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Archive for October, 2013

The Civil War and Key West

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Did you know that while Florida seceded and joined the Confederate States of America, Key West remained in Union hands because of our naval base? Even though Key West was technically apart of the Union, most Key Westerners were Confederate sympathizers and many even flew Confederate flags over their homes. Nevertheless, Fort Zachary Taylor, and the East and West Martello Towers served as side armories and batteries, which were very important as a Union outpost during the war.

An aerial picture of modern Fort Zachary Taylor.

An aerial picture of modern Fort Zachary Taylor.


Naval Presence in Key West

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

When WWII broke out, the Navy stationed here in Key West increased its presence from 50 acres to 3, 000 acres! This included all of Boca Chica Key and the construction of Fleming Key. Luckily, the naval presence in Key West also allowed the Navy to construct the first freshwater pipeline that covered all of the keys and supplied freshwater to all of the Naval bases. At the most there were 15, 000 military persons and 3, 4000 civilians at the bases!

Key West's Naval Symbol

Key West’s Naval Symbol


The Gibraltar of the West

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Key West’s northern coastline of the deepwater channels, the Florida Straits, connect the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, Key West was always a necessary and important American military post. So since the 1820s, Key West has been called the “Gibraltar of the West” because the Gibraltar is a channel between the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula and North Africa that is the only outlet of the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Cool, huh?


The yellow, L-shaped bar represented the Florida Straits.

The yellow L-shaped bar represents the Florida Straits.