Sunday, December 7, 2014

Florida Hurricane of 1935

Saturday morning we drove to Key Islamorada to see the memorial for the victims of the 1936 Hurricane.  Packing winds of 200 miles per hour and creating 18 foot tidal waves it killed over 500 people.  Some of the people killed were WW1 veterans who were building piers on the Keys.   About 300 of the bodies were cremated and lie beneath this memorial.  The memorial is made of  the Key coral limestone.
Our next stop of the day was Key Lignumvitae Botanical State Park.  The Matheson house, built in 1919, is on the grounds of the park  The owners of the home built a hurricane house a year or so after the storm hit.
It is made of concrete, and never been used   We originally had not planned to visit Lignumvitae Key because of the costly boat ride to it, and also the fact that it is open to the public on only a few days out of the week.  However, on Saturday the boat owners waived their fee and the state park increased theirs a small amount to celebrate Christmas on the island.  The park still held to its rule in not allowing anyone in the hammock unless they are accompanied by a park ranger.  The hammock on this Key is a virgin tropical forest.  The ranger pointed out to us its canopy, which is much higher than the one we saw at Windley.  There is no underbrush in this forest, only very tall trees.  It is a beautiful place, even though infested with many mosquitos!  I will write more about our visit to this Key in the next posting.

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