Thursday, February 16, 2012
Florida Keys Challenge - 4A
While reading “The Everglades: River of Grass” by Marjory Stoneman Douglass, I happened on a point of interest concerning Matecumbe Key. Matecumbe, of course, is where we stayed at the BSA Sea Base. The Spanish from Havana were trying to convert the Key Indians to Catholicism, and had built a small fort near the Indian village on Matecumbe to operate from. The governor on Cuba ordered the priests and soldiers to leave, as he felt the site was indefensible and their efforts unlikely to prove fruitful. They tore down the fort, and the English gained control here and through the rest of Florida. The interesting point is that Matecumbe Key was the site of the last Spanish control and possession in Florida before the peninsula fell under English possession. It always amazes me when I realize I'm walking in the steps of the oldest Keys Indians and Spanish explorers that contributed to this nation's earliest history.