It all started at the world’s largest cigar sculpture located at 616 Louisa St. “There are tons of historic properties in Key West,” said Historic Markers founder Bruce Neff. “We wanted to find the heritage of each site, and then we added the markers to let people know why it’s important.”
The markers, 120 of them scattered around Old Town, each list a phone number that can be called, and then a brief history of the site is explained. But, on Wednesday, the newest medium to find the history of the historic sites launched at flstories.org. The free app, years in the making, tells the stories of 12 historic sites using GPS for a walking tour from Custom House to St. Paul’s church.
Stops along the way include Clinton Square, the Coast Guard headquarters, Sloppy Joe’s, the Fogerty, Curry, and Porter mansions, The Oldest House, Woman’s Club, and Patterson Baldwin House.
Local author and key lime pie aficionado David Sloan helped with some of the history for the app and told the story of Curry Mansion at the launch party. “It likely started right here in this kitchen,” he said telling the key lime pie story. “I came here looking for ghosts – didn’t find any – but did find this recipe card.”
While researching the pie’s roots, he came across the sailor’s story of stale Cuban bread, sweetened condensed milk for Cuban coffee, seagull eggs, and lime juice, and followed the story to Aunt Sally’s kitchen. Aunt Sally, who was also known as Sarah Jane Lowe Curry, was married to a prominent sailor and cooked right there on that property in the 1800s. Add a little graham cracker instead of stale bread, and boom, key lime pie.
More stories like this can be found on the free app. To get the app, visit flstories.org and choose iPhone or Android or just go straight to your app store. The app also has walking tours for other historically rich locations in Florida like St. Augustine, Tampa, Pensacola and more.