the authorities at Washington
entered into negotiations with the original own-
ers and purchased a suitable tract of land along
the water front of the island for custom's pur-
poses. Subsequently a two-story wooden build-
ing was erected on the site, a collector appointed,
and the entry and clearance of vessels, foreign
and domestic, and collection of duties inaugu-
rated. The customs business of the port has
kept pace with the growth of the island. The
impetus given Key West by the unfortunate revo-
lutionary uprisings on the island of Cuba, exiling
its inhabitants and forcing them to seek an asy-
lum in the United States since 1868, has materi-
ally assisted in the development of Key West and
has been the means of virtually transferring the
Cuban cigar industry to this point. Cigar facto-
ries sprang up all over Key West. The importa-
tion of leaf tobacco and other commodities from
Cuba kept steadily increasing and the custom
house facilities were soon found inadequate to meet
the requirements of the new business. Thus we
find that an appropriation for a new public build-
ing was demanded and the present magnificent ed-
ifice was erected in 1890, on the site of the old
wooden building, at a cost of over $110,000.00 and
even now, within twenty years from its first oc-
cupancy the customs business has outgrown its
confines and an appropriation of $350,000 has been
recommended by Congress for the purchase of an-
other site and the erection thereon of a public
building commensurate with the present needs of
the port.
'Ihe following statistics are taken from the
records of the custom house for the year ending
December 31st, 1907:
Total receipts of the port. .......... $525,126.79
Total value of imports ........ ...... 994,472.00
Total value of exports.... .......... 852,457.00
Number of vessels entered, 433; tons, 342,525.
Number of vessels cleared, 432; tons 320,926.
Number of officials employed, 47.

Dr. C. F. Kemp. Com. Beehler Mai. Hunter. G. B. Patterson.
Photos by Harrison, Key West.

West Postoffice ranks among the leading second-
class offices of Florida, its receipts for the year
ending June 30th, 1907, being approximately $17,-
000.00 These figures are not a true indication
of the volume of mail matter handled by this
office, as it must be remembered that there are
more branches of the Federal Government located
in Key West than in any other city of Florida;
all of the official mail of these various depart-
ments, as is well known, go through the mails
without the payment of postage, and as fully 1-3
of the mail despatched from this office is of that
character, if postage were collected thereon the
income of the office would be increased in a like
During the year 1907 the office issued 12,535
domestic money orders aggregating approximately
$150,000.00, and paid in the same period 1,223 or-
Besides the postmaster and assistant six
clerks and four carriers are employed in the of-
3HIPP1NG.-The coastwise and foreign trade
of Key West, because of its geographical location,
is very large. The steamship lines embrace the
Mallory Line from New York to Galveston; the
P. & O. Steamship lines from Tampa via Key
West to Havana, and from Knight's Key via Key
West to Havana: the McKay Line from Tampa
to Havana; the Benner Line from New York to
Key West, and numerous sailing vessels to New
York, Mobile, New Orleans and foreign countries.
NEWSPAPERS.-Key West has the Key West
Citizen, an excellent afternoon paper, and the
Weekly Advertiser which is also a highly cred-
itable paper. El Centinela, printed in Spanish, is
also a fine weekly newspaper.
HOTELS.-Hotel Jefferson; Island City Hotel
and Hotel Victoria. All are well kept. Numer-
ous boarding houses.
STREET RAILWAY.-The electric railway
system is all that could be desired. The trackage
covers all quarters of the island, and the per-
fect service is rewarded by liberal patronage.

