Today in Keys History

The City of Key West, with service to Cuba, was christened in 1954.

1821: Excerpt for the Logbook of the U.S. Schooner Shark LCDR M.C. Perry commanding: Commences with Fresh Trade Winds — at Meridian discovered and gave chase to a Vessel on the Larboard Bow, and at 2 spoke the English Sloop Polly from Guernsey bound to Rio Janeiro. This Vessel was steering S.W and the Master of her appeared greatly astonished when I informed him he was to the East of Canaria, and if he had not fortunately fallen in with us he probably would have shared the fate of many others by running upon Cape Blanc or the Bank of Arguin, an Easterly Current which invariably prevails between Cape Ortigal and Cape Blanco, had set this Sloop at least 150 Miles to the Eastward of her reckoning the Captain imagined himself between Palma and Teneriffe he had made Forterventura, and taken it for Teneriffe, and had hauled up for Canaria supposing it Palma.Bore up for the harbor of Palmas (Island Canaria) for the purpose of observing whether any suspicious vessels were at anchor therein, but after running in near enough to take a good view of the Road, found nothing but fishing vessel at Anchor. Hauled our Wind and worked round the North end of the Island. Stood to the North during the Night, at Day Light we were close in with Point Aagra (Teneriffe). I had intended to have cruised somedays among these Islands to have looked into the Bays and Harbours of Saururote and Forteventura, but from such information as I could collect, I was pretty well convinced that the trouble and detention would prove useless. I could hear of no Vessel being in the neighborhood but the one before mentioned. I therefore thought I should employ the Vessel to more advantage by changing my Cruising ground.

1856: William Hackley recorded in his diary: Rose at 4:40 and walked to the Barracks, returned home and bathed. At 8 a.m. barometer 29.47.5, wind nearly calm from the east, clouds 3. There was a sale on this evening, but I did not stay long. Paid bill of Charles Tift for wrecked goods $24.50. Coste retained me to libel the French ship Marie. Round at Alexander Patterson’s after tea.

1883: The City Commission elected Alfred R. Monsalvatage Mayor of Key West to fill the unexpired term of William McClintock, who resigned to take a job at the Custom House.

1945: A Category 3 hurricane passed over the Upper Keys, causing light damage.

1950: U.S. Coast Guard officials announced that a unit of the Coast Guard Auxiliary was formed with the following members: Howard Wilson, Paul J. Sher, Dr. Jose Valdes, Joseph Mecirio, Thomas Bates, George Fraldo and Arthur Curry.

1954: The Cuban ferry City of Key West was christened in Miami by Wilhelmina Harvey, wife of the mayor. The ship began service in October to Cardenas, Cuba.