Walk Historic Islamorada App Launched
by Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation, Florida Humanities Council

The Matecumbe Club, Preston Pinder

ISLAMORADA, FL – Residents and visitors can now take a stroll through a historic stretch of Islamorada and learn some amazing Florida Keys history via a narrated walking tour with accompanying historic images. Walk Historic Islamorada is available through a free app, Florida Stories, at FISstories.org, the Google Play Store or iStore.

Developed by Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation (FKHDF) in partnership with and funding provided by the Florida Humanities Council and the Division of State, Department of Cultural Affairs, Walk Historic Islamorada is a unique Upper Keys experience.

“From the beginnings of the Overseas Highway to the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane that toppled Henry Flagler’s Over-Sea Railroad, Walk Historic Islamorada tells a surprising array of stories that have impacted the local history,” said Brad Bertelli, Foundation curator, who selected the historic stops, wrote the narrative and compiled the accompanying photos.

The ten-stop tour launches from the iconic Green Turtle Inn. It is an approximately one-mile journey revealing stories of early pioneers, the most powerful hurricane to ever strike North America, the hurricane or Red Cross Houses built for survivors, the memorial built to honor the hundreds of victims, and one of the few bona fide pirate stories connected to the island chain. The tour ends at the Pioneer Cemetery located on the picturesque beach of the Cheeca Lodge, at one time the heart of this historic community.

“After taking the walking tour, head over to the Keys History & Discovery Center on the property of the Islander Resort, and learn much more about the vast and unique history of the Upper Keys,” Bertelli said. “Start with the first people of the Keys, learn tales from pirates and wreckers, see artifacts from the 1733 fleet, view a model of Indian Key, circa 1840, Flagler’s Over-Sea Railroad, and so much more.”

Florida Stories supports the creation of cultural, historical, and architectural walking tours for communities across the state of Florida. The Florida Stories app allows users to learn about the history of some of Florida’s most unique towns at their own pace and on their own schedule.

Florida Stories is designed to:
· explore the history and heritage of Florida
· increase knowledge about and appreciation of local communities
· connect small communities on a statewide platform
· create an immersive humanities program that is both fun and educational
· create sustainable and walkable cultural tourism products
· build collaboration between community partners

Nearly 20 walking tour locations are available on the app, including St. Augustine, Tampa’s Ybor City, Tallahassee and Key West.

About Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation:
Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation formed in 2013 to develop and operate Keys History & Discovery Center. The center, on the property of the Islander Resort, is open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (beginning July 11, open Wednesdays too). The not-for-profit organization’s board of directors is comprised of community-minded volunteers with a passion for the mission of preserving and sharing the unique history and environment of the Florida Keys, particularly that of the Upper Keys. More information can be found at www.keysdiscovery.com or by calling 305-922-2237.