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An archaeological study of architectural form and function at Indian Key, Florida


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An archaeological study of architectural form and function at Indian Key, Florida
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Driscoll, Kelly A
University of South Florida
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Tampa, Fla.
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florida keys
jacob housman
second seminole war
Dissertations, Academic -- Applied Anthropology -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


ABSTRACT: Indian Key Historic State Park is a small island located on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Florida Keys, near Islamorada. Before it was bought by the state of Florida in 1970, Indian Key had been the setting for a number of historically significant activities. The most well known of these is the 1840 raid on the people and buildings that made up a small wrecking village, established on the island by Jacob Housman in the early 1830s. The limestone foundations of these structures are the main attraction to today's visitor to the park. There is more to the story of Indian Key, though, than the Housman period and the structural remains left behind from this stage of the island's history. Almost immediately after the near destruction of the island in 1840, the Florida Squadron of the Navy took over, constructing their own buildings, and re-using some of the previously constructed foundations. This cycle of rebuilding and re-use continued for another hundred years, with families and fishers trying to inhabit and profit from Indian Key. The focus of this thesis is to examine the foundations and associated archaeological features of Indian Key in order to determine better periods of use and re-use for the buildings that have been identified through archaeological investigations. This research was conducted in order to examine the site's architecture through an archaeological perspective; it is by no means an attempt at a complete architectural study of the site. Rather, it is an effort to examine the entire island of Indian Key, by focusing on the history of the buildings that helped make it an important piece of Florida's past.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2003.
Includes bibliographical references.
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by Kelly A. Driscoll.
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An archaeological study of architectural form and function at Indian Key, Florida
h [electronic resource] /
by Kelly A. Driscoll.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2003.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 130 pages.
ABSTRACT: Indian Key Historic State Park is a small island located on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Florida Keys, near Islamorada. Before it was bought by the state of Florida in 1970, Indian Key had been the setting for a number of historically significant activities. The most well known of these is the 1840 raid on the people and buildings that made up a small wrecking village, established on the island by Jacob Housman in the early 1830s. The limestone foundations of these structures are the main attraction to today's visitor to the park. There is more to the story of Indian Key, though, than the Housman period and the structural remains left behind from this stage of the island's history. Almost immediately after the near destruction of the island in 1840, the Florida Squadron of the Navy took over, constructing their own buildings, and re-using some of the previously constructed foundations. This cycle of rebuilding and re-use continued for another hundred years, with families and fishers trying to inhabit and profit from Indian Key. The focus of this thesis is to examine the foundations and associated archaeological features of Indian Key in order to determine better periods of use and re-use for the buildings that have been identified through archaeological investigations. This research was conducted in order to examine the site's architecture through an archaeological perspective; it is by no means an attempt at a complete architectural study of the site. Rather, it is an effort to examine the entire island of Indian Key, by focusing on the history of the buildings that helped make it an important piece of Florida's past.
Adviser: Weisman, Brent R.
florida keys.
jacob housman.
second seminole war.
0 690
Dissertations, Academic
x Applied Anthropology
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856


An Archaeological Study of Architectural Form and Function at Indian Key, Florida by Kelly A. Driscoll A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Bren t R. Weisman, Ph.D. Robert H. Tykot, Ph.D. Nancy Marie White, Ph.D. Date of Approval: October 31, 2003 Keywords: cistern, Florida Keys, Jacob H ousman, limestone, Second Seminole War Copyright 2003, Kelly A. Driscoll


Acknowledgments The research needed to support this thesis c ould not have been gathered without the help of a number of individuals and institutions. The courteous staff of the Florida Park Service Lignumvitae Key offi ce, especially Park Manager Pat Wells, provided both access to and assistance on Indian Key during all phases of research. Steve Martin’s (FDEP), interest in the future of Indian Key has been a driving force in the recent research on the island. Henry Baker, (formerly of the Florida Division of Historical Resources) completed much of the initial research on Indi an Key, and provided a solid basis for further work. Special tha nks to fellow graduate students Jill Titcomb (ne Clay), Lori Collins, Mary Beth Fitts, and Phyllis Kolianos, for their hard work and positive attitude while working long, hot days in the sun. Lisa Lamb contributed both her intellect and guidance throughout th is entire process, and her input has been invaluable. Debbie Roberson, the Department of Anthr opology’s Office Manager, was a source of help every semester. I sincerely thank Br ent R. Weisman, my advisor, without whose patience and guidance this thesis would have never been completed. Finally, I want to thank my friends and family, especially my Mom, whose support and encouragement never waned throughout th is lengthy process.


i Table of Contents List of Tables iii List of Figures iv Abstract vi Chapter One: Introduction 1 Chapter Two: Environmental and Cultural Overview 4 Environmental History of Indian Key 4 Geological Description 7 Hurricanes 9 Regional Prehistory/History of the Keys 11 Calusa and Tequesta Indians 11 Spanish Explorations 17 British/Spanish/American Control 17 History of Indian Key 20 Wrecking along the Florida Keys 20 Pre-Housman Era 24 Housman Period 25 Naval Occupation 29 Post-Naval Occupation 30 Chapter Three: Archaeological Investigations 32 Previous Archaeological Investigations 32 Irving Eyster 32 Henry Baker 33 USF Archaeology 48 Internship 50 Fieldwork and Methodology 51 Laboratory Methods 53 Documentary Research 54 Chapter Four: Research Questions 56 Vernacular Architecture 56 Architecture of Indian Key 57 Foundation Remains on Indian Key 64 Pre-Housman Period 65


ii Housman Period 65 Naval Occupation 71 Post-Naval Occupation 74 Architectural Elements 75 Bricks 76 Plaster 82 Mortar 84 Cisterns 85 Chapter Five: Results 90 Key West/Bahamian Architecture 90 Post Office 95 Cisterns 96 Mortar 99 Chapter Six: Summary and Conclusions 103 References Cited 109


iii List of Tables Table 1. Indian Key brick sa mples from Keffer 2002. 80 Table 2. Analysis of masonry samples from Decker et al. 1998. 100


iv List of Figures Figure 1. Location of Indian Key as shown on the Upper Matecumbe Key 1971 USGS 7.5’ topogr aphic quadrangle. 5 Figure 2. Aerial photograph of Indian Key (Feil 2001). 6 Figure 3. Indian Key town square as it appears today. Photograph taken by the author, June 6, 2003, facing north. 8 Figure 4. Geological map of the Florida Keys from White (1970: Map 1-C). 9 Figure 5. Current state of 8MO27, th e Key Largo 3 rock mound. Photograph taken by the author on June 4, 2003, facing north. 15 Figure 6. Baker’s 1973 map of Indian Ke y showing the locations of features discussed in his report. 34 Figure 7. Floor of Feature C, showing pl aster over bedrock, then layer of brick with some plaster remnan ts on top of the brick. Photograph taken by Dr. Brent Weisman, May 15, 2000, facing southeast. 36 Figure 8. Plastered limestone wall in s outh corner of Feature C. Photograph taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing south. 37 Figure 9. Photograph of Feature D, in foreground, and Feature E, taken by the author, looking south from the obs ervation deck in the northeast corner of Indian Key on June 6, 2003. 38 Figure 10. Interior of Feature E, sh owing possible brick roof support. Photograph taken by the aut hor on June 6, 2003, facing east. 39 Figure 11. Feature F after two seasons of USF excavation and with conservation treatment in place. Photograph taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing north. 40 Figure 12. Photograph of Feature H, taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing west. 41


v Figure 13. Photograph of Feature L, taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing north. 43 Figure 14. Photograph of Feature M, ta ken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing northwest. 44 Figure 15. Photograph of cut in the bedroc k near Feature T. Taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing south. 47 Figure 16. Footprint impression in the fl oor of Feature C. Photograph taken by Dr. Brent Weisman on May 15, 2000, facing northwest. 53 Figure 17. Plat of Key West draw n by William Adee Whitehead in 1829. 59 Figure 18. Charles Howe’s 1840 map of Indi an Key, with the residential/private areas and commercial areas highlighted. 62 Figure 19. Map of Indian Key drawn by Henry E. Perrine (Perrine 1885). 68 Figure 20. Dr. Henry Perrine’s hom e on Indian Key (Wells 2000:36). 70 Figure 21. Floor of Feature C, showing ev idence of “scratching” on the first layer of plaster over the brick floor Photograph taken by Dr. Brent Weisman on May 15, 2000, facing northwest. 85 Figure 22. Horseshoe-shaped basin in F eature B with interior dimensions highlighted. Photograph taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing east. 89 Figure 23. Francis Watlington house in Key West, built in 1829 (Old Island Restoration Foundation 2003). 93 Figure 24. Map of the archaeological and architectural features found on Indian Key, and their estimated periods of construction and re-use. Base map: Baker 1973. 107


