Key West is full of history and has been influenced over the years by various cultures, groups, world events and local resources, which can be seen throughout our architecture. Our buildings have a past as much as our communities do. When we can connect to days gone by, we can connect to our own history and look forward to a future of vitality and varied experiences.
The Key West Historic Marker Tour is a program of free, self-guided tours to visit our past through the buildings and sites of Key West. If you’ve not checked out this program yet, you’ll want to, it’s the best resource gateway into the history of Key West.
Before you go walking around to all the Historic Markers, check out the website where there’s not only information and photos to be found but also video and audio links too, it’s a true self-guided tour experience. Not only will you find historic architecture, you’ll also discover historic places, the locations where key events have occurred throughout Key West History.
Many of the buildings which have made it onto the list of nearly 120 sites have been named as historic through the stories our residents past and present have been able to share. This is one of the unique features of the Historic Marker Tour. This program is a community-based effort, where those who have information, photographs, and histories to share can do so, bringing Key West’s history to light for all to enjoy.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the incredible historic buildings you can find on the Key West Historic Marker Tour:
The Curry Mansion: 511 Caroline St. Built 1855 by William Curry, Key West’s first millionaire. The original is gone but for the stone kitchen, Milton, Curry’s son demolished it to have a Victorian mansion built in its place.
Post Office/Customshouse: 281 Front St. Built 1891 to serve as the main customs house, post office and District Court. Now it’s a museum, restored to its original architectural style under the care of the Key West Art & Historical Society.
Southernmost House: 1400 Duval St. Built 1897 by Judge Vinning Harris with his wife Florida Curry, youngest daughter of the Curry family. Thomas Edison had a hand in the electrical system; the house also once served as a speakeasy during prohibition.
Truman Little White House: 111 Front St. Built 1890. This was originally a military residence for the base Commandant and Paymaster. This home has seen presidential residents such as Pres. William Taft and Pres. Harry S. Truman, who spent 11 working vacations in this home, during his presidency. Other President residents have included Pres. Eisenhower, Pres. Kennedy, Pres. Carter and Pres. Clinton.
Key West Woman’s Club: 319 Duval St. Built 1892 by Capt. Martin Hellings where he lived with his wife Eleanor, daughter to William Curry. This house was once home to the only Monroe County Public Library.
Get inspired and discover the history of Key West’s past. If you’re ready to experience year-round Keys living, or it’s time to sell, you can rely on my team and me to help you every step of the way, our experience is here to be put to work for you. Please contact me, Jimmy Lane, for all of your real estate needs.