NAME: Indian Key
COUNTY: Monroe
CLIMATE: Nice and warm all the time.
COMMENTS: Indian Key is a small Island.
REMAINS: Very little, tours are offered.
Key West held an upper hand in all the wreaking salvage in the keys until Jacob Houseman arrived from New York, He set up a station on Indian Key in 1831 after disputes with the salvage industry on Key West. Indian Key became a thriving port with a store, hotel, and dwellings with cisterns, warehouses, and wharves. In 1836 he had the Legislative council to establish Indian Key as the county seat of Monroe County. In 1838 Dr. Henry Perrine moved to Indian Key with an interest in tropical plants. He planted hemp, tea, coffee, bananas, and mangos. during the 2nd Seminole War, (The Seminole Wars being the longest, and most expensive of all the Indian Wars in the United States) Houseman's island became endangered and a military outpost was established on nearby Tea Table Key as protection. On August 7, 1840, a band of Indians led by a famous Indian Chief named Chekika landed on the island and attacked the settlers. Houseman and his wife escaped but others were killed during the burning and looting. Dr. Perrine's family escaped by hiding in a turtle crawl under the house however, Dr. Perrine was "hacked" to pieces in an attempt to reason with the Indian party. Except for one building and the stone foundations all the homes and warehouses were burned to the ground. Houseman and his family left and did not return. Indian Key continued to be inhabited until the early part of the 1900's when it was abandoned completely. Houseman was killed in a salvage accident in 1841 and is buried on Indian Key. Dr. Perrine's groves have grown over many of the ruins. Indian Key is now an historical park and can be visited. For information call: (305)664-4815 By the way: The country was so enraged that they sent Lt. Col. Harney from Fort Dallas (Miami) to catch Chekika. His band was surprised in the Everglades by Harney and his troops. Chekika was killed, scalped, and hung from a tree for all to see. This event broke the back of much of the Indian resistance in the area. - Submitted by Michael Woodfin

Aerial view of Indian Key today. photo courtesy of Park Service

Detailed map of the sturctures on Indian Key
Courtesy Mike Woodfin

Indian Key as it looked in the year 1880
Courtesy Mike Woodfin