vi An Archaeological Study of Architectural Form and Function at Indian Key, Florida Kelly A. Driscoll ABSTRACT Indian Key Historic State Park is a small island located on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Florida Keys, near Islamorada. Befo re it was bought by the state of Florida in 1970, Indian Key had been the setting for a number of historically sign ificant activities. The most well known of these is the 1840 raid on the people and buildings that made up a small wrecking village, established on the is land by Jacob Housman in the early 1830s. The limestone foundations of these structures ar e the main attraction to today’s visitor to the park. There is more to the story of Indian Key, though, than the Housman period and the structural remains left behind from this stage of the island ’s history. Almost immediately after the near de struction of the island in 1840, the Florida Squadron of the Navy took over, constructing their own buildin gs, and re-using some of the previously constructed foundations. This cycle of re building and re-use continued for another hundred years, with families and fishers trying to inhabit and profit from Indian Key. The focus of this thesis is to examine the foundations and associated archaeological features of Indian Key in orde r to determine better pe riods of use and reuse for the buildings that have been iden tified through archaeologi cal investigations.


vii This research was conducted in order to examine the site’s architecture through an archaeological perspective; it is by no means an attempt at a complete architectural study of the site. Rather, it is an effort to exam ine the entire island of Indian Key, by focusing on the history of the buildings that helped make it an important piece of Florida’s past.


1 Chapter One: Introduction Many of the Florida Keys have “untold storie s” of pirates and treasure, or so local guides tell the masses of tourists who swarm to the area every year, but Indian Key, an unassuming little island just 11 acres in size, ha s a real life story of piracy, intrigue, and history stored within the ru ined building foundations scatte red between its shores. The history of Indian Key Historic State Park, or 8MO15, its Flor ida Master Site File (FMSF) number, has been the focus of archaeologi cal (Baker 1973, Eyster 1965), historical (Schene 1973) and fictional (H ess 1978) writings, many of which were completed after the state acquired the island in December of 1970. Before the University of South Florida began its investigation of Indian Key, a ll of the previous arch aeological studies of the site had either focused specifically on the artifacts (Eyster 1965), or had used a whole-site approach to look at the island solely as a reposito ry for the artifacts found in the ground (Baker 1973). Matero and Fong’s (1 997) report on the proposed conservation of Indian Key provided a bridge between the archaeological data collected and the growing concern of stabiliz ing and conserving the foundation remains at Indian Key. Furthermore, this report led to a joint projec t involving the University of Pennsylvania’s historic conservation program, the University of South Florida’s ar chaeological research investigation, and the Flor ida Park Service.


2 Historical archaeologists tend to focus on sm aller artifacts such as glass, ceramics or metals located within or around a larger structure, dismissing to some degree the building that individuals (and their materi al goods) were drawn to initially. The intention of this thesis is to look at the entire site of Indian Key as an artifact, by focusing on the foundation remains of the st ructures that once made the island an important and historically significant piece of Florida history. This research was conducted in order to examine the site’s architecture through an archaeological perspective, and is by no means an attempt at a complete architectural study of the site. Rather, it is an effort to focus on materi als that archaeologists sometimes overlook. Very little information is availa ble in the form of documentary evidence concerning the structures that once stood upon this small island. A few maps exist (Howe 1840, Perrine 1885) that document the a pproximate locations of buildings during Indian Key’s most prosperous era, but descri ptions of these buildings, besides a few brief and vague mentions in histori cal narratives, are scarce. Some of the methodologies employed in this thesis includ ed the study of these historic maps and documents related to Indi an Key. These items illustrate the long and varied history of use of the key, as well as the utilization of a grid system in the historic landscape of Indian Key and the ways in which this type of layout was used to separate the island’s inhabitants according to class and gender. Archaeological excavations and mapping were also a part of this research. Two trips to Indian Key during the early part of 2000 resulted in the archaeological testi ng of three separate areas, many different phases of mapping, including an entire brick fl oor of one of the archaeological features,


3 and the recovery of hundreds of historic artifact s. Even with all of this material, it is impossible to present a complete history of th e architecture of Indian Key or of the island itself. There is no doubt that Jacob Housman set up Indian Key in the 1830s using a town plan and a set of construction guideli nes that must have been followed. This information was most likely lost during the fire that claimed thirteen lives and most of the original buildings on Indian Key during the su mmer of 1840. This thesis attempts to examine the architecture thr ough archaeological investigations and research in order to place the remains and modificati ons made to these structures within a specific time period, and to help recognize potential areas of research for the future. The ways in which buildings were constructed, the materials used, and the placement of these structures are all topics taken into account and addressed.


4 Chapter Two: Environmental and Cultural Overview Environmental History of Indian Key Indian Key is an approximately 11-acre island situated less than one-mile southeast of the chain of the Florida Keys in the Atlantic Ocean (Figures 1 and 2). The mean average temperature for this area is about 78 degrees F, and the mean annual precipitation is approximately 50 inches (Hurt et al. 1995). Bo th of these factors have a major influence on the types and styles of buildings constructed in the Keys. Temperature dictates the need for breezeway s and porches, and rainfall, or the lack thereof, cisterns. The maximum elevation on th e key is 8 to 10 feet above mean sea level (amsl), and the submerged lands belonging to Indian Key State Historic Site are also shallow in depth. The average depth of Indian Key Channel, located to the north of the island, is 12 ft., while Lignumvitae Channel to the northwest, averages approximately 7.5 ft. Rain is the primary source of fres hwater in the Florida Ke ys, and on Indian Key. Historically, cisterns, wells, and solution holes from the small, shallow, freshwater lenses formed in the limestone during the rainy season were all the ways that water was collected. Throughout the rest of the pe ninsula, water is supplied by underground aquifers. Key Largo Limestone, of which the Upper Keys, including Indian Key, are made, forms a part of the Biscayne aquifer of the surficial aquifer system. This aquifer


5 provides water for areas of Dade, Browar d and Monroe counties (Hyde 1965). Until recently, fresh water from the Biscayne aquife r was available in at least one location on north Key Largo. Salt-water intrusion resulti ng from the drainage of the Everglades and the canalization of southeast Florida disrupted the aquife r and changed the regional hydrology of the Keys (DEP 2000a). Figure 1. Location of Indian Key as show n on the Upper Matecumbe Key 1971 USGS 7.5’ topographic quadrangle.


6 Only one type of soil is mapped for I ndian Key (Hurt et. al. 1995: Sheet 20 inset). Pennekamp gravely muck, 0 to 2 percent slope s, extremely stony, is a well-drained soil characterized by a thin layer of organic debris and leaf layer over the coral limestone bedrock. Found on uplands, this soil has a dept h of 4 to 16 inches, while the elevations normally found within this soil type are 5 to 15 ft. amsl. Most areas of this soil support native vegetation and are used as habitat for tropical hammock speci es. This vegetation includes poisonwood, wild tamarind, gumbo-limb o, strangler fig and wild coffee. The upland vegetation at Indian Key consists mos tly of exotic species brought to the island by Dr. Henry Perrine (a noted bot anist who arrived at Indian Key with his family in 1838), although native species are found scattered th roughout the key. Land uses for an area with Pennekamp gravely muck is limited due to the fact that it is prone to flooding, and has such a shallow depth (Hurt et. al. 1995). Figure 2. Aerial photograph of Indian Key (Feil 2001).


