Saturday, August 21, 2010

white street pier

Every so often I enjoy and hour or two sitting out on the end of the almost 1/4 mile long fishing pier off the Atlantic end of White Street with a sketchbook and con leché to watch
the sunrise

Out among the few joggers, bicycle riders, dog walkers, homeless folks, fishermen and seagulls, it's calm and quiet, the air is cooler than it is inland and the new day's sea breeze carries fresher air.

Well, on one such a morning I got to pondering the pier's backstory. (the why and when of it, you know?)
So when I got back home I climbed on-line to try to find the answers. To my chagrin, there wasn't a whole lot of anything about it. So the next day I got myself over to the library on Fleming Street to ask Key West's history guru,
Tom Hambright, about it.

What I learned was that back in the mid to late 1950's Monroe County had a little surplus money laying around and decided to spend it on infrastructure projects.
What they came up with was construction of a series of "roads to nowhere" like Loop Road and County Road 939 up on Sugarloaf Key.
In 1956, when some of that surplus money was allotted to Key West, the voters decided they wanted a fishing pier and the "unfinished highway to Havana" (another road to nowhere) was proposed and finally built in 1960.

These days the White Street pier is something of a tourist draw, every once in a while there'll be a fishing tournament out there or it'll be part of the course for one of
BW Promotion's official 5K runs and on special occasions (the 4th of July or New Year's Eve) the city uses it for fireworks displays.


RumShopRyan said...

Thanks for the history lesson.
Cheers my island friend.

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