When researching our mini – honeymoon to the Florida Keys, I knew two things.
2. To stay on a sailboat. I am not a sailor and have no interest to ever become one. But I DO have a huge interest to stay on a sailboat, which is a common rental option for the Florida Keys. We found the perfect one on Key Largo. And I, basically, got it out of my system.
The best part of staying on the sailboat was the evenings at the Marina. Nothing beats sitting on the quiet waters, overlooking the sunsets and listening to lovely music playing from nearby. This was the highlight of the sailboat stay for sure!
One thing about Key Largo, is that it’s completely different than Key West. We rented a bicycle to explore a bit and the trailer house communities, not all white trash but some of these trailers sell for over a mil a piece, have so much character that it was great to see how life moves forward on the largest Key.
Fun Facts about Key Largo Florida
It is commonly referred to as the “Diving Capital of the world.”
One of the historic homes of Key Largo is the European styled Largo Sound Rock Castle. It is said to be haunted.
Key Largo resumed its citrus economy, with the bust of the Florida Land Boom. Key limes and grapefruit were the principal products. Later on visitors started to become the most important product and charter fishing would become an industry onto itself, as an element of increased tourism.
Historic facts You Didn’t Know About Key Largo
Key Largo is the northernmost of the Florida Keys.
The first hint of a community of Key Largo was an 1870 post office named Cayo Largo in the present-day Rock Harbor area.
The 1870 census population of the island of Key Largo was 60.
That post office closed but in 1881 Menendez Johnson established a post office named Largo in the mile marker 101-102 area. According to his postal application form he estimated serving a population of “About Two Hundred” which would have been all or most of the island of Key Largo.
Alfred L. Baker established another post office in 1895 (to 1900) named Aiken in the mile marker 106 area to serve a population “to exceed one hundred.” Because the population now increased to to over 230.
Then John W. Johnson at Planter on the southern portion of Key Largo opened a post office in 1891 to serve “One hundred and fifty.”
In 1907 the population started to grow exponentially after the railway was completed.
By 1908 a few post offices had come and gone and Planter continued to be the only surviving one.
The Jewfish, Florida post office was opened on February 8, 1912 until May 31, 1921, when it was renamed Key Largo.
The 1920s Florida land boom introduced Key Largo to land development.
The largo Sound Castle was a 1920’s coral rock home. It is one of the oldest structures of the area.
The history of the Card Sound road began in 1922 when Monroe County floated a $300,000 bond issue with an additional $2.5 million in 1926.
Around 1923, Lillian and Charles Sexton traveled from Mississippi to build their “Venice” in Florida. They ended up operating the hotel, store and postoffice of Key Largo. Their hard work allowed them to develop what later became the Sexton Cove.
Dade County cooperated and built a road from Florida City to a wooden Card Sound bridge.
The project was disrupted in late 1926 by a hurricane and the bridge had to be raised higher off the water.
The early Key Largo post office was discontinued on March 15, 1936 and mail responsibilities transferred to Rock Harbor. This action gave a Rock Harbor address to everyone on Key Largo Key living north of Tavernier.
In 1939 Miami Beach developer Carl Fisher began constructing the Caribbean Club. It opened in 1940.
The use of the Club’s facade for the filming of the 1948 movie “Key Largo”, based on Maxwell Anderson’s Broadway play, gave the name Key Largo instant popularity.
After the film’s success, pressure from local businesses resulted in a change in the name of the post office serving the northern part of the island, from “Rock Harbor” to “Key Largo”, on June 1, 1952.
The year 1956 also marked the start of the construction of the Cross Key Waterway or the Key Largo Waterway as it was then known. Today it is called “The Cut.” It opened in 1963 for maritime traffic and technically Key Largo became two islands.
In 1977 the Florida Keys First State Bank opened.
Festival and Events on Key Largo
Food and Wine Festival – Jan 9 – 18
Key Largo Original Music Festival – May 14 – 15
Stone Crab and Seafood festival – Jan 25 and 26
Events throughout the year