7 Recent changes to the island’s landscape include the addition of an observation tower, the clearing of paths a nd the town square (Figure 3), and the construction of a new dock and shelter. The previous dock was destroyed by Hurricane Georges in 1998, which also forced the FPS to cease all tours of Indian Key until a new dock was built. Geological Description Indian Key falls within the Southern or Distal zone of Fl orida, as White (1970) divided it. This zone extends up from the s outhern end of the peninsula to an imaginary line that crosses the state in the general vici nity of Stuart on the east coast over to Fort Myers on the west coast. This area is quite di stinct in that it is th e only place in the entire Atlantic-Gulf of Mexico coast of the United States where land extends all the way to the outer edge of the Continental Shelf. This phenomenon is most likel y the result of the rapid deposition of carbonates fr om the tropical water of the Florida current. Coral reefs establish themselves in these same areas, and in some instances, pr ovide a protected area where carbonate can accumulate and form land ma sses, as is the case for the Florida Keys (Randazzo and Halley 1997, White 1970). The Florida Keys are further separa ted into the High Coral Keys (Soldier Key to Upper Matecumbe), the Low Coral Keys (Low er Matecumbe to Newfound Harbor Key), and the Oolite Keys (Pigeon Key to Key We st), in order to discuss their unique characteristics (Figure 4). Indian Key is in the southern portion of the High Coral Keys (also referred to as the Upper Keys) (DEP 2000b, Randazzo and Halley 1997, White 1970: Map 1-C). These keys are comprised of Key Largo Limestone, and are oriented


8 parallel to the continental shelf. This specifi c type of limestone plays an important part in the architecture of Indian Key, and is present in the subsurface of Florida from Miami to the Dry Tortugas, with an average thic kness of over 60 m (Hoffmeister 1974). Figure 3. Indian Key town square as it appears today. Photograph taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing north. Key Largo Limestone is a coralline limest one composed of coral heads encased in a matrix of calcarenite (Stanley 1966), and is also part of the Plio cene-Pleistocene Series of sediments that occurs over most of the state (Scott 1992). Th is limestone formed 90,000 to 145,000 years ago when the sea was at its Pamlico level, approximately 6-8 m higher than today (Randazzo and Haley 1997, White 1970). Approximately 40 percent of Key Largo Limestone is coral, the remainder is lime mud infilling and other calcareous organisms (Chiappone1996). One of the highest parts


9 of the Upper Keys, Windley Key, located appr oximately seven miles north of Indian Key on U.S. 1, has an old quarry where entire wa lls of Key Largo Limestone are exposed. The coral remains found within these walls are similar to the present living coral reefs offshore (DEP 2000a). Figure 4. Geological map of the Florida Keys from White (1970: Map 1-C). Hurricanes The tropical storms that have passed th rough the Keys have included some of the most powerful hurricanes on record. In October of 1844, the “Cuban Hurricane” swept over Cuba and the Florida Key, saturating Ke y West with over 10 inches of rain. According to Barnes (1998), all of the hom es and wharves on Indian Key were blown down or washed away, as the center of the storm passed very close to the island.


10 The most well known hurricane ever to st rike the entire Keys was the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. With sustained winds of 150 to 200 miles pe r hour, the hurricane destroyed everything in its path from Tavernier to Key Vaca a distance of more than 30 miles. The overwhelming depth and flow of the storm tide wiped out buildings, roads, bridges, and an 11-car train from the East Coast Railroad, sent to Lower Matecumbe Key in an effort to rescue those th at were stranded (McDonald 1935). Of the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, noted Key West resident Ernest Hemingway states that “Indian Key [was] absolutely sw ept clean, not a blade of grass … the whole bottom of the sea blew over it” (Hemingway 1981:49). It was also reported that a man had been found dead in a cistern on the island after the hurricane. Also in this cistern were two railroad ties from Flagler’s Flor ida East Coast Railroad, which had been destroyed by this storm. This same account states that “Indian Key had been swept clean of many trees and all the wooden buildings…t he masonry vestiges from Housman’s time and the more modern cisterns remained” (Griswold 1965:68). These storms are just a small example of the brutality of th e weather that has repeatedly struck Indian Key. For every la rge hurricane there are numerous other storms every year that repeatedly do damage to the is land and the buildings that grace it. This cycle of building, destructi on, and re-building has undoubtedly been a constant on the island since it was inhabited, and continues today.


11 Regional Prehistory /History of the Keys The brief narrative below reflects dis tinct periods or events in the prehistory and history of Florida and the Keys that have had a direct eff ect on Indian Key, and more specifically, the architectural el ements found on the island today. Calusa and Tequesta Indians There is very little cultural material left in the Florida Keys that dates back to the time of its earliest inhabitants. Most site s in the area consist of shell mounds and middens, and contain an archaeological assembla ge that resembles the Glades culture to the north, dating back to at least A.D. 800 (M ilanich 1995). Another type of site found in this area, the rock mound, can be directly related to the architecture of Indian Key, through their shared use of Key Largo Limestone. The identification of the people th at constructed these rock mounds and other prehistoric sites located within the Upper Keys is an area of archaeological research still open for debate. At the time of Spanish c ontact, there were tw o dominant groups of Native Americans in south Florida, the Teque sta and the Calusa. The Tequesta were located on the southern east coast of Florid a, centered around Bis cayne Bay, while the Calusa dominated the south-central portions of the state, and portion of the west coast. The exact nature of the relationship between the Keys Indians and these other groups has yet to be defined. It has been suggested (Goggin 1950) that the Keys Indians were smaller bands under the control of either th e Tequesta or Calusa, and as the relative power of these two tribes fl uctuated, so did the control over the Keys groups. The


12 Indians living in the Keys most likely bot h exchanged goods and paid tributes to whichever confederacy they were under at that time, most likely in the form of shipwreck booty. The Indians who inhabited the Upper Keys are generally referred to in archaeological literature (Goggin and Sommer 1949, Goggin 1950) as Matecumbe, a term which came from references to the leader of the group of Native Americans encountered here during the Spanish explora tion period. In Hann (1991), Juan Lpez de Velasco’s account of the Indians of s outh Florida in 1575 is as follows: They [the Keys], are countless, with the greater part of them inhabited by Indians subj ect to the cacique [chief], Carlos, great archers, and spear throwers … The long and big island, which is at the e nd of the Martyrs, is also inhabited by Indians, like the others, whose cacique is called Matecumbe (Hann 1991:312-313). No documents containing a better descrip tion of the area occupied by the Matecumbe people, or of there relationship with the la rger, more powerful groups to the north have been identified as of yet. Some inferences about the way these people lived can be made however, through the archaeological investigat ions of the sites they left behind. To locate any archaeological sites that ma y be related to Indian Key, a search of the Florida Division of Historical Resources (FDHR) Florida Master Site File (FMSF) dated November 2002 in GIS format was completed. Four rock mounds in the immediate area were identified. Two of these sites ar e recorded on Key Largo, near mile marker 101, to the west of US Highway 1. Key Lar go 3 (8MO27), located partially within the Calusa Camp Resort grounds, is the largest and most well known of all the rock mounds


13 recorded in the FMSF. Together with the black earth midden (8MO26) and other associated features located within the same complex, this rock m ound was placed in the National Register of Histor ic Places (NRHP) in 1975. The first archaeological investigation into the Key Largo 3 rock mound was in 1944 by John Goggin, who described the rock mound as being… …built of limestone rocks 10 to 12 inches in diameter, laid in rough courses. The elevati on of the mound is about 8 or 9 feet. A few holes have been dug into the mound by treasure seekers, but the damage is slight. These do reveal the interior construction of th e mound and show that it was apparently all made of stone (Goggin 1944:17). He further reported a sloping ramp coming off the east side of the kidney-shaped mound. Goggin recovered only one artifact, a broken sh ell pick, and determined that the rock mound was a ceremonial site of great importance (Goggin 1944). Since Goggin’s visit to the site, the stat e of Florida has conducted two separate investigations into the Calusa Camp Resort ar chaeological sites. Ca rlos Martinez visited the Key Largo rock mound and village site complex in 1977 to eval uate their condition and interpretive archaeological potential for possible acqui sition and development as a State park. Martinez (1977) found that the east side of the mound had been bulldozed three years earlier, removi ng all traces of the sloping ramp found by Goggin (1944). Martinez did not come to any conclusions c oncerning the construction of the rock mound in his report. Twenty years after Martin ez visited the rock mound, Conservation and Recreation Lands (C.A.R.L.) archaeologists Christine L. Newman and Louis D. Tesar were sent to


14 the site, to determine whether or not non-cult urally sensitive acreag e existed to permit a planned school construction. Their in-depth investigation into the Key Largo 3 rock mound revealed a much more complex construction than previously thought. Newman and Tesar found four separate, discrete stra tigraphic levels in the shovel test they excavated in the north mound slope all of which consisted of ro ck over a layer of soil. A conclusion that the rock mound must have b een constructed before European settlers arrived in the area was made, citing the fact that the Europeans cleared rocks from their fields to gain access to organic soils, and woul d not have made a pile of this valuable soil only to cover it with large rocks. Five Gl ades Plain sherds were the only artifacts recovered from 8MO27 during this investigation. Since this type of pottery dates from 500 B.C. into the early contact era, neither a discrete use nor a firm date of occupation could be assigned to the Key Largo Rock Mound from the artifacts found at the site (Newman and Tesar 1997). Currently the rock mound is overgrown and somewhat protected in an area of dens e vegetation (Figure 5). The other rock mound on Key Largo, 8M O28 (Key Largo 4) was recorded by John Goggin in 1951 from an informant’s report of an oval rock mound approximately 30 feet long and 4 feet high on the north end of Key Largo, n ear the Anglers Club. Goggin never visited the site to confirm this report, and the exact location of this reported mound is not known. No further work has ever been completed concerning this site.


