Wednesday, January 16, 2013


1833 A fire started in the house of Capt. Pardon Greene and destroyed the adjacent hotel and six of eight houses together with the money sent to purchase the cargo of the Pulaski vessel, which wrecked on the reef. Loss was estimated at $50,000.

1845 Dade Lodge No. 14 of the Free and Accepted Masons was chartered with O.S. Noyes as the first master.

1900E.H. Gato opened a new cigar factory that made cigars using the mold method. The factory opened with a few hands, but later expanded to 100 employees.

1963 The State Park Board announced the receipt of 61 acres on Bahia Honda Key from Monroe County for the new park, which now had a total of 74 acres when added to land already held by the state.

1974 Reconnaissance Wing 1 officially moved to Naval Air Station Key West when six RA-5C Vigilante aircraft arrived from their former base in Albany, Ga. The wing and its 10 squadrons brought 2,500 military personnel and their dependents to Key West.

1984 The Key West Beach Club, a 58-unit luxury condominium, at 1500 Atlantic Blvd., was approved by the City Commission.

1985May Hill Russell, who guided the effort to build the Monroe County Public Library branch on Fleming Street, died at age 75. After her death the library was named after her.

1991 Fat Albert, the tethered communication/surveillance balloon at the Cudjoe Key Air Force Base, broke loose and drifted north until it was brought down over the Everglades.

1996Parvan Bakardjiev, former director of the Monroe County Fine Arts Council, pleaded no contest to petty theft charges rather than face trial for allegedly stealing from the organization he once ran. Judge Richard Payne sentenced him to six months of probation and 100 hours of community service.

1999 Key West celebrated the grand opening of the Key West Bight Historic Seaport.