Home » Author Archive

Posts by Tom:

[1 Dec 2010 | Comments Off on Pennekamp Turns 50! | Posted by ]
Pennekamp Turns 50!

Governor LeRoy Collins at the dedication of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on December 10, 1960. From the Monroe County Library Collection.
Originally uploaded by Florida Keys–Public Libraries

America’s only undersea park celebrates its 50th year! Here’s a link to all the festivities: http://www.fla-keys.com/pennekamp50/events.cfm
Check out the library’s collection of Upper Keys photos, including the Pennekamp dedication, here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keyslibraries/sets/72157625375988576/

[27 Oct 2010 | Comments Off on 50 years ago, and not a moment too soon. | Posted by ]
50 years ago, and not a moment too soon.

In the 1950s, demand for new homes was exceeding supply. Developers were looking for areas to build. Old Town Key West was a good location near downtown stores and the well paid jobs on the Naval Base with old homes and buildings that could be removed and new ones built. This effort was being aided by the city commissions that at almost ever meeting were ordering old buildings and homes that were in disrepair to be razed; even the Oldest House on Duval Street was on the list …

[1 Sep 2010 | One Comment | Posted by ]
Working…on the Railroad

We just finished uploading our collection of Florida East Coast Railway photographs to our Flickr site. Our goal is to have these photos (and oral histories and other related documents) available for anyone planning an event for the Florida East Coast Centennial in 2012. Here’s our policy on using the photos.
We chose to release the photos just before Labor Day to honor the men who worked and died building the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway.
It took almost seven years to build the extension. The working conditions …

[1 Jul 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted by ]
Honoring American Patriots

Colonel Frederick Hambright
Frederick Hambright was born on May 1, 1727 in Germany.  He came to America on the ship, St. Andrew on October 27, 1738 with his father, Conrad Hambrecht, and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. During the immigration process the name was changed to Hambright and as far as I know all the Hambrights in this country are descendants of Conrad.
In 1755 Frederick Hambright moved to Virginia, where he married his first wife, Sarah Hardin. Then, in 1760, Hambright moved to Tryon County, North Carolina and settled near the …

[4 Jun 2010 | Comments Off on Black gold in the Keys | Posted by ]
Black gold in the Keys

In February 1923 Charles Curry who lived at 603 Southard Street hired a man to put a well in his yard. In the pre-pipeline days water for human consumption came from cisterns but most people had fresh water wells for other household uses. A layer of fresh water floats on the saltwater and a shallow well produces fresh water that some still use today to water plants.
Mr. Curry’s man reported he had sunk the pipe to the required depth and installed a pump but could only get oil from the …