15 Figure 5. Current state of 8MO27, the Key Larg o 3 rock mound. Photograph taken by the author on June 4, 2003, facing north Between the Key Largo rock mounds and Indian Key lie 8MO20 and 8MO21, Plantation Key 1 and 2, respectively. Both of these rock mounds were visited briefly by Goggin in the summer of 1940 (Goggin 1944), an d were recorded in the FMSF by him in 1951. Neither of these mounds has been the subj ect of further archaeological research to date. Plantation Key 1 (8MO20) is a low lim estone rock ridge containing some coral sand, approximately 20 feet wide, 65 ft long, a nd 2.5 ft. high. A vague verbal description concerning this site was given by Goggin, and the exact location of this rock mound is unknown.


16 Plantation Key 2 (8MO21), is in a slightly irregular rectangular shape, 75 ft. wide, 107 ft. long, and 4 ft. high. This site di ffers in composition from Plantation Key 1 slightly, in that it contains more sand and Strombus shells in addition to the limestone rocks. The exact location of this rock mound is not known, as Goggin only gave a general vicinity location on his site file form. The discovery and investiga tion into these cu lturally significant rock mounds is important, in that it shows that the Keys Indi ans were utilizing the materials available to them for construction purposes much like the inhabitants of Indian Key did hundreds of years later. Furthermore, from the faunal remains and other cultural materials recovered from midden deposits associated with these rock mounds, it can be said that the Native American people who created these sites were much like the earliest European settlers and later, the wreckers who inhabited the Keys in that they subsisted on fishing, hunting, and the collection of wild plants and animals, including sea turtles. By 1718, the remnants of the south Florida natives, incl uding the Calusa and Tequesta, had been resettled in the Keys, wher e they were used as fishing laborers by the Spanish. This continued until 1763, when the la st of the Florida Indians were carried away to Cuba by the departing Spanish. Th e Indians who remained in southwest and south coastal Florida were from then on refe rred to as “Spanish Indians” (Newman and Tesar 1997:5).


17 Spanish Exploration Los Martires or “the martyrs,” as the Florida Keys were referred to by the Spanish, were claimed as part of Florida for Spain on April 3, 1513, by Juan Ponce de Len, the former governor of San Juan (today Puerto Rico). Pon ce gave his discovery the name La Florida Spanish for “The Flowered One,” which may be a reference to the Easter season in which the claim was made (Fuson 2000; Milanich and Milbrath 1989). One major effect Spanish expl oration had on Indian Key was the use of a new route to and from Spain that brought ships through the Bahama Channel and past the Florida Keys (Schene 1973). This passage exposed the area’s native inhabitants to th e first real taste of what was to become a profitable wrecking busin ess in Florida, a subject that will be discussed in detail later in th is chapter. The goods taken from these ships aside, there are no known remnants or architectural remains fr om these early Spanish explorations on or around Indian Key. British/Spanish/American Control The first real influence on the archit ecture of the Keys began after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763, ending the Seven Years War, and beginning a period of British control over Florida. This document decreed that Spain exchange Florida for Havana, which the British had captured during the wa r. Soon after the British had taken over Florida, Bahamians of both native and Englis h descent soon started se ttling into the Keys, partially encouraged by the ta keover of the area, but also due to the economic depression the Bahamas had been under during the last tw o decades of the eighteenth century (White


18 and Smiley 1959; Schene 1973). Mostly fishers and turtlers, these immigrants were able to supplement their income with money derived from the salvage or “wrecking” business. Their new home was much like their old one with dangerous reefs for ships to be stranded upon, and cargo to be saved. The Br itish did little to control the wrecking vessels, as they were able to impose exorbita nt court and colonial fees on the salvagers (Schene 1973). Although only a relatively small number of Bahamians settled in the Keys during this time period, they paved the way for a great many more, and for the ideas that would be brought about through the inven tive style of architect ure they would help create for the region. After only twenty years of British rule, Florida was once again returned to Spain at the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783, and again Spain’s influence on the architecture of the Florida Keys was minimal. In fact, the impact Spain made on Florida as a whole was diminished, as the unrest a nd revolution in other Sp anish colonies left Spain with little time or resources to d eal with the peninsula (Gannon 1993; Tebeau 1971). The northern portion Florida remain ed the most densely populated, and grew even more so with American citizens ente ring the region under the noses of the powerless Spanish. The southern part of Florida rema ined somewhat untouched, but the Keys were subjected to an influx of uns avory characters, including smug glers, ex-slavers driven from the African coast by the British, and pi rates. They worked out of stations from Cuba to Florida, preying on commercial ve ssels sailing through the Florida Straits (Schene 1973).


19 In an effort to combat these sinister ac ts, the United States Congress passed a law in 1819 outlawing piracy and initiating a patr ol of the Caribbean by the armed forces. Commodore Oliver H. Perry and the West India Squadron were able to decrease dramatically the number of ships being atta cked around the area of the Florida Keys. This encouraged a number of Americans to settle in the Keys, who soon after their arrival, began to construct dw ellings and other structures re lated to their domestic or commercial endeavors. Also during this period of Spanish c ontrol, Florida had been used as a battleground by both the British and the U. S. during the War of 1812 and the First Seminole War in 1818. During the later of th e two hostilities, Andrew Jackson seized Spanish forts in Pensacola and Fort San Marcos de Apalachee, just south of Tallahassee. The Spanish government, realizing that th ey could no longer control the American invasion, signed the Adams-Onis treaty earl y in 1819. Through this treaty they ceded Florida to the United States in return fo r the U.S. government assuming over $5 million in debt Spain owed to American citizens (Gannon 1993). Because of governmental changes, Spain was unable to ratify the treaty until 1821, at which time Florida became the sole property of the United States. When Andrew Jackson entered the terri tory of Florida as its first military governor, the land was divided into two counties. The eastern half was St. Johns, and the western part became Escambia. During this time, the majority of the population remained in the northern portions of the st ate and around the coasts. Soon the population in the Keys slowly began to grow, due in large part to the wrecking industry, an


20 occupation that had been a consistent source of income in this region for a great number of years, but which also became a great influenc e on the initial architectural styles of this area. History of Indian Key Wrecking along the Florida Keys Indian Key would not have been wh at it once was or is today without wrecking. This one business was the influence for the majority of architectural remains and the general layout of the island. Small bands of Indians, mo st likely under the control of the Calusa, inhabited much of the Keys, and were the first groups to benefit from salvaged goods. Generally material was recovered by th e natives in two ways: items would wash up on shore from wrecks farther out on the reefs, or the stra nded vessel would be spotted while the Indians were hunti ng on the mainland or fishing along these same reefs. As was previously mentioned, a new route to and from Spain brought hundreds of ships directly past the Keys and th eir perilous reefs. Accordi ng to Schene (1973), many wrecks during this period were due to unseaworthy vessels, a lack of adequate navigational skills and aids, and/or the absence of reliable information concerning the Florida Straits. After the wrecked goods were collected, they were most likely traded to other groups of Indians throughout the state. When Panfilo de Narvez brought an expedition to the Tampa Bay region in 1528, he noted that the Florida Indians in that area had Spanish goods, most likely from the Keys (Hodge 1907:21; Schene 1973:12).


