Florida Series: Cedar Key

Cedar Key Travel Blog

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Cedar Key, Florida

Another great one tank trip!!  Located 134 miles north of Tampa on the Gulf of Mexico is Cedar Key. A beautiful little town with Bed and Breakfast, Shops, Restaurants and some very friendly people.

All the keys: Way Key(Cedar Key), Seahorse Key, North Key, epot Key(Atsena Otie), Snake Key and Scale Key comprised the Cedar Keys. Way Key, the largest of all the keys has 640 acres.

The Cedar Keys was blockaded during the Civil War. The depot was burned and the rails destroyed. A battle occured on the mainland near Number 4 Bridge.

The first cross state railroad (Atlantic to Gulf of Mexico) was completed in 1860 with the first train into Cedar Key in 1861 and the last train left here in 1932.

Cedar Key, Florida

The Faber and Eagle Pencil Companies each established cedar saw mills, the Eagle Cedar saw mill on Way Key, and the Faber saw mill on Depot Key. They were severely damaged by the 1896 hurricane and ceased operation. Pencils were never made here, the slats were shipped out by rail to their northern factories and to European pencil companies.

The Standard Maunfacturing Co. was in operation from 1910 to 1952 except for the WWII years when it closed for lack of workers and never closed during the depression. It was known locally as the "Fiber Factoy" and was located where the Fennimore Mill Condos are today. There were only three of these fiber factories in the world and all were in Florida. The Standard Manufacturing Co. was the largest and the only one to make brushes. The factory suffered heavy damage during the hurricane of 1950 and with the shortage of workers the factory was forced to close.

Cedar Key, Florida
The source of the the fiber was the young Sabal Palm which grew and still grows abundantly throughout Florida. The process of extracting the fiber was complicated and very labor intensive, from cutting the trees in the field to the finished products. The factory employed more than a 100 workers and played an important role in the economy of Cedar Key. The fiber was sold to brush companies all over the U.S. as well as Canada, Europe and Austrailia.

The Oldest building in Cedar Key was established as a block house, made of tabby located on the corner of G and 4th Street. Other buildings of tabby are the Island Hotel, the Hale building and the Lutterloh Store.

 

Tabby is a type of building material used in the coastal Southeast from the late 1500s to the 1850s.

Cedar Key Historical Museum
Historians disagree on whether its use originated along the northwest African coast and was taken to Spain and Portugal, or vice versa. The origin of the word tabby itself is unclear: the Spanish word tapia means a mud wall, and the Arabic word tabbi means a mixture of mortar and lime. Similar words also appear in both Portuguese and Gullah. The Spanish brought the concept of tabby to the New World and used it extensively in Florida. Locals in Georgia adapted the concept or "recipe" for tabby to local materials.

True tabby is made of equal parts lime, water, sand, oyster shells, and ash. The ash is a byproduct of preparing the lime, but its presence contributes to the hardening of the end product. Tabby can be poured into molds for foundations, walls, floors, roofs, columns, and other structural elements.

Cedar Key Historical Museum
It dries to a hard finish, is generally a grayish-white color with variations according to the materials used, and is extremely durable. It is best maintained by applying stucco to the outer surfaces as protection from water damage. Roots and vines can cause the deterioration of tabby, so vegetation must be kept away from structures built of the material.

The boom for the Cedar Keys was 1880 - 1890. Population peaked in 1885 at 1,887. The population in 2004 was 819.

We wanted to take a boat out to Seahorse Key to see the lighthouse. The tour was full and you can not go on the island between March and June because of bird nesting. I should have done a little more research. Check out Island Hoppers. It's $20.00 for a round trip ticket.The tour last about 13/4 hours. Call ahead for reservations (I wish I had) #(352)-543-5904.

hawkeye372 says:
this was a great quaint town. i loved it when i was there. I was there when they had a festival. Shrimp and other good stuff.
Posted on: Mar 31, 2008
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Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
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Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
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Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
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Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
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Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
Cedar Key Historical Museum
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Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife R…
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife …
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife R…
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife …
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife R…
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife …
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife R…
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife …
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Lower Suwannee National Wildlife R…
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife …
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife R…
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife …
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife R…
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife …
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50 km (31 miles) traveled
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Cedar Key
photo by: ejames01