Sand Key (I)
Geographic Location
Located on the reef tract, seven miles SW of Key West.
The Vingloons map of Cuba (1639) shows Caio Branco. O'Carrol chart (1770) shows Cayo Blanco. Gauld chart, (1775) has the legend "Sand Kay, being the Westernmost Kay on the Florida Reef" J.W. Norie, in his Piloting Directions for the Gulf of Florida, Bahama Banks & Islands (1828), states that Sand Key was also known as Porpoise Island. So named on U.S. Coast Survey Chart of 1855.
Scope Note
The first Sand Key lighthouse, lighted in 1827, was totally destroyed in the hurricane of 1846. The current Sand Key Lighthouse, first lighted in 1853, was badly damaged by a fire on Nov. 12, 1989, but still stands. This key was the site of an isolation hospital for yellow fever patients in 1867.
Historical name