21 Unfortunately, for the Spanish crews of these vessels, the Keys Indians were just as hospitable to castaways as the treacherous reefs su rrounding their land. Hernando d’Escalante Fontaneda was one of these unfor tunate souls. In 1549 at the age of 13, Fontaneda was captured along with several other shipmates, afte r the vessel in which they were traveling to Spain wrecked somewhere in the Keys. Escalante Fontaneda spent seventeen years under the control of the Flor ida natives, eventually ending up with the Calusas. In his memoirs (Escalante Font aneda 1575), he describes how the Indians would dispatch of their captives after tort uring, taunting and working them as they saw fit. The population and power of the Calu sa Indians and the groups of Keys Indians under their control was soon diminished not long after European arri val into the area. The vast majority of the Florida Indians that remained in the Keys were carried away by the Spanish when they departed Florida for Cuba in 1763. The reason for this change in power was the Treaty of Paris, which, when signed in 1763 brought British rule and a number of black Bahamian immigrants to the Keys. Although many of the Bahamian settlers were fishers by trade, they were able to supplement their income through wrecking, as th ey were often the first to spot stranded ships from their fishing spots. The Bahamians wasted no time in setting up a full-fledged wrecking operation, sending salv aged goods to Nassau from various ports of rendezvous. These stations were located at Key Bisca yne, Key Vacas, Key West, Big Pine Key, and Indian Key, spots selected because of their proximity to a good harbor, fresh water, and a dangerous reef. These keys served as mee ting points only. There is no archaeological or


22 architectural evidence that suggest permanent structures or settlements were established on any other island, besides Key West, by the Bahamian wreckers (Dodd 1944, Schene 1973, Viele 2001). Up until the 1820’s, the Bahamians still had a stronghold on the Florida Keys wrecking industry. That was until the rumors of wreckers getting rich off of reselling salvaged goods spread north, sending a flurry of people to the area, all lured by the ideas of quick profit and vast wealth. These American wreckers soon began to establish wrecking settlements in the Keys, at the sa me locations the Bahamians were using for their rendezvous place. The first and most im portant permanent settlement of this kind was Key West. The claim to Key West wa s purchased by John Simenton, a northern businessman, in 1821 from Juan P. Salas, who was given a Spanish land grant for the area in 1815 (Wilkinson 2003b). Development of the area began a year later with the construction of storehouses a nd other buildings, establishi ng Key West as a lucrative port. The business was further enhanced by an Act of Congress passed on May 7, 1822, which established Key West as the designate d collection district for Cape Sable to Charlotte Harbor. Later that same year, Key West was designated the port of entry for this new district, much closer than the onl y other alternative, St. Augustine (Hoffman 1982). Just as soon as Key West bega n to prosper as a salvaging community, the American wreckers began to look for ways to get the Bahamians out of their territory and their business. One person who had a great d eal to do with this idea was William Duval,


23 the first territorial gove rnor of Florida. Duval thought it was wrong that salvaged goods collected from Florida waters were being se nt to Nassau, and that the Bahamians did not restrict their income to wrecking, as they we re quite involved in fi shing and turtling as well. He claimed that in one year alon e, the Bahamians harvested over $100,000 worth of turtles and fish out of Fl orida waters, which they then sold to Cuba. Duval thought that the profits coming from activities such as wrecking and fishing based out of the Florida Keys should go to the citizens of th e territory, not to out side parties. The governor brought this claim to his legislative council, and in 1823 they appealed to the 17th Congress for the federal re gulation of wrecking. The council argued that wrecking and fishing in the Keys was “in the hands of foreigners” (Hoffman 1982), and hinted at impropriety on the part of the Bahamians. When the federal government chose not to enact a law regulating wrecking, the territorial government passed their own law in July of 1823. This law resolved the matter of how to adjudicate wrecking claims, stating that all claims were to be brought before an Amer ican notary public or justice of the peace. This official would then convene a five-per son jury, two of whom were selected by the owner or captain of the vessel, two select ed by the salvors, an d one selected by the magistrate himself (Collins 1971, Hoffman 1982, Wilkinson 2003c). This law only partially solved the problem of wrecking in the Keys however, as the territorial government did not have the authority to prevent foreign vessels from entering their waters. The United States Congr ess finally acted on the matter in March of 1825, deeming it unlawful for property wrecked along the American co ast to be landed anywhere but at a U. S. port of entry. Furthe rmore, all claims had to be adjudicated in an


24 American court. While solving the problem of the Bahamians, this created another problem for the American wreckers, as claims now had to be handled in front of a court, instead of the jury system set forth in their own territorial law (Schene 1973). Congress officially nullified the territorial wrecking la w in 1826, causing the wreckers of Key West to revert to a system of arbitration similar to the one previously supplied by the territorial wrecking law, until a Superior Court was established in 1828. This new court controlled the area south of Indian River and Char lotte Harbor, and had the power to grant and revoke wr ecking licenses (Hoffman 1982). The wrecking business flourished in the Keys until around the time of the Civil War, reaching a high point of 2.8 million do llars in 1855 (Starr 1972). Soon after, the construction of a number of lighthouses around the Florida Reef, as well as the development of steam navigation made passage through the Straits much easier and safer for large vessels. Pre-Housman Era Joseph Prince and Silas Fletcher became the first recorded white American settlers on Indian Key in April of 1824. They came to the key to open up a store for Fletcher’s employers, Snyder and Appleby (Wilkinson 2003f). Having knowledge of the wrecking business, Snyder and Appleby knew I ndian Key would be an excellent spot for wreckers, as well as settlers and Indians liv ing on the southern mainland to stop off and buy goods (Viele 1996, Wilkinson 2003b). It was not long until other wreckers and turtlers brought their families to Indian Key to live.


25 The store on Indian Key was turning a la rge profit, and had ch anged hands several times before being purchased by Thomas Gibson in 1828. During the time of his ownership, Gibson would make other im provements to the island, including the construction of a two-story hotel. Dr. Benj amin Strobel, a Key West physician, stopped by Indian Key in 1929 and described a “ballroom ” on the island as “a kind of piazza, or outshot from the main building; it was neither lathed or plastered, but was well lit up” (Hammond 1969:80). As impressive as the buildings of Indian Key were to Strobel at the time, the island was about to undergo some major reconstruction from one man with a simple plan for his own greatness. Housman Period The story of how Jacob Housman came to reign over Indian Key begins around 1824, when the twenty-four year old entrepreneur, who was captaining a freight schooner up and down the Hudson River, heard tales of the riches readily available in the West Indies. Housman soon stole the schooner from his father and headed south, where he hit a reef around the area of Key West hard enough to put his boat in for re pairs. It was there that Housman got his first taste of the wrecking business. Soon after starting his wrecking career, Housman became disenchanted with the way the business was tightly controlled by the Ke y West merchants, as they owned all of the wharves, warehouses, ship repair shops, and many of the wrecking vessels. They, in turn, did not care for Jacob, and in 1825, accu sed Housman of robbing the French brig Revenge while it was stranded on a reef. Housman was found not guilty, but was


26 accused again in 1828 of trying to bribe the ma ster of another ship so that he could “salvage” some goods from it. After ruining his reputa tion in Key West, Housman sought a place where he could be free from control, and abide by his own rules (Viele 2001). At the time, Indian Key was a popular rendezvous spot for wreckers, which is how Housman most likely came to know about its existence. Housman moved to Indian Key in 1830, and soon after began an effort to acquire pieces of the island. He bought a store and a two-story building containing a billiard table and ninepin alley from Thomas Gibson in 1831 (Schene 1976, Viele 2001). It was not to long after this that the isla nd got its most famous visitor. In late April, 1832, John James Audubon arri ved at Indian Key. He sk etched five plates of The Birds of America (Audubon 1859) during his time on a nd around Indian Key, including Plate CCLII, of the Double-crested Cormor ant, a subspecies discovered by Audubon during this trip. Audubon noted in his journal that he received th e “full benefits of Housman’s hospitality” (Pr oby 1974: 39) while on the is land, and was excited about exploring the many unchartered channels in the area. Much of the hospitality afforded Audubon undoubtedly came from the slaves Housman had brought with him to the island. There were considerable drawbacks to living on Indian Key, but capital improvements were made, utilizing the material s and ideas available to the inhabitants of the island. Housman, with the profits he garnered from his store, built wharves, a warehouse, houses, and blacksmit h, carpenter, and sailmaker shops within a grid system containing a number of street s and a town square. There was a need for all of these


27 amenities, because, of the twenty wrecking vessels listed as being employed on the Florida reefs in 1835, four lis ted their home port as Indi an Key (Hudson 1943). Indian Key was becoming a thriving community, and bo th individuals and families were moving to the island, which was fast becoming one of the largest communities around that area. In 1835, Housman submitted a petition to the Territorial Legislative Council asking that Monroe County be sp lit into two separate counties. This petition was granted, and as a result, Dade County, which included a ll of the middle and upper Keys as well as a large section of the main land, was created. Indian Key was named the temporary county seat, (Viele 2001). Housman saw this as an opportunity not to be wasted, and set about creating a government that would be tter serve his needs and desires. After building a new courthouse, Housman saw to it that many of his employees and friends held posts in the Dade C ounty government. Thomas Jefferson Smith, Housman’s attorney, was appointed county judge; Lemuel Otis, employed by Housman as an arbitrator, was justice of the peace, a nd then sheriff. Even James Dutcher, the marble cutter from New York, served as a justice of the peace during his time on the island. While Housman’s political power a nd influence were gr owing, his financial standing was diminishing. Business for Housman’s store dropped dram atically late in 1835 when serious conflicts with the Seminole Indians forced a numbe r of settlers to begi n to leave the area. In 1838, Housman’s wrecking license was revok ed for stealing goods from the wrecked ship Ajax in 1836 (Viele 2001), and he was for ced to rely more heavily on his diminishing store income than before. Housma n’s finances were further strained after the


