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 History of Monroe County, Florida 


In 1513, Ponce de Leon sails past Florida Keys, naming them Los Martires.


In 1815, the Spanish governor of Florida granted the little island of Cayo Hueso (Bone Island) to Juan Pablo Salas, for "several services rendered."


January, 1822, Salas sold his wild unimproved island for the sum of $2,000 to John W. Simonton of New Jersey, but trading in Mobile and Cuba.


In 1819, the United States acquired Florida and Congress confirmed the Salas-Simonton title. In 1819, John Whitehead purchased the island from Salas. Settlement soon after commenced, St. Augustine furnishing some of the pioneers, such as Joseph C. Whalton, Michael Mabritty, and Antionio Girardo.


In the 1820s and 1830s, there was no more profitable business than that conducted by the proprietors of wrecking vessels of southern Florida, and Key West was its grand center. Fielding A. Browne and Whitehead were both victims of shipwrecks in the Bahamas and Key West. The Hon. Peter T. Knight and Hon. George W. Reynolds owe their residence in Key West to their mothers being shipwreck on the way from Germany to the port of New Orleans.


March 25, 1822, Lieut. M. C. Perry, commander of the U.S. Schooner Shark, hoisted the flag of his nation at Key West. A regularly constituted naval depot and station established under command of Commodore David Porter, who was one of the most enthusiastic advocates of developing Thompson's Island into a grea fortified naval base to guard the Gulf of Mexico and the mouth of the Mississippi River. Commodore Porter with his mosquito fleet and an old New York steam ferry boat were responsible for suppressing the Spanish pirates.


On the 29th of December, 1824, the Legislative Council created six counties--Alachua, Leon, Nassau, Walton, Mosquito and Monroe.
United States Marines arrive in Key West.


The court system was opened in 1828, which led to an influx of lawyers. Some of the attorneys were James Webb, of Georgia, William Marvin and Isaac Bronson


In 1831, The first cigar factory in the United States established by William H. Hall.


In 1832, Key West was incorporated as a city and, under the new charter, Colonel Oliver O'Hara was elected as its first mayor.


On February 4, 1836, Dade County was carved from Monroe County's great area.


In 1844, the United States Government, after Congress had been memorialized for many years, erected the Marine Hospital on Emma Street at the foot of Fleming. Is was designed, primarily, for sick and shipwrecked seamen engaged in the commerce of the Gulf of Mexico, but during both the Cijvil and Spanish-American war was a general naval hospital.


In 1845, Construction of Fort Taylor was begun.


In1846, Fort Jefferson and Dry Tortugas are established and constructions begins.


In 1855, Manatee County was created from a portion of the mainland of Monroe County.


In 1861, The East and West Martello Towers are constructed as additional fortifications.


In 1869, Cuban migraion to Key West begins.


In 1886, a fire destroyed a large part of the city of Key West.


In 1887, Lee County was created reducing Monroe County to its present form and area[1923].


In 1912, The Overseas Railway was completed.


In 1926, The Overseas Highway and Ferry System are completed.


In 1939, The Federal Government reestablished U. S. Naval Station and Submarine Base.


In 1940, U. S. Naval Air Station Is opened at Trumbo Island.


In 1941, the Florida Keys Aqueduct Commission enters into agreement to bring fresh water from the mainland.


History & Chronology, etc. by CyberConch



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