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Happy Hour with the Historian: Over the Seas and Across the Keys | A History of Key West Travel

19-September from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Happy Hour with the Historian

Over the Seas and Across the Keys: A History of Key West Travel

September 19, 2024 | 5:00pm-6:00pm

Historian: Cori Convertito Ph.D.

Historically speaking, reaching the islands of the Florida Keys was a difficult notion.  Shallow waters surround the islands and very few natural deep water harbors existed.  But the potential for development overshadowed the inaccessibility issues.  Passenger and cargo ships were the only means of traveling to Key West for the first 90 years of settlement.  Ships were uncomfortable, slow and sometimes unreliable.

Despite the lack of transportation options, Key West grew to be the largest and richest city in Florida.  Developers looked to make the island more reachable.  Henry Flagler expended large sums of money to bring his Florida East Coast Railway to the island – the first time that Key West was directly connected to the mainland.  Soon after, the advent of airplanes and automobiles continued to expand travel options to the Florida Keys.

This talk will detail the various modes of transportation to the Florida Keys and how each left it’s mark on its history.

This event is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the State of Florida, with additional support provided by Comedy Key West.


September 19
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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Key West Art & Historical Society


Comedy Key West
218 Whitehead Street, #5
Key West, FL 33040 United States
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