28 start of the Second Seminole War in 1836, when he spent a large amount of money on armaments, provisions, and salaries for the band of twenty-four men that made up Company B, 10th Regiment of the Florida Militia, created to defend Indian Key against Indian attacks (Housman n.d.). By March of 1840 Housman’s savings and credit had been depleted, and he was forced to mortgage Indian Key and all its buildings, estimated to be worth $144,000, to two Charleston bus inessmen for $14,283 (Viele 2001). Searching for any means to recoup some of his losses, Housman sent a proposal to the governor and Legislativ e Council of Florida as well as the president and Congress of the United States in 1840 in which he offe red to “catch or kill a ll the Indians of South Florida for two hundred dollars each” (V iele 1996:52). Although Housman never received permission to do so, this offer was undoubtedly one of the reasons that Indian Key was the scene of a brutal attack early one morning that same summer. The events of August 7, 1840, in which Indian Key was attacked by Spanish Indians who burned buildings and killed a num ber of residents, have been recounted numerous times (Beare 1961; Brookfield a nd Griswold 1985; Eyster and Brown 1976; Schene 1973), and will therefore not be discussed. The effect this tragic event had on the architecture of Indian Key will be examin ed in Chapter Four of this thesis. The postmaster and customs inspector Charles Howe, his family, and Henry Goodyear, former operator of the grog shop on the wharf, were the only residents who returned to Indian Key for any extended peri od of time after the devastation of the island (Howe 1941). In a letter written from I ndian Key three months after the August 7th attack, Howe tells his brother William that:


29 Captain Housman has cleared out for good – took everything he had left to Key West … to sell at Auction – his Negroes – Boats – vessels …he is a good deal in debt and it was thought that before the invasion, that he could not stand it more than a year or two longer – had mortgaged all his property on this island, to two different persons in Charleston (Howe 1941:197-8). Housman was not in Key West very long befo re tragedy struck. In May of 1841 he was crushed between two ships when he tried to ge t from one vessel to another. His remains were returned to Indian Key, and placed near the ruins of his form er mansion (Brookfield and Griswold 1985). Naval Occupation Four days after the destruction of In dian Key, the island was ceded “except a small portion of it, for [Housman’s] store a nd dwelling” (McLaughlin 1844) to the United States, and quickly taken over by the Florida Squadron of th e Navy, also referred to as the “Mosquito Fleet.” For a period of approxi mately two years, these men, first under the command of Commander Isaac Mayo, and th en Lt. John T. McLaughlin, would make Indian Key their base camp. While the to tal number of men enlisted in the Mosquito Fleet has been estimated at over 600 (Buker 1980 ), it is presumed that the majority of them remained out on patrol returning to Indian Key only for supplies and medical treatment. Therefore, it is difficult to determine the exact number of men living on Indian Key during the peri od of Naval occupation. The Second Seminole War ended early in 1842, and the Secretary of the Navy, A.P. Upshur, sent orders to di sband the Florida Squadron on May 5th of that year


30 (Weidenbach 1995). After almost four years of patrolling the waters of south Florida, the “swamp sailors” were going home. Post-Naval Occupation After the Housman period on Indian Key, occupation of the island for both commercial and domestic use seems to be some what sporadic and short-lived. According to Viele (1996), the two families that remain ed on Indian Key after the attack in 1840 (presumably the Goodyears and Howes), left th e island when the naval forces withdrew two years later. Indian Key was utilized as a constr uction site for both the Carysfort Reef Lighthouse in 1852 and the Alligator Reef Lighthouse in 1872. A few changes were made to the landscape of the island during both of these tenures, which will be discussed in Chapter Four. Sometime between 1850 and 1856 William H. Bethel, a second-generation Bahamian wrecking captain, moved his family to Indian Key. From there, he continued his wrecking operations, captaining a number of vessels from the time of his arrival, until his death, sometime after 1880. Viele (2001:84) states that there we re “a number of houses on the key” when Bethel moved there, but that there was “only one other man besides Bethel to defend the place from attack”. The 1870 census records a population of 47 people on Indian Key, approximately half of whom were from the Pinder family, who, like Bethel, were originally from the Bahamas (Jutro 1975, Wilkinson 2003d). Further


31 mention is made of small band of Army pers onnel sent to Indian Key to defend it, but no further mention of any archite ctural features is made. From around 1870 to the early 1900s, Indi an Key was used for agricultural and construction purposes. The above-mentioned Pinders, including fa ther Richard, wife Caroline, and their two sons, Adolphus and Cephus, moved to Indian Key from Key West in the late 1860s, and helped in the construc tion of the Alligator Reef Lighthouse before finally moving to Upper Matecumbe in the early 1880s (Beare 1961). Documentary evidence exists that show th at at least two 12-t on vessels were built on Indian Key for use in and around Key We st between 1872 and 1873 (Maloney 1876). Two years later Frederic Trench Townsend ( 1875) visits the island and describes it as being: inhabited by a half a dozen families who have been compelled to take to sponging, since the erection of the light-houses and beacons on the reef … [Indian Key] contains exactly five houses, six palm trees and one dozen plants of sisal hemp. The documented history of Indian Key fr om this point on gradually diminishes until Henry Flagler started building his East Coast Railroad in the early 1900s. After purchasing the island, Flagler used th e wharf for unknown reasons, and tried unsuccessfully to drill for fresh water (W ilkinson 2003g). Three years after the State purchased the land in 1970, research on the hi story and archaeology of the island began, as part of the comprehensive plan for the newly named Indian Key State Historic Site (now the Indian Key Historic State Park).


32 Chapter Three: Archaeological Investigations Previous Archaeological Investigations Irving Eyster In the spring of 1965, Irving Eyster, a long time resident of the Keys and amateur archaeologist, was notified that a group of people were hun ting for artifacts on Indian Key, using fire hoses attached to a gasoline pump to wash away the soil (Eyster 1982). This prompted Eyster to start an excavati on on the island himself, and he looked for an area that “had not been vandalized severa l times” (Eyster 1965:1). He chose the foundation later entitled Feature F by Baker (1973), located in the north-central portion of the key. Eyster mainly recovered ceramics, s quare nails, and glass shards from the ten units he excavated, which he then used to make broad inferences about the people who had previously inhabited the structure. Besi des concluding that all of the artifacts he found dated only to the Housman period of o ccupation, Eyster also implied that the presence of pipe stems, a chisel, gun flints, and musket balls meant that a man had inhabited the foundation and associated dwelli ng, while a “ladies” comb, perfume bottles, and “fancy” buttons indicated a woman (Eyste r 1965). Eyster neve r took into account that the island had been through many peri ods of occupation, or that men and women often use the same items.


33 Henry Baker Henry Baker was given the task in 1972 by the Bureau of Histor ic Sites and Properties to complete an initial archaeological study of Indian Key that would accompany the history of the island being compiled by Michae l Schene (1973). Goals of this project included the drawing of a topographical map and completing a systematic archaeological survey of the island in order to identify all possible historically si gnificant structures. Baker (1973) identified twenty-two archaeological features during his initial study of Indian Key for the Florida Department of State (Figure 6). Feat ures were defined as being any obvious architectural structures as well as concentr ations of artifacts that may indicate the former presence of a structure. These features, identified alphabetically by Baker, have been the basis for all continuing investig ations at Indian Ke y, as well as this thesis. A short description of each feature, as well as Baker’s (1973) interpretation of the function of each structural remain or artifact concentration will be gi ven in this chapter, followed by and a more in-depth analysis of a few select features in Chapters Four and Five.


