Information being sought on Fishermen’s anchor

Information being sought on Fishermen’s anchor - Florida Keys
The anchor that was located near the entrance of Fishermen’s Hospital is undergoing restoration in Tavernier, to be returned when the facility opens. JIM McCARTHY/Keys Weekly

As the rebuild of Fishermen’s Community Hospital continues, so does the restoration effort on a key feature that sat outside the facility.

The anchor located next to the entrance has been a part of the hospital dating back to the 1960s. But that’s about all Mariners Hospital’s Dr. Brian Magrane and Candy Fincke know and they are searching for more answers. Who donated it? Where did it come from?

Fincke, an information specialist, said she didn’t know about Magrane’s maritime history interest until they crossed paths during the Bougainvillea Ball in January.

“As we were going to tear down the building, the only salvageable thing was the anchor,” Fincke said. “The hospital planned on saving it and moving it back once the hospital was done. I found out that Magrane worked on these things. We couldn’t keep it on the property, so Magrane said we could bring it up to Tavernier to work on.”

The hospital opened its doors in 1962, but Magrane said the first documented photo showing the anchor at the facility dates to July 14, 1963. And while Magrane said it’s a key piece of evidence, he said the article makes no mention of the anchor. Fincke said she’s gone through descriptive auxiliary meeting reports and hasn’t found any details either.

Magrane said the anchor is in good condition. Once the restoration is complete, he said it’ll last another 50-plus years so long as it’s maintained.

“We can conclude that it is Spanish in origin … clearly 17th century,” Magrane said. “It’s made with layers and forged, so it took some pretty extreme man hours to craft it. Due to wear, the core of the anchor is what we’re left with, but it’s solid as ever before.”

Magrane said the anchor is a key piece to Marathon’s history, as well as the hospital’s.

“You walked into the hospital and it was right there,” he said.

Magrane and Fincke are soliciting help from the public to solve the anchor mystery. If you have any information on who donated the anchor to the hospital, or where it came from, call 305-942-6744.


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