Key West Garden Club
Key West Garden Club

HISTORY - West Martello Tower

Key West the only southern city in Federal government
West Martello becomes quarry for Townspeople

1864
West Martello cistern, lower floor and stairway completed and advanced battery up to about 20. West lower tier of casemates finished. East Martello about the same
1866
Fort Taylor finished - 21 years after it was begun
1873
Work on Towers ceased. Never armed. West Martello becomes quarry for Townspeople and target for Fort Taylor gunners
1878
Modernization of defences. Two small guns installed on ocean face of the tower casemates. Work filled in all of the casemates and sets of concrete steps leading up to the base of the gun mounts constructed

Spanish American War - Tower used for quartering troops

1898
Spanish American War - Tower used for quartering troops, storage, signaling and lookout
1914-44
Used for radio stations, and an anti-aircraft battery on the beach. End of war, removal of guns and demolition of temporary buildings. Departure of troops
1947
Release of all Army properties in Key West. Two Towers became property of Monroe County and Fort Taylor of the navy

West Martello Tower Garden Center declared a National Historic Site

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