34 Figure 6. Baker’s 1973 map of Indian Key showi ng the locations of features discussed in his report.


35 Features A and C are two parts to the sa me structure, and will therefore be discussed together. Feature A is the southern half of the foundation identified as Jacob Housman’s warehouse. Together with Featur e C, the northern porti on, this foundation is by far the largest architectur al structure on the island. Measuring approximately 14.5 meters (m) north-south and 20 m east-west, th e warehouse lies just southwest of the east coast of the island, close to the shore, and to one of the docks seen on the Perrine (1885) and Howe (1840) maps. Feature A has been constructed out of the coral rock base of Indian Key, with a level bedrock floor, and walls made out of cora l blocks that may have been quarried from its interior. There is a small tidal pool in the southwest corner of Feature A, which Baker (1973) thinks may have been enclosed at one time due to the fact that the bedrock opening around the pool is higher in elevation than the remainder of the floor. An iron stove recovered during the initia l investigation of this feat ure lends support to the notion that the warehouse was re-used after the Housman period. Separated from Feature A by a cour sed coral block wall, Feature C has a unique floor construction that will be discussed later in greater detail. Instead of the plaster being applied directly to the be drock, as was the case in Feature A, the floor of C consists of multi-layered masonry. Plaster was applied to the smooth bedrock, and then a brick floor was laid down, with a final layer of pl aster over the top (Fi gure 7). There is a second, and in some areas a third layer of plas ter applied to the floor that also extends up onto the walls. This layer, when completely intact, would have created a seamless plaster finish (Figure 8). A course of irregularly laid bricks was also noted along the walls of


36 this feature. Baker (1973) suggests these bricks may have been supports for a raised wooden floor during one of the later occupations of the site. He does not give any further details about the function of C, but be lieves that Feature A was a cistern. Figure 7. Floor of Feature C, showing plaster over bedrock, then layer of brick with some plaster remnants on top of the brick. Photograph taken by Dr. Brent Weisman, May 15, 2000, facing southeast. Feature B is a 6-x-3.5-m st ructure that has been iden tified as Senator English’s house or kitchen because of its location and designation on the Perrine (1885) map. This structure was completely excavated by Ba ker (1973), who thought that the feature represented the kitchen portion of the Senator’ s home, instead of the dwelling, because of its small size. This architectural feature ha s a plastered brick floor with three distinct layers in some areas, much lik e the floor found in Feature C. Furthermore, the floor of


37 this feature is sloped toward the southeast corner, where a horseshoe-shaped plastered brick basin is mortared. Figure 8. Plastered limestone wall in south corner of Feature C. Photograph taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing south. Features D and E are both large circular ci sterns located near the center of Indian Key, northwest of Features A/C (Figure 9). Both are constructed out of brick and have plastered walls measuring approximately 62 cm thick and 1.4 m high. Feature E is slightly larger than D, and is approximately 8 m in diameter. The brick floor and walls of Feature D have been damaged by dynamite at some point by vandals, and had previously been reinforced with heavy iron straps recovered during the 1 973 investigation. The interior of Feature E contains a circular brick pillar th at may have (as Baker [1973] speculated) served as the support column of a roof when first constructed (Figure


38 10). Neither of these cisterns appears on e ither one of the historic maps (Howe 1840, Perrine 1885), but a number of other buildings are shown in their place. Four houses with outbuildings (N, O, P, P on the Perri ne 1885 map) are mapped in the general location of these cisterns. Figure 9. Photograph of Feature D, in foreground, and Feature E, taken by the author, looking south from the observation deck in the northeast corner of Indian Key on June 6, 2003. Features F and G are two structur al remains related to the four houses with outbuildings noted on Perrine’s ( 1885) map, and lie just to the west of Features D and E. Baker writes that Feature F is the cistern portion of the house and kitchen complex owned by Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Sturdy, while Feat ure G was a vacant cottage and kitchen, probably belonging to Housman.


39 Figure 10. Interior of Feature E, showing possibl e brick roof support. Photograph taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing east. Both of these features are approxi mately 5.5-x-3 m in length and width, and have mortared stone walls and plastered walls a nd floors (Figure 11). Unlike the previous cistern remains of Feature B, Baker suggests that both F and G had a frame “living floor” above the cistern, which may have been larger than the stone founda tion underneath it. Furthermore, concerning the location of the other six buildings s een on the Perrine and Howe maps adjacent to Features F and G, Bake r (1973) thinks that these other structures were made entirely of wood, and as they lack ed the sturdier cisterns that F and G had, they were destroyed after the 1840 fire, or possi bly just swept out to sea by storm wash. None of the foundations of the six missing structur es have been located as of this date.


40 Figure 11. Feature F after two seasons of U SF excavation and with conservation treatment in place. Photograph taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing north. Feature H is a circular brick cistern slightly less than 5 m in diameter, located near the center of the island, just west of Features F and G (Figure 12). Baker (1973) believes that Feature H was constructed during or ju st after the Housman pe riod on Indian Key, and may have been associated with the pr eviously discussed missing structures once associated with Features F and G. Feature I is a square masonry foundation with a plastered bedrock floor. The walls are approximately 4.5 m in length and 40 cm thick. The location of this feature (on the west side of the island, southwest of Feat ure H), places this near the “Tropical Hotel” location on the historic nineteenth cent ury maps (Howe 1840, Perrine 1885). The


41 construction of this feature leads to its descript ion as a cistern associated with the hotel in Baker’s report. Figure 12. Photograph of Feature H, taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing west. Jacob Housman’s Tomb is what Ba ker (1973) has designated as Feature J. The tomb is an elongated hole cut into the bedr ock near the eastern shore of Indian Key. Housman’s remains were returned to Indian Key after his death in 1841, but they are not in the tomb today, and their whereabouts ar e unknown. A marble marker was placed on top of his tomb, but was subsequently va ndalized and badly damaged. A replacement tombstone was furnished by the Historic Flor ida Preservation Board in 1986 (Eyster and Eyster 1997), and still lies in place.


42 Feature K is a poorly defined ar ea of artifacts and building rubble located approximately 20 m north of Features A a nd C. Artifacts collected from the surface could not give a definitive date to this partic ular occurrence, but it was dated to the midto late-nineteenth centu ry by Baker (1973). Oriented in a northwest-southeast grid pattern like the rest of the buildings built during Housman’s reign of Indian Key, Feat ure L is a stone masonry foundation of at least two components (Figure 13) Although this feature does not appear in its present location in the upper northwest section of the island on Howe’s (1840) map, it is theorized (Baker 1973) that it was omitted or inaccurately placed when this map was made. One segment of the structure is a roughly 3-x-3 m square, whose interior was filled with brick and large stones up to 2m hi gh (the height of the foundation) at the time of Baker’s (1973) investigation. The second segment of this feature consists of an attached wall that comes out from the sout heast side, indicating th at there was another room built onto this structure at one point. Like Feature C, there is a low sill of brick and masonry that comes out of the southeast corner, perhaps as a support for a wooden floor. This feature is commonly referred to in modern documents discussing Indian Key as the “Post Office,” although there is no clear indication that this struct ure was ever used for this purpose.


43 Figure 13. Photograph of Feature L, taken by th e author on June 6, 2003, facing north. Feature M is the ruined foundation and walls of a roughly square structure measuring approximately 3 m on each side (Figure 14). Located in the upper northcentral portion of the island, this feature cons ists of plastered stone masonry walls with an average thickness of 50 cm, and an estimat ed height of over 2 m. Baker (1973) describes this structure as a cistern with an unusual form of construction. In his report, Baker states that the walls of Feature M were “poured into frames similar to the manner tabby was poured … in this case, however, large stones and bricks were included in a clay like mortar matrix” ( 1973:25). An irregularly shaped plaster floor was discovered extending outward from the northeast wall duri ng this early inve stigation, which was reported (Baker 1973) as being fr om a utilitarian frame structur e that was attached to the


44 cistern. Artifacts found under this floor by Baker (1973) consisted of Glades Plain prehistoric pottery sherds, while artifacts rec overed above this plaster floor date to the early nineteenth century. These findings furt her help in dating this structure to the Housman period. Figure 14. Photograph of Feature M, taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing northwest. Feature N is the sole architectural f eature located in the lowe r half of Indian Key. It consists of a circular stone cistern a pproximately 5 m in diameter with plastered interior and exterior walls of an average of 50 cm in thic kness. Baker (1973) found that this cistern had been dynamited at some point because large sections of it lay several meters from its original location. This is the only f eature that is locate d near the area of the Glass and Beiglet cottages, as they were drawn on the Howe (1840) map.


