Today in Keys History – Dec. 9, 2022

tables with shark fins on land with water in the background.

1830 – William R. Hackley recorded in his diary: Rose much later than usual for the darkness of the morning. Took a dose of salts to try get rid of some small blisters that rise on my feet and legs which itch exceedingly. The Sloop Splendid sold for $1,000 brought by Henry A. Barclay. Read May’s Maxims. After dinner read a novel called the “Lost Heir.” After tea went down to the store where Robert B. Stannard and some others were playing whist. During the night the wind changed to the northwest and the weather is cold.

1862 -In Key West, Rear Admiral Bailey relieved Rear Admiral Lardner as Commander East Gulf Blocking Squadron.

1867 – Former President of the Southern Confederacy Jefferson Davis stopped in Key West on his way to Havana, were he was going for his health.

1886 – The Jacksonville newspaper “The Times Union” reported a double marriage that occurred in Key West during November. John Lowe, age 82 was married to Mrs. Mary Harris, age 80, and the same evening his brother William Lowe, age 79, married Mrs. Helen Saunders, aged 70.

1930 – The Hydenoil Products Company on Big Pine Key reported that one of its boats brought in a mackerel shark that was 14 1/2 feet in length and 10 feet in circumference with a weight of 1,752 pounds. The company had seven boats in service and on December 8 brought in 111 sharks averaging a little over 300 pounds each. The shark’s skins were used for leather, the liver was processed for the oil and the fins were sold for soup.

1954 – Twentieth Century-Fox was shooting a documentary color film about U.S. Navy submarines in Key West.

1961 -Teamsters Union head Jimmy Hoffa was in town inspecting the Casa Marina and La Concha hotels that had been acquired by the union.

1993 – Monroe County was trying to resolve an $8 million dollar mistake. The county’s consulting firm estimated that work on Card Sound Road would cost $11 million and borrowed that amount. The actual work cost $3.8 million, leaving the county with money that could only be spent on the road.

Information compiled by Tom Hambright, Historian Emeritus, Florida Keys History Center, Monroe County Public Library

Image: Tables with shark fins drying as part of the shark industry on Big Pine Key C 1940. From the Stetson Kennedy Collection. Florida Keys History Center, Monroe County Public Library.


Arts & CultureFlorida HistoryToday In Keys History