Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Cayo Hueso is the Spanish name for Key West. It means "Island of Bones." When Ponce de Leon first arrived at Key West, the island was littered with bones from the Indians who had lived here.
Shipwrecking used to be a major contributor to the KW economy back in the day. People would watch the water from the top of a tower, and if they saw a shipwreck, they'd ring the bell and yell "Wreck ashore!" Everyone in the town would run out to the wreck. The first boat captain to make it to the wreck took control of the ship (whether those aboard wanted him to or not), and people removed everything they could from the ship to sell, trade, or keep for themselves. Usually the ship was not completely underwater. Actually, the majority of the time, a "wrecked" ship had only slight, but mostly fixable issues, the major one being unable to move because the boat had crashed into something (often placed there by KW locals). Although highly unethical, shipwrecking provided interesting salvaged items...including pianos with ivory keys. (I couldn't imaging dragging that out of the water!!) At one point, Key West was one of the richest cities per capita because of the shipwreck "industry."
Sam and Nicholas went around town recently and took a few cool pictures of our little island. Nicholas is pictured ringing the bell at the top of the Shipwreck Museum's tower.
Posted by THE DELIS FAMILY at 8:14 AM