When Ceekay from thinkinofhome.blogspot.com visited me in the spring we made a road trip to Key West and I spotted an island in the middle of the Seven Mile Bridge. I wondered what that island was and did a little a research on it when I got back to Juno Beach. I found out it was Pigeon Key, a camp for Henry Flagler's workers when they were building the Overseas Railroad at the turn of the 20th century.
So when Hubby and I went to Key West for his birthday I had to visit this island! If it looks familiar to you it's because last season's Amazing Race TV show ended on the island. Our tour guide spent a week assisting the show's producers to get everything set up.
There are only two ways on and off the island - a boat from Knight's Key (part of Marathon) or hiking several miles over the Historic Seven Mile Bridge. We opted for the boat ride.
Passing underneath the new bridge, it doesn't take long to reach the island. That's the old bridge in the background.
Here's the dock where the boat stopped to let us off and that's the guest house where, for a substantial donation, you can spend a week on an island. It's my dream!
Flagler spared no expense to take care of his workers and built several bunkhouses and a dining hall and kitchen to feed them. Lobster was usual fare!
He even built them a swimming pool! One of the Florida Universities opened up a part of it while doing some marine experiments. The Pigeon Key Foundation is hoping to restore it to it's former glory.
At one time the bunkhouses housed as many as 400 men. Today, this one is used as a classroom for students who come to the island to learn about marine science.
This view out one of the classroom doors is phenomenal!
They were working on the bridge to the right when they set up their work camp in 1908. The bridge we use today is on the left.
You can arrive on the island by foot if you come over the bridge.
However, you can only walk from the island to Knight's Key. The bridge in the other direction has some holes in it!
Did you know that Pigeon Key has no mosquitos? Of course, it doesn't have any fresh water either. It has to be piped in from the mainland.
We really enjoyed our short visit to Pigeon Key. I plan to be back for a longer one!