Florida Keys Weekly

2 years ago
Drinking With Tycoons

The restaurant and bar at the corner of Duval and Caroline Streets has seen its share of wealthy and prosperous patrons in its 125 years.


Charles Curry, the son of Florida’s first millionaire – William Curry, constructed the home in 1875. The house was heavily damaged during the 1886 fire. The conflagration had burned a wide swath through decimating everything in its path. The house was rebuilt in 1887. Its stately structure is characteristic of the seven grand mansions built by the Curry children. It ranks right up there with the grandeur of the Curry Mansion next door and the Southernmost Mansion built by his sister Florida.

After Charles’ death, his daughter Corinne’s fiancé, Dr. Joseph Norman Fogarty, bought the home in 1900 as her wedding present. Dr. Fogarty was a prominent member of the community, and with the purchase of the mansion, he owned the nicest home in the “blue blood” district of . Dr. Fogarty was Mayor of for an impressive and unusual six-year, six-term span.

In 1912, during the last year of Fogarty’s mayoral term, the couple hosted two very important receptions at their stately manor. On January 22, 1912, there was a large reception for to celebrate the completion of Flagler’s Overseas Railroad. Later in the year, the Fogarty’s held a reception for President Taft as he stopped over in Key West while on his way to inspect the Panama Canal.


After the Fogarty’s passed, the house fell slowly into disrepair. Through the 60s, it became a hippie crash pad and was nearly razed in 1970 after countless complaints of vagrants inhabiting the house. In 1971, John and Dolly Dedek purchased the once stately home. The pair restored the structure and transformed it into the Fogarty House 1875 Restaurant.

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Bruce Neff

Bruce Neff is the founder and executive director of the Key West Historic Marker Project and can be reached at [email protected] For more history, please visit www.kwhmt.org.

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