“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.
Photographed 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-Classical 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 West’s economy just before the 20th century, but declined in the early 1900s 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
E.H. Gato Cigar Factory image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, June 12, 2014
2. E.H. Gato Cigar Factory
Marker just out of picture on the right.
Click or scan to see
this page online
Florida State Health Department.
A Florida Heritage Site

Erected 2010 by The Historic Florida Keys Foundation and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-701.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1916.
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. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1100 Simonton St, Key West FL 33040, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eduardo Gato Cigar Factory (a few steps from this marker); Porter's Anti-Pirate Fleet (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); War of 1898 (about 600 feet away); Convent Of Mary Immaculate (about 700 feet away); Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea (approx. 0.2 miles away); Semper Fidelis (approx. ¼ mile away); Eduardo H. Gato House (approx. ¼ mile away); The History of the Southernmost Point (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Key West.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 26, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 26, 2016, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 373 times since then and 89 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 26, 2016, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 3, 2022