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

Highway Piers

 
 
Highway Piers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, April 18, 2012
1. Highway Piers Marker
Inscription.
The veterans of World War I were promised a bonus but due to the Great Depression of the early 1930s the government was without funds.

Roosevelt was president and formed the Florida Emergency Relief Administration to create jobs for those out of work.

In Nov., 1934, the government sent 600 veterans to build bridges to replace the ferries. The main and largest camp was here were the Boy Scout Sea Base is today.

On Sept. 2, 1935, the great Labor Day hurricane with 200 mph winds and 20 waves destroyed the camp and the railway. The road was rebuilt on the railway bridges leaving the unfinished piers as a memorial to the hundreds who lost their lives.
 
Location. 24° 50.71′ N, 80° 44.858′ W. Marker is in Islamorada, Florida, in Monroe County. Marker is on Overseas Highway (U.S. 1 at milepost 73), 0.8 miles south of Tollgate Boulevard, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located at the south end of the overnight parking lot, just north of Channel Two Pier, overlooking Veterans Key and the Matecumbe Harbor where the pier remnants can still be seen. Marker is in this post office area: Islamorada FL 33036, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies.
Highway Piers Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, April 18, 2012
2. Highway Piers Marker (tall view)
Road and Ferry (approx. 0.3 miles away); Site of Camp Three (approx. mile away); Triangle of History (approx. 3.3 miles away); Juan Ponce de Leon (approx. 5.4 miles away); Rafters (approx. 5.4 miles away); Spanish Treasure Fleet of 1733 (approx. 5.4 miles away); Florida East Coast Railroad Overseas Extension (approx. 5 miles away); Historic Plaque (approx. 5.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Islamorada.
 
More about this marker. This marker uses the words "Florida Emergency Relief Administration", but Roosevelt actually created the "Federal Emergency Relief Administration".
 
Also see . . .
1. Overseas Highway. By the early 1930s it was clear that the ferries were insufficient for the travel needs of the keys, and Monroe County and the State Road Department began making plans to connect the two portions of State Road 4A to make a continuous highway. Funding was scarce as the country was in the midst of the Great Depression, but funding would eventually come through the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Hundreds of disgruntled World War I veterans seeking early payment of wartime bonuses were employed for construction on the roadway and bridges as part of a government relief program. (Submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Highway Piers Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, April 18, 2012
3. Highway Piers Marker (wide view)
 

2. Ocean Caskets?. The 1935 Memorial Weekend hurricane claimed 423 lives, most of which were World War I veterans camped on nearby islands hired to build a bridge connecting the Keys for modern road travel. Although the cement ocean pedestals look like caskets, they are in fact the only remaining work of the veterans last & lost efforts. The ocean bridge supports at one time were meant to hold the legs of the planned bridge between spans. (Submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. The Florida Keys 1935 Hurricane. Help was sent to evacuate the veterans and others working on the construction project. However, the plan was executed too late to be effective. The train sent to bring them to safety reached the area about the same time as the Category-5 hurricane made landfall. Except for the engine, all of the train's 10 cars were forced off the tracks and flipped when the surge hit. Some of the people on board were killed outright when the train overturned. Others were killed by the devastating storm surge. (Submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsCharity & Public WorkDisasters
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 10, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 69 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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