W. T. Thompson. M. B. Darnall. Egbert P. Ball. E. M. Semple.
Photos by Harrison, Key West.

BANKING.-Key West has the First National
Bank of Key West and the Island City National
Bank, with a capital of $100,000.00 each. These
two banks, in addition to serving the ordinary
commerce of the city, offer every facility in a
financial way for carrying on the immense cigar
manufacturing business of the city.
ELECTRIC LIGHTING.-The city is lighted
by a first-class electric lighting plant, and the
service is excellent and reasonable.
WIRELESS TELEGRAPH.-In addition to the
large U. S. Government wireless telegraph sta-
tion, Key West also has the DeForest system.
COURTS.-In addition to the city government
tne judiciary embraces the County Court, a Crim,
inal Court of Record, the State Circuit Court and
the United States' courts.
RETAIL TRADE.-By reason of the large pay
rolls of the numerous cigar factories and the
trade from the surrounding keys, and through
the sponge and fishing industries and traffic from
shipping, etc., there is always an abundance of
money in circulation. Business is brisk with the
merchants at all seasons of the year. All lines
of trade are represented, and the stocks carried
by the merchants are up to the mark.
CLTIMATE.-The proximity of the Gulf Stream
and its nearness to the equator give to Key West
a most equable climate. No great extremes in
temperature. It is never too hot nor too cold, and
gentle refreshing sea breezes are constantly blow-
ing. The climate is beneficial in pulmonary
troubles. Sunstroke and hay fever are unknown.
TAXATION.-Taxes are very low.
INSURANCE.-All of the best fire insurance


Key West Cigar Manufacturers' Association stamp (reduced fac

C. A. Elgin. Col. F. C. Brossier.
Photos by Harrison, Key West.

companies are represented in Key West, and the
business done is considerable. A highly efficient
fire department is a factor in securing reasonable
charges on policies.
fISEING.-Fishing is excellent. Over two
hundred varieties of fish are caught in Key West
waters, and fine sport is afforded. Tarpon, amber
jack, barracouta, sheepshead and all of the game
fish abound. Commercial fishing is also an im-
portant industry.
IMMIGRATION.-Sub-port of Tampa. Immi-
grants of all classes admitted year ending June
30, 1907. numbered 5,275.
COMMISSION BUSINESS.-There are several
large commission houses, and all consignments of
fruits and produce of all kinds, domestic and
foreign, are sold daily at auction.
WHOLESALE TRADE.-Key West has sev-
eral large wholesale houses carrying a general
supply of goods. These firms fill local orders and
also do a fine export trade.
SCHOOLS.-J. V. Harris, M. D., Supt. of Pub-
lic Instruction. Five public schools in Key West
-three for whites, one of which is for Cuban
children, and two for negroes. 28 teachers. 3,888
attend school in the county, viz: 2,707 white, 1,-
181 negroes. 1,938 are public school children;
1,950 are parochial and private school children.
657 white boys and 601 white girls attend the
public schools. 545 white boys .and 904 white
girls attend the parochial and private schools.
2135 egro boys and 286 negro girls attend the
parochial and private schools. Ruth Hargrove
Seminary is located here, and there is none bet-
ter anywhere. The convent of Mary Immaculate


simile) is guarantee that cigars are genuine Key West made.

is a large institution with beautiful grounds and
Building; well equipped; attendance large; for
girls only. There is a college for boys, and also
the Key West Commercial school.
FIIE DEPARTMENT.-Key West claims the
most efficient fire department in the State. Equip-
ped with the latest improved fire apparatus, in-
cluding Gamewell alarm system, and uses salt
water, which is most effective in extinguishing
fires. Excellence of department has lowered in-
surance rates.
CHURCHES.-All of the usual religious de-
nominations are represented in Key West, the
Methodist having the largest membership. All
have commodious and well-built edifices.
SECRET ORDERS.-There are a number of
lodges, including Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights
Golden Eagle, K. of P., Red Men, Woodmen, etc.
Also G. A. R. and United Confederate veterans.
The B. P. O. Elks have a fine lodge and handsome
LIBbRARES.-Public library with 2,000 vol-
ion, dancing, surf bathing; San Carlos opera
house; baseball park.
press. International Telegraph Co.; cables to Ha-
vana, Cuba, and Miami, Fla.
TELEPHONE.-Southern Bell Telephone ser-
HOSPITAL.-United States Marine Hospital.
well organized and wide-awake commercial bodies
the Chamber of Coi nerce, W. D. Cash, presi-
dent; and the Commercial Club, W. R. Porter,

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