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“Loaded with Iguanas”
Review of Key West Cemetery

Key West Cemetery
Ranked #27 of 180 things to do in Key West
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A very unusual cemetery - several graves have humorous epitaphs (e.g., "I told you I was sick").
Reviewed 18 June 2014

Second visit to the cemetery, this time we had the brochure of the grave markers, locations and history of each. Many of the crypts have cracks, some are sinking into the ground. But, on this trip we noticed many, many Iguanas, as you will notice from the pics. We had to park our scotters across the street because there is no specific parking.
Extremely hot during our visit, make sure you take water or something to drink, because there are no facilities. So try to go early to avoid the heat. Their hours and entrance are posted online, which vary from summer to winter. Some of the stones are hard to read and locate, but the map was easy enough to follow.

Thank eveana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 June 2014

Looking for something free and different to do while visiting Key West? Take a leisurely hour or two to wander through the Key West Cemetary. This is one of the most unique cemetaries you can encounter in the United States. Many of the headstones are very old and definitely unique. I have visited here on three occassions and will choose a different area of the cemetary each time to explore. This will provide a unique attraction for you.

Thank SeeBaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014

I'm not one for visiting cemeteries, but I made an exception to that rule in Key West. This cemetery is the final resting place for some of the 266 American sailors killed in 1898 aboard the USS Maine battleship when it blew up in Havana harbor. A naval court of inquiry shortly thereafter determined that the ship was sunk by a mine, without placing specific blame. The American press fanned the flames of outrage. In a couple of months President McKinley ordered a naval blockade of Cuba. Spain retaliated by, foolishly, declaring war on the United States. The war did not end well for Spain.

There was an American flag mounted high above a POW-MIA flag on the same pole flapping over the sailors' graves, arrayed within a square patch of ground demarcated by a black wrought-iron picket fence. Each of the 27 burial plots was marked by a white marble tombstone, with bas relief lettering faded with age but still discernable. A stone plaque at the entrance dedicated the site. Mounted on a pedestal near the center of the array, a bronze life-size statue of a sailor, in a uniform of a bygone era, stood tall in front of the flagpole. He held an oar vertically in one hand. His other hand shielded his eyes as he scanned the distance beyond the cemetery.

My wandering took me to the grave of Thomas Romer, a black Bahamian who died at age 108. A bronze US Navy plaque honored his service in the War of 1812. A cryptic message on his headstone noted that he had been a "good citizen for 67 years."

Another crypt bore the eye-catching notation "I told you I was sick." I had to learn the story behind this, and I did. It seems that the deceased there, B. P. Roberts, nicknamed Pearl, was not really a hypochondriac. She had been complaining about an illness, which her husband pooh-poohed. She insisted she was so sick that she would soon die. She pointed to the coffee table and said, to her husband, that when she did die, she wanted one half of it for her tombstone and the other half to be for his tombstone. The husband didn't carry through on this request, since the other half of that table isn't part of his tombstone.

I came across the grave of Ellen Mallory, the mother of Stephen Mallory, a US senator and Secretary of the Navy of the Confederacy.

A gray marble shaft marked the grave of William Curry, reputed to be Florida's first millionaire. He was born in 1824. He made his fortune, when a million dollars was a great deal of money, in the chandlery business, meaning that he salvaged goods from ships that wrecked on the reefs off Key West.

There were other interesting burials that I saw. Don't miss this.

Thank Bunmaster2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2014

Some burials are like in New Orleans. There are some above ground. There is an area for the casualties from the U. S. Maine and it respectfull. It is interesting and fun to read some of the epitaphs.

Thank johnwGA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

The cemetery at Key West is not like any you will likely see in other parts of the USA. That said if you've been to Venice then this place will be very familiar. Needless to say that the low lying nature of the island makes subterranean burials a very bad idea. This this is more the above ground tomb style affair that makes it uncommon.

Thank Ian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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