“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Key West in Monroe County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

E.H. Gato Cigar Factory

E.H. Gato Cigar Factory Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, June 12, 2014
1. E.H. Gato Cigar Factory Marker
Inscription. The Gato Cigar Factory was constructed by Eduardo H. Gato in 1916. This Neo-Classiscal Revival, poured-concrete structure with a large central courtyard was constructed after an earlier wood frame factory on this site burned. Numerous windows provided much needed light for the workers. It is also one of the earliest American integrated workplaces where Cuban, African, and Bahamian-Americans, and whites worked side by side while their children attended the same school. Small cottages were built near the factory to house the workers, and became an area known as Gatoville. The factory was a political center as workers raised funds to support efforts to free Cuba from Spain. The cigar industry was critical to Key Westís economy just before the 20th century, but declined in the early 1900ís as cigar manufacturers moved to Tampa. In 1942 the Gato factory was sold to the Department of the Navy for use as a military barracks and cafeteria, and later served as the Navy Commissary until 1989. In 1998 Monroe County obtained the property, and in 2001 completed a rehabilitation to make the building home to Monroe County Offices, a cigar museum, and the Florida State Health Department.
A Florida Heritage Site

Erected 2010 by The Historic Florida Keys Foundation
E.H. Gato Cigar Factory image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, June 12, 2014
2. E.H. Gato Cigar Factory
Marker just out of picture on the right.
and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-701.)
Location. 24° 33.052′ N, 81° 47.834′ W. Marker is in Key West, Florida, in Monroe County. Marker is at the intersection of Simonton Street and Virginia Street, on the left when traveling north on Simonton Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1100 Simonton St, Key West FL 33040, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Porter's Anti-Pirate Fleet (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The History of the Southernmost Point (approx. 0.3 miles away); Southernmost Point (approx. 0.3 miles away); Key West Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); St. Paul's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Samuel O. Johnson House (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Oldest Schoolhouse (approx. 0.6 miles away); Key West Woman's Club (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Key West.
Categories. Notable Buildings
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 86 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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