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Islamorada in Monroe County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Pioneer Cemetery

 
 
Pioneer Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, March 6, 2018
1. Pioneer Cemetery Marker
Inscription.  This cemetery memorializes the determination and vision of over 50 pioneer Anglo-Bahamian Conchs who labored to settle and organize the first community on Matecumbe Key. Descendants of three Islamorada pioneer families, the Russells who homesteaded in 1854, the Pinders in 1873, and the Parkers in 1898, are buried on this land. Deeded to Richard Pinder on January 20, 1883, by President Chester A. Arthur, the land now is the property of the Matecumbe United Methodist Church.

North and adjacent to the cemetery lay the first church on the key, built in 1884 an transported to this site by raft ca. 1890. Next to it the first two-room frame schoolhouse was built ca. 1900, and later replaced by a coral-rock building.

A raging hurricane struck Islamorada on Labor Day in 1935, killing 50 members of the Russell family alone. The storm also destroyed the church, the schoolhouse and the "Millionaires' Row" of beachfront homes adjacent to this property. The survivors' descendants rebuilt their homes, a new church and a school west of this site and east of Henry Flagler's Overseas Railway, now US 1.
 
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Cheeca Lodge in Cooperation with the Historical Association of Southern Florida.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionDisastersSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is January 20, 1883.
 
Location. 24° 54.905′ N, 80° 38.009′ W. Marker is in Islamorada, Florida, in Monroe County. Marker can be reached from Overseas Highway (U.S. 1) north of Johnston Road when traveling east. Marker and cemetery is located oceanside behind the Cheeca Lodge. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 81801 Overseas Highway, Islamorada FL 33036, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hurricane Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); The 1935 Hurricane (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Florida Keys Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Sweeting House (approx. ¼ mile away); Hurricane Houses (approx. ¼ mile away); Green Turtle Inn (approx. half a mile away); Islamorada Baptist Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Storm that Still Howls (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Islamorada.
 
Pioneer Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon
2. Pioneer Cemetery Marker
Pioneer Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, March 6, 2018
3. Pioneer Cemetery Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 25, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 317 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 25, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 27, 2024