Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ship's bLog Key West History Lesson 2/16/11

Ship's bLog 2/16/11 -Today Capt. Brad and "Frenchy" - (Nancy from Canada) was happy to report brisk but very good half day sail with 15 knots of wind and perfect skies. "The color is so blue in the skies today" remarked Captain Albert, "that it doesn't even look real!" he exclaimed. That's how it is; colors change daily both in the sky and on the water. Five French Canadians down from the frozen north enjoyed a wonderful day.

Today's History Lesson from 1822-1829 (Key West)

The island of Key West was sold to John Simonton for $2,000.00 (guess we know why we have Simonton Street) now you could not even buy a square foot for that! Anyway, back to the lesson; In 1822, Key West was established as a "port". Cubans moved here with their cigar making businesses. Another business was letting sea water into the marsh lands, waiting for evaporation and then harvesting the salt. Many of the retired pirates became carpenters or workers in the wrecking business which was the main industry at this time. (Also wrecking was "glorified and dignified way of being a pirate" my wife Ronda said). The first Post Office opened in 1829. A conch Shell was blown if mail arrived which it did unless there was a wreck or a sea turtle was sighted.

Population was growing; now a busy little sea town and port of about 300 total residents.

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