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Pigeon Key, Marathon

4.1
#14 of 19 in Historic Sites in Florida Keys
Historic Walking Area Tourist Spot
Pigeon Key is a small island containing the historic district of Pigeon Key, Florida. The 5acre island is home to 8 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, some of which remain from its earliest incarnation as a work camp for the Florida East Coast Railway. Today these buildings serve a variety of purposes, ranging from housing for educational groups to administrative offices for the non-profit Pigeon Key Foundation. The former Assistant Bridge Tender's House has been converted into a small museum featuring artifacts and images from Pigeon Key's colorful past. It is located off the old Seven Mile Bridge, at approximately mile marker 45, west of Knight's Key, (city of Marathon in the middle Florida Keys) and just east of Moser Channel, which is the deepest section of the 7mi span.The island was originally known as "Cayo Paloma" (literally translated as "Pigeon Key") on many old Spanish charts - said to have been named for large flocks of white-crowned pigeons (Columba leucocephala Linnaeus) which once roosted there. During the building of Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad Key West Extension between 1908 and 1912, there were at times as many as 400 workers housed on the island. While these workers built many bridges along the route through the lower keys, the Seven Mile Bridge, spanning the gap between Knight's Key and Little Duck Key remains the largest and most impressive component of what was once referred to as "the 8th Wonder of the World". A number of buildings from the Flagler era remain on the island and are now part of the Pigeon Key Historic District.
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377 reviews
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  • This trip was a very special highlight: the fast ferry you can reach the idyllic small island pigeon key, directly at the foot of the bridge of 7 miles. Friendly received us Park Ranger Eric, offered us seats in the shade and the incredibly interesting story told this small island, which is a important role in the construction played railway to key west by Henry Flagler. Equally impressive the joint tour with visit to some perfectly restored wooden houses and a great Museum, which stunning images and models about the building of the railway from 1904 to 1912 presents, which has only connected these islands. On top to have an opportunity to go swimming on the Jetty of the island and to marvel at the colorful variety of colourful fish. You should definitely not to miss this trip! There are tickets for only $12 in Marathon at the end of the bridge in the red, old railway wagon.
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  • We did the 2 p.m. tour and took the ferry over to the island we had Carol as the tour guide she was very informative.. she did a very good job of describing flagler's history and the formation of the ...  more »
  • We visited Pigeon Key and had a great time. All the staff we spoke to were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. It was a very pleasant couple of hours. The snorkelling under the pier was unfortunately...  more »

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Where to stay in Marathon

A large resort is an ideal choice for a family vacation. These vacation complexes often have a pool and provide a wide range of activities to keep children entertained. Marathon’s small hotels or inns are good options for a more romantic break. Renting a private waterfront vacation property provides a luxurious home away from home for those with time for a longer visit.
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