December 5, 2019 – (Key West, FL). Key West Historic Marker Tours invite island exploration by app and by map
Locals and tourists with a taste for exploration can now experience Key West Art & Historical Society’s Key West Historic Marker Tours with new updated maps that list 125 historic sites around town that embody the island’s unique multi-cultural history and heritage. They now also feature 11 self-guided themed Heritage Tours.
The maps are available at all Key West Art & Historical Society-stewarded properties—the Custom House Museum, Fort East Martello Museum, Key West Lighthouse & Keeper’s Quarters, and the Tennessee Williams Museum, as well as City Hall on White Street and many other locations around town.
One side of the new maps list 125 individual historic sites, numbered in order of inclusion in the program, and most of which display historic marker plaques. The flip side displays a map of Key West and the 11 Heritage Trails, which include a Maritime Heritage Trail, Historic Church Trail, Civil War Forts, Military Heritage Trail, Architectural Heritage Trail, Museum Trail, Cigar Factory Heritage Trail, the 7 Curry Mansions, and the Key West Cemetery Tour.
Last year, City of Key West Commissioner Clayton Lopez championed the addition of several historic markers in Key West’s historic Bahama Village neighborhood, which culminated in the addition of two new heritage trails, the Black Heritage Trail and the Cuban/Bahamian Heritage Trial.
Originally designed and launched by Bruce Neff under the auspices of Key West Historic Markers Inc., the Historic Marker Tours program merged with Key West Art & Historical Society in 2018. It consists of three primary elements: printed maps, phone apps that act as a personal museum docent to support those taking the self-led tours, and a comprehensive website at KWHMT.org. The latter provides a virtual tour of Key West, some historic background and community information, digital collections of local postcards and cigar box art, and links to Google maps.
Key West has one of the largest historic districts with the densest amassing of historic frame vernacular buildings in the United States. The island’s history encompasses unique architecture, Civil War Forts, famous authors’ homes, connections to wars and revolutions, once-thriving turtle and sponging industries, sunken treasure galleons, slave ships, Flagler’s railroad, boom and bust economies, and much more.
There are many options to plan your own tour: pick up a map at City Hall or one of the KWAHS-stewarded properties, visit the Key West Historic Marker Tour website at KWHMT.org, download the free Key West Historic Marker Tour phone app at keywest.oncell.com, or call 305-507-0300 for a free Key West “Voices of History” phone tour. For more information, contact curator Cori Convertito, Ph.D., at 305-295-6616 x112. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
Just in time for the holiday’s: Left to right, Key West Art & Historical Society Executive Director Michael Gieda, City Commissioner Clayton Lopez, and Key West Historic Markers Inc., founder Bruce Neff display new historic walking/biking tour maps that are available at a variety of locations throughout Key West.