Monroe County was created in 1823, but it wasn’t until 1828 that the City of Key West was officially incorporated. The 1830 Census revealed a population of 517 – we’ve certainly grown since that time!
2. The first U.S. president to visit Key West was Ulysses S. Grant in 1880.
While Harry S. Truman is the President most often associated with Key West, the first U.S. president to visit Key West was actually Ulysses S. Grant. President Grant visited Key West in 1880, 11 years after leaving office, while traveling with fellow Civil War general, Phil H. Sheridan. They were on a steamship from New Orleans, bound for Havana, but stopped and spent the day in Key West — then one of Florida’s largest and most prosperous cities.
3. Chickens Are Longtime Key West Residents!
At one point, about 10 percent of Key West’s population were chickens! Chickens have lived in Key West for many generations, originally being used for both food and fighting. Today, the hometown chickens are known by locals as gypsy chickens.
4. Key West was a Major Hub for Salt Production in the 1800’s.
Searching for that lost shaker of salt? Look no further than Key West. As a matter of fact, in the 1800’s, Key West was a main source of salt in the United States, with the industry bringing great wealth to Key West.
5. Key West is Home to the Nation’s Largest Wooden Structure Historical District.
Key West is actually home to the largest historical district of wooden structures on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.