|Looking out to the ocean from Indian Key|
The 1850 Census found a few families living there, while only two families were left on the island in 1860. In 1856, during the Third Seminole War, the U.S. Army stationed a few men on the island to protect the two remaining families from possible attack by Seminoles. The Keys lost most of their population again during the Civil War, but William Bethel, a wrecker, continued to live on the island from the 1850s until sometime after 1880. The town never recovered.
|Remains of a house on the Indian Key|
All that is there now is a ghost town. It has ruins overgrown with jungle-like vegetation, streets signs marking paths that follow the grid of original streets and crumbling foundations of buildings. This island doesn't have any fresh water so the good news is that it’s a bug-free. It is hard to imagine that in its day, the people only had cisterns to collect water.
I went by kayak to get to the island. I left from Robbie’s Marina which is a favorite Florida stop. The kayak trip to Indian Key is over mostly shallow water and seagrass flats. Since the water is so shallow and clear, it is possible to see wildlife. I spotted a nurse shark and a ray. The kayak trip took 40 minutes and I enjoyed great views of the Florida Keys. When returning to Robbie's we had a wonderful lunch there.
|Handmade Embossed Patinated Bird Pendant Available HERE|