It turns out I did capture some other historic places while strolling and biking through Key West. The first one here is The Southernmost House – historic marker #8:
Judge Vinning Harris built the Southernmost House in 1897. Harris’s wife, Florida Curry, was the youngest daughter of William Curry, Florida’s first millionaire. The Curry family were prolific builders with eight mansions in the Historic District to their credit. This impressive Queen Anne Victorian style house was designed as a one-bedroom mansion. What it lacked in bedrooms it more than made up for with its open water views, elegant public rooms, two story balconies, and large stained glass windows to catch the ocean breezes.
Electricity was a novelty and a luxury in the 1890’s. Mrs. Harris wanted the best and was able to engage Thomas Edison to oversee the electrical design and installation for the house…. Key West Historic Marker Tour
This beautiful house has had quite a history ranging from being a speakeasy during prohibition to – as you can see by the sign – not being party animal material; quite a contrast. A colorful history to go with a colorful house.
Another historic site I was fortunate to see and experience is #38 on the historic marker tour – St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic church. By experience I mean that as I walked past they were rehearsing some youth program on the inside so I was able to listen to the music and singing from my spot outside.
The first Catholic Church on the island was dedicated on the 26th of February, 1852. It was the fifth Catholic Church erected in all of Florida and the first in South Florida. With the boundaries of the parish being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, the dedicated title of “St. Mary, Star of the Sea” was a perfect choice…. Key West Historic Marker Tour
The first church was destroyed by fire in 1901; the present church was built in 1905. I love it’s architecture and especially the shutter doors that open and let in the sea air during service. I would’ve loved to have gone inside but as previously mentioned, they were a bit busy at the time.
These are just two examples of the history of Key West that goes beyond it’s reputation of beautiful sunrises and sunsets and hard partying. When traveling, If you take the time to look and explore beyond the usual touristy sites you can find so much more about a city when visiting and be wonderfully surprised… but a little bit of partying never hurts.