Category Archives: Florida

The Rest of Key West

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Martello was the 19th century term for a small fort and West Martello Tower was built during the Civil War as an adjunct to the larger Fort Zachary Taylor, a few blocks to the west. It was used for various … Continue reading

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Key West Dead

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When a hurricane wiped out Key West’s shore-side main cemetery in 1846, locals prudently built the new one further inland. The home of Key West’s dead is now in the middle of the historic district and I’d always heard that … Continue reading

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No Time for Margaritas in Margaritaville

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It’s best if you go to Key West with the right attitude. Yes, it’s crowded. Yes, it’s touristy (for which we acknowledge our share of blame). Yes, it’s kitschy. Yes, it’s overpriced. But if you accept Key West for what … Continue reading

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Kingsley Plantation

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The most striking part of Kingsley Plantation on Fort George Island in Florida is its slave cabins. They are solid, white, and made of tabby — a building material consisting of oyster shells, lime, sand, and water common to the … Continue reading

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What Lies Beneath (the Lightner Museum)

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The Hotel Alcazar was a luxury hotel in St. Augustine, Florida, built in 1887 by Henry M. Flagler, the founder of Standard Oil. He was introduced to Florida by his wife’s doctor, who thought that a warm winter would do … Continue reading

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History Wasn’t Made Here

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“They do a battle reenactment every year,” said our river tour guide as we cruised by Fort Clinch, a circa 1847 brick fort on the northern tip of Amelia Island, Florida. “I don’t know why, because there never was a … Continue reading

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Amelia Island

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Received of Hopkins Nowlin Four hundred and seventy five Dollars in full payment for the Purchase money of a certain negro girl Slave named Kitty Age about 17 years…. This receipt was the object I found most interesting at the … Continue reading

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