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[25 Aug 2016 | 6 Comments | Posted by ]
From the album: De Wolfe Collection

Scott DeWolfe Collection, a set on Flickr.

Check out our newest, oldest collection of Keys images. The Scott De Wolfe collection contains some of the oldest images of Key West that we’ve seen around. We have  scanned, tagged and captioned this amazing collection and are eager to share it. Here’s more info:

[1 Oct 2015 | One Comment | Posted by ]
Before Red Hats, Keys women donned Red Shawls

Well over a century ago, in a period of time referred to by Key Westers as “the Romantic 1800’s”, sponging was a prosperous industry and wrecking provided such a bountiful yield that by 1850 Key West had reached a degree of affluence that made it a wealthy city.
Ships from many countries lined the wharves, their holds laden with provisions and lumber. It was from the wreck of one such vessel, legend has it, that a cargo of red shawls was salvaged and promptly distributed to all the local women folk. …

[16 Apr 2014 | 2 Comments | Posted by ]
Tom reviews new Keys books

Five new Keys history book were published in the past year.
Thomas Neil Knowles’ Long Key: Flagler’s Island Getaway for the Rich & Famous is published by University Press of Florida. The Long Key Camp was destroyed by the 1935 Hurricane and with it most of the records. Other have tried to write about Long Key and failed became of lack of material. Through extraordinary research, Tom Knowles  has made an exceptional contribution to Keys history with his account of how the rich and famous vacationed and fished in the Florida …

[18 Feb 2014 | One Comment | Posted by ]
50th Anniversary–Historic Florida History history

Before 1950, the only archives of Key West history were government records or private collections. After the Art and Historical Society was formed in 1950 it maintained a small archives to support the museum. With the founding of the Old Island Restoration Foundation in 1960 it became obvious  that a larger archives was need to support the restoration projects. On February 15, 1964, Monroe County Library Director May Hill Russell formed the Historical Research Committee to act as a single body to compile all the historical material for the city …

[14 Jan 2013 | Comments Off on Kerstein’s “Key West on the Edge” | Posted by ]
Kerstein’s “Key West on the Edge”

UPDATE: Congratulations to Bob! His book has been nominated for the 2012 Florida Historical Society’s Tebeau Award for best Florida history book of the year!
This excellent new book describes how Key West invented an economy based on mass tourism after major cutbacks in the once-thriving military which had been the driving force in Key West life from 1940 to 1970. After years of research and countless interviews with everyone that would talk to him, Dr. Kerstein documents how the changes occurred without destroying the things that make Key West unique.

[1 Jun 2012 | One Comment | Posted by ]
The Queen Conch

As Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee, we’re remembering her visit to the Keys more than 20 years ago, where she met our own version of royalty.
On May 18, 1991 Queen Elizabeth II of England visited Fort Jefferson National Park at the Dry Tortugas where she was welcomed by Monroe County Mayor and Queen Conch Wilhelmina Harvey who gave her a Florida Keys Conch Shell.
The late great Wilhelmina Harvey enjoyed telling the rest of the story about her meeting with the Queen. The Conch Shell is the proud symbol …

[1 Jul 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by ]
Marking 25 years

I would to thank all my friends who came to the Ingham to mark my 25 years as Monroe County Historian and our work to preserve history for future generations.  I could not do this alone and everyone there had done their part over the years to help and support this effort.  We must continue our effort to preserve the Florida Keys and its very special history. A special thanks  to Bruce and Patricia Neff and the Historic Marker crew, Bill Verge of the USCG Ingham, Mayor and Mrs. Cates, …

[22 Jun 2011 | Comments Off on Scott De Wolfe Collection | Posted by ]

Scott De Wolfe Collection, a set on Flickr.

Scott De Wolfe is the co-owner of De Wolfe & Wood Rare Books in Alfred, Maine. He made his first visit to Key West in 1996 and quickly became interested in the history of the island. Being in the rare book and antique paper field has allowed him to amass a large selection of Key West memorabilia, ephemera, books and photographs. His particular interest are items that tell a story or provide a window into the past. De Wolfe notes that “Key West …

[20 May 2011 | Comments Off on Memorial Day history | Posted by ]
Memorial Day history

Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868 to remember the men that lost their lives in the Civil War. As the only southern city to remain in the Union during the Civil War, a large number of U.S. Navy, Marine Corp, and Army men died in Key West, mostly from tropical fevers. The Army men were buried in the Barracks Cemetery that was on White Street across from the Armory. The graves were moved in 1927 to the U.S. National Cemetery at Fort Barrancas near Pensacola. The Navy …

[16 Dec 2010 | Comments Off on Very naughty fish! | Posted by ]
Very naughty fish!

Here’s a special holiday image from a forthcoming library digital collection.
Don DeMariá has been a professional diver since 1972 and based in the Keys since 1978.