THE NATURAL HISTORY ROOM
1935 Labor Day Hurricane Shelf.
This page by Jerry Wilkinson
- The Wind is Increasing -
The above 1928 Russell Arms Hotel was named
the Matecumbe Hotel by 1935. The headquarters of FERA was in this building
at about MM 81.4. FERA was doing the highway construction work under the
engineering supervision of the Florida State Road Department (SRD).
This is the area of the present-day Islamorada
Post Office at about MM 82.8. The building to the left was the wooden Islamorada
post office and in 1935 was an office for FERA. The building to its right
was a grocery store and in 1935 was an office for the State Road Department.
The overseas highway, state road 4A, is in the foreground. In between the
two buildings and in the background is the Islamorada depot. The railroad
track passed on the far side of the depot.
Perhaps one of the earliest large-scale mosquito
control projects in the Upper Keys was these spray boats. In the background
was the contracted Comer dredge.
The State Road Department had its own houseboat
where many of its engineers lived. It was anchored off-shore of Camp 3.
During the hurricane, Engineer Sheeran moved the boat into Hurricane Creek
on the west side of lower Lower Matecumbe Key. The boat was damaged, but
We will not forget the few small businesses
that were around. This was what many years later became the Toll Gate Inn.
It served customers awaiting the arrival of the ferry boats. Most of those
departing the ferries quickly departed to complete their trip elsewhere.
There was a similar business on Big Pine Key for those who waited there.
If you want to look at the map again click
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