THE NATURAL HISTORY ROOM
The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane Shelf.
This page by Jerry Wilkinson
- What was left standing? -
What physical remains of the hurricane still
remain? One structure is the Rustic Inn which was operated by Mr. O. D.
King. Today it is the Green Turtle Inn at MM 81.
Not easily seen in the debris is the Leo Johnson
house in the upper center of the above photo. This was cropped out of the
following photo and enlarged. The house was built by P. L. Wilson, a railroad
construction engineer. Crossing at an angle in front of the house is De
Leon Avenue. It is a private residence today at MM 82.8.
The Leo Johnson house is in the upper left.
The Australian pines lead us across the track on De Leon Avenue to the
white space where the railroad depot once stood. At the lower center stands
locomotive number 447. It had backed down so it could change ends with
the cars and use its headlight to see to leave the Keys.
Had the above photo shown another inch to the
right (east), the post office remains could have been seen. In the
foreground is De Leon Avenue. Only the concrete foundation remains today
at MM 82.8.
The Matecumbe Methodist Church parsonage floated
onto highway, State Road 4A. It was removed and later burned.
Many took refuge in the lower floor of the
Matecumbe Hotel the day after the hurricane. It was torn down and a business
is on the site today at about MM 81.3. The Mile Marker 81 area is at or
above 12 feet elevation.
Above is an aerial of the MM 81 area. The Matecumbe
Hotel is center-left. The Pinderville homes were mostly on the Atlantic
beach shown in the upper part of the photo, including the aforementioned
"row of houses." Click and expand this image and evaluate yourself.
The about to be commissioned water tanks withstood
the hurricane. They were to be accepted from the contractor on Tuesday,
September 3, 1935. Residences of the Toll Gate Shores subdivision occupy
the FERA Veteran's Camp 3 area today.
Continued on Page 10
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