Today in Keys History – Jan. 27, 2023

Aerial view of homes and a piece of open land along the waterfront.

1857 – The wrecking schooner Florida, while loading cotton from a ship ashore at Caesar’s Creek, was burned to the waterline. While the crew was working at night, a globe lamp that hung from the mast was accidentally knocked into the cargo hold, and the vessel was set ablaze. The schooner was a total loss, but the crew were all saved.

1933 – The “House of Horror” in Tavernier, in which James Roberts, Jr., had murdered his wife, father, and a family friend just over a week earlier, was burned to the ground by residents of the community to rid the island of the reminder of the tragedy.

1941 – The submarines S-22, S-25, and S-27 completed monthlong repairs at Key West and sailed offshore for test runs. The subs will be used in conjunction with training at the sonar school. 

1949 – The Army Barracks was transferred to the Navy. The 26-acre site on the western shore of Garrison Bight was used to build the Peary Court Navy housing.

1981 – Mrs. Norberg Thompson, one of Key West’s beloved matriarchs, died at her home at the age of 92. She was a charter member of the Key West Art and Historical Society and active member of the Woman’s and Garden Clubs.

1989 – Don Pinder, The Key West Citizen’s premier photographer, retired after 35 years.

1998 – The Monroe County Commission voted to accept a $100,000 grant for transit greenway system that would combine walkways and bike paths with mass transit.

Information compiled by Tom Hambright, Historian Emeritus, and Dr. Corey Malcom, Lead Historian, Monroe County Public Library, Florida Keys History Center.

Image: The Key West Army Barracks and Trumbo Point on May 16, 1951. U.S. Navy photo from the Ida Woodward Barron Collection. Monroe County Public Library, Florida Keys History Center.


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