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Key West Art & Historical Society to offer free lunchtime lecture on Fort Zachary Taylor’s path to a National Landmark

Key West Art & Historical Society welcomes Distinguished Speaker Series guest Edward England for “From junkyard to National Landmark: Celebrating 50 years of Howard England’s Legacy at Fort Zachary Taylor,” a free lunchtime lecture held on Tuesday, February 6, at 12:00 p.m. in the Helmerich Research & Learning Center at the Custom House Museum. The lecture presents England’s father Howard England’s eight-and-a-half year odyssey of exploration and discovery as Curator in Charge at Fort Zachary Taylor.

Edward England, a former Air Force engineer/program manager, is a native Key Wester and author/publisher of five books highlighting the history of Fort Taylor and the legacy of his father. His lunchtime presentation highlights the elder England’s contributions and legacy since he turned over the first shovel full of sand at the Fort in 1968.

“Little did he know what would be found buried in the rubble of the 1898 “remodeling” of the Fort,” says England.

Directed by the Commander of the Naval Station to determine the value of what was then the Navy’s junkyard in 1968, Howard England worked diligently as the site’s curator until 1976. While still a junkyard, the Fort was named a National Historic Site in 1971 and a National Landmark in 1973.  England continued to work as a volunteer until 1984, when the property was taken over by the State of Florida to be made into a State Park.

Edward England’s latest book, The Fort Zach Guidebook, is the first written to highlight the history and natural beauty of Key West’s unique, internationally-known attraction. Divided into six major sections, it covers every aspect of the park, from the layout and features of the park, to the history and significance of Fort Taylor, to the park’s natural attractions, to the park’s supporting organizations, and to other historical attractions nearby on the island. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Please register for this free event at KWAHS.ORG.  Sponsored by the Helmerich Trust. For more information, contact Adele Williams at 305-295-6616, ext. 115 or visit KWAHS.ORGYour Museums.  Your Community.  It takes an Island.


On Tuesday, February 6, from 12:00pm-1:00pm, Edward England will present a free lunchtime lecture, titled “From Junkyard to National Landmark,” at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front Street, about his father Howard England’s eight-and-a-half year odyssey of exploration and discovery as Curator in Charge at Fort Zachary Taylor, which began in the late 1960’s. England is the author of five books that highlight the history of Fort Zachary Taylor and the legacy of his father. (Contributed Photo)