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Tag: Key West

USS Vandenberg Sunk Off Key West For Artificial Reef

In early May I wrote about plans to scuttle the USS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, a WWII troop carrier and Cold War era spy ship, seven miles off the coast of Key West in order to create the world’s second largest artificial reef for divers. The sinking, which occurred on May 27, 2009,…

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Cigars Made Key West The Wealthiest City In Florida

The earliest cigar factory in Key West dates back to 1831, but the industry really took off during Cuba’s Ten Year War (1868 – 1878), when Cubans fled to the United States in droves. Many Cubans resettled in Key West, bringing the art of cigar making with them. By 1876 the city’s 29…

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Stanley Papio – Dynamic Junkman Of Key Largo

Like many artists, Stanley Papio was never fully appreciated until after his death. A former boxer, horse groom, and Army veteran, Papio made his way to Key Largo in the 1940’s and settled on a cheap piece of land right next to the highway, where he built a salvage and welding business. In…

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Key West – Tiny Island Fortress

I have always thought it strange that there are three giant forts located on tiny Key West. What was it about this two mile by four mile island that caused the government to build so many massive fortifications? On this trip, I was determined to find out.

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The Curse Of Robert The Doll

I snapped a photo of Robert The Doll before reading that he puts curses on anyone who takes his photograph. Uh oh. Surely it’s just a myth, I thought. Curious, I began reading about the doll’s history. In 1903, Robert was given to four-year old Gene Otto, who lived in Key West. As…

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Key West, Florida’s Got Talent – Open Mic Night at Sippin’ Cafe

For years I have had a love/hate relationship with Key West. Although its an entertaining place to visit, its “party town” image makes it seem plastic and phony. The island is rich in history, local lore, and is home to a vibrant, multi-ethnic culture, however I have never been able to break through…

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