The Streets of Key West: A History of Street Names

Overview

Simonton, Duval, Eaton, Whitehead, Southard, Truman-if you discover how these Key West streets, and all the others, came by their names, you will know much of the history of this little island at the nethermost end of the continental United States. You will learn of the rise and fall and rise again of the fortunes of this island town, which has played such a rich role in the history of the country as a whole. The author starts each section with an engaging history of the person for whom the street is named. Then ...
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Overview

Simonton, Duval, Eaton, Whitehead, Southard, Truman-if you discover how these Key West streets, and all the others, came by their names, you will know much of the history of this little island at the nethermost end of the continental United States. You will learn of the rise and fall and rise again of the fortunes of this island town, which has played such a rich role in the history of the country as a whole. The author starts each section with an engaging history of the person for whom the street is named. Then he takes us along the street pointing out the buildings and sites of historic interest along the way. This method builds and reinforces our grasp of Key West's history as the island is crisscrossed with sites that evoke nearly every aspect of its past. Interspersed throughout the text are quotes from fiction set in Key West-from the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Tom McGuane, Alison Lurie, Thomas Sanchez-that remind us just how far Key West has inserted itself into the American experience.

The 1829 plat map, made by William Whitehead, clearly shows the division of each large block of the new town (now called Old Town) into four parts, one for each of the early owners of Key West: John Simonton, John Whitehead, John Fleeming (later to be written Fleming), and Pardon C. Greene-all now immortalized in street names. Like these, some streets are named for key figures in the island's colorful history. Others refer to state history, for example, Duval and Eaton for William Duval and John Eaton, Florida's first two territorial governors. Some refer to national figures with ties to Florida and Key West, like Flagler Avenue for Henry Flagler, who opened the early development of the state with his railroad and hotels, and most famously perhaps, his grand Overseas Railway down the Keys to our southernmost city at the time. Some are named for U. S. presidents with ties to Key West: Truman Avenue and Eisenhower Drive. Some recall Key West's links to the islands further south, like Jose Marti Boulevard. And some refer to mysterious ladies whose ties to the Conch Republic have been either hidden or lost-Elizabeth, Julia, Virginia, Amelia, Catherine, and Louisa Streets. What emerges is a unique and quirky history of Key West, as well as a fascinating guide to wandering its streets, boulevards, alleys, and lanes.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561643172
  • Publisher: Pineapple Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 227
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction vii
Acknowledgments x
Maps
1829 20
1874 111
1906 174
1950s 187
Simonton Street 1
Duval Street 8
Whitehead Street 17
Thomas, Emma, William, Margaret, and Caroline Streets 28
Greene and Elizabeth Streets 36
Front Street 43
Eaton Street 48
Fleming Street 52
Southard Street 57
Fitzpatrick Street 60
Ann Street 62
Grinnell Street 64
Frances Street 67
White Street 69
Anderson Street 75
Peary Court 78
Jackson Square 81
Clinton Place 84
Mallory Square 86
Lanes and Alleys 92
Porter Lane 107
Little Streets 110
Eisenhower Drive 128
Gibraltar of the Americas 130
Higgs Memorial Beach 140
Truman Avenue 143
More Little Streets 149
Casa Marina 170
Flagler Avenue 173
Trumbo Point 178
The Aviators 181
Eastern Half of Key West 186
George to Twentieth Streets 193
Roosevelt Boulevard 204
Houseboat Row 208
Hereafter 212
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