45 Feature O is a poorly defined artif act concentration locat ed in the northwest quarter of the island, west of Feature H. Due to its location and the types of artifacts recovered during his excavations Baker (1973) believes this f eature is associated, like Feature I, with the Tropical Ho tel. Indications that a fram e building of undetermined size was also constructed at this site were al so uncovered during this early investigation. Feature P is anothe r poorly defined artifact concentr ation in the northwest quarter of Indian Key. Located between Features L and H, Feature P consists of a moderately dense scatter of bricks and ar tifacts. Baker attempted no ex cavations in th e area of this feature during the fieldwor k portion of his 1973 report. Feature Q is another ill-defined br ick and masonry concentr ation located in the northwest quarter of the island, halfway betw een Features L and M. While excavating this feature, Baker (1973) found a large c oncentration of cow bones, clam and conch shells. These preliminary findings suggest th at this area was used as a kitchen, but further investigation of the ar ea was suggested (Baker 1973). Feature R is located near the cen ter of Indian Key (the highest point on the island), and consists of an ar tifact concentration containing fragments of cut granite block and brick. Baker’s (1973) excavations uncove red five artificially made cuts in the underlying bedrock, the positioning of which, along with the associated artifacts, suggested two distinct periods of occupation at this particul ar area. Furthermore, it is believed that Feature R may be the remains of a building construc ted by Lt. McLaughlin during the period of Navy occupation between 1840 and 1842, as there is no record of a structure being in this location during th e Housman period. The items recovered from


46 this feature, including two human teeth and an impact-flattened lead shot, lend themselves to this idea (Baker 1973). Feature S is made up of two groove s in the bedrock on the northeast coast of Indian Key. This is near the location of a dock/wharf on the Howe (1840) map, and most likely consists, as Baker (1973) thinks, as b eam support for the construction of the dock. The nature of this feature makes fu rther dating nearly impossible. Feature T is a portion of dry laid stone wall believed to be part of Jacob Housman's mansion. The location of this feature matches the location of Housman’s home on the 1840 Howe map, and a heavy concentration of early 19th century artifacts were recovered during Baker’s (1973) excavatio n. Artificial cuts in the coral bedrock were also discovered by Baker, who thought that some of the cu ts were post-holes used in the construction of the six out buildings associated with the Housman mansion (Figure 15). Feature T is located near the eastern sh ore in the northeast quarter of Indian Key. The entire area around th is feature has been severely disturbed by storm wash, and the feature itself has been subj ected to intense looting. Feature U is the remains of a small cottage located just west of Feature B, near the center of the island. Bake r (1973) believed this to be the remains of a structure constructed during the 1940s, which was then destroyed by Hurricane Donna in 1960. This would represent a continuous cycle that oc curs on Indian Key: a structure is built, a storm of some magnitude hits the island, the structure is badly dete riorated or washedaway altogether, the structure is then rebuilt or a new structure is constr ucted in its place. This idea of re-use and construction will be addressed again in Chapter Five.


47 Figure 15. Photograph of cut in the bedrock near Feature T. Taken by the author on June 6, 2003, facing south. Feature V is the last feature identified by Baker in his 1973 report, and consists of a large area of artifact scatter near the north east corner of Indian Key, once the location of Dr. Henry Perrine’s home. All structur al evidence of the hous e itself, which was extended out into the water to the east of this feature, is gone. Left in its place however is a mass of household artifacts in cluding coal, ceramic sherds bearing evidence of burning, melted glass bottle fragments, and charcoal. Also found within the confines of this feature by Baker (1973), were a Glades Plain sherd, a chert scraper, and three fragments of conch shell tools, all evidence of an earli er prehistoric occupation of Indian Key.


48 In August of 1979 the Division of Archives, History and Records Management conducted test excavations at the site of the (t hen proposed) observation tower (Baker 1982). An area near the intersec tion of Fourth and North West streets was chosen for the tower. The following year, excavations conducted by the state focused on relocating cottage and street locations in order to reestab lish the street grid seen on the Howe (1840) map. By the fall of 1981, portions of the isla nd were cleared so that a trail system corresponding to this grid could be created. USF Archaeology No further archaeological research was conducted on the island until 1998, when the University of South Florida (USF) spen t a portion of their summer field school working on Feature A of the warehouse. The results of this stage of the fieldwork, as well as the 1999 investigation, which also focused primarily on the warehouse (Features A and C), are given in Lamb 1998 and Lamb 20 00, both on file at the University of South Florida, Department of Anthropology, in Tampa. Two separate stages of excavation on Indian Key were completed early in 2000. These investigations served as pa rt of my internship, as well as the basis for this thesis. The objective of these investigations wa s to recover and document artifacts and architectural features in the area of the site undergoing or proposed for conservation, to provide new information for interpretive purpos es about site areas previously neglected or incompletely understood, and develop a ba seline map of Indian Key using GPS and


49 GIS technology (Weisman et al. 2001). Speci fic areas investigated and the types of methodologies employed during this project will be discussed later in this chapter. In the summer of 2001, a team of graduate students led by Dr. Brent Weisman excavated six 2-x-2 m units, two 1-x-2 m un its, and one 1-x-1.6 m unit, around the north, west, and east sides of Feature F. This was done in order to determine if there were any primary, undisturbed, or significant deposits of artifacts present in the feature, and if so, to what extent. Continuing work started the previous summer, when a GPS-based map and GIS predictive model of the island incor porating historical maps and Baker’s (1973) test locations and feature data was complete d. Many of the data collected focused on the area around Fourth Street, and led to a thes is detailing this GIS-based approach to historical archaeology (Collins 2002). The following summer, a crew from USF continued to focus on the area around Fourth Street, particularly Features F and G. Excavations along the south wall of Feature F were completed, and the north, west, and south walls of Feature G were excavated down to the bedrock. Special attention was given to the co nstruction techniques employed in the building of these stone cisterns This included the discovery of an iron spike driven into the bedrock in one corner of Feature F, suggesti ng that the foundations were carefully measured and staked out before construction began. Furthermore, it was theorized that after the stone slabs of bedrock were carved out of the ground, they were used as to form the walls of the cistern a nd the blocks were then shimmed in place by smaller rocks. Before they could be used though, the blocks had to be trimmed or smoothed, which was undoubtedly a strenuous task for the workers. This process was


50 most likely used for all of the cisterns located in the same ge neral area as F and G, as well as for Features A, B, and C. Also during this phase of the project, th e USF team monitored the removal of soil from the interior of Features F and G by the Florida Park Service. Finally, a Cyrax laserscanning unit was used to document site featur es and test the applicability of such an instrument for the purposes of archaeol ogical research. (Weisman et al. 2002). Internship This thesis is based on research th at began during an intern ship with the Florida Park Service in the spring and summer of 2000. For a six-month period, starting in March of that year, I focused on the Indian Key State Historic S ite, investigating the archaeology of the island through research and excavation, under the direction of Dr. Brent R. Weisman. This investigation was funded through a contract between the Friends of Islamorada Area State Parks and the University of South Florida, which originated from a grant given to the Friends by the Florida Department of State with the assistance of the Historical Preservation Advi sory Council. This project coincided with and complimented the work of the University of Pennsylvania’s hi storic preservation program, which was focusing on the architectural conservatio n and stabilization of the warehouse structure at the time. All of this work followed the guidelines and recommendations set forth in the Indian Key State Historic Structures Cyclical Maintenance Plan (DEP 1997) and the Condition Survey and Recommendations for the


51 Conservation and Management of In dian Key State Historic Site (Matero and Fong 1997). My responsibilities included leading excavation teams, assisting in the mapping of both the site and specific test units by using both a tr ansit and level as well as a Trimble GPS unit, washing, cataloging, and id entifying all of the artifacts recovered during this phase of the research, acquiring hi storic documents and maps associated with the different periods of occupation of Indian Key, and contributi ng to reports written about this work. Fieldwork and Methodology Three separate areas, including th e warehouse (Features A and C), Features F/G and Area Q, were the main focus of the fieldw ork portion of this internship. All of these areas were subjected to the same thorough archaeological examination. Work in the warehouse (Features A/ C) was focused on the detailed mapping and photodocumentation of the walls and floors th at make up this unique foundation. The entire area within these features had to be cleared of fill and debris prior to the University of Pennsylvania team covering them with geot extile to help in their conservation. Much of what was believed from past research on the warehouse to be redeposited fill (Lamb 1998), was screened thro ugh -inch mesh by the FPS staff prior to our arrival to facilitate the movement of this large amount of soil. Detailed cleaning and sweeping of the floors was done prior to their being covered with geotextile. During this process, a small footprint impression was disc overed in the southwest corner of Feature C


52 (Figure 16). This footprint was in the top la yer of plaster, and must have been made soon after the floor was finished. A 1-x-2 m test unit was excavated in th e area between Features F and G, and a single 50-x-50 cm shovel test was dug approxima tely 5 meters south of the south wall of Feature F. The purpose of these excavations was to see the amount and kind of artifacts deposited outside of these features, and to get a bette r look at the foundation wall construction of Feature G. By examining the types and percentages of artifacts found near a certain feature, the function, period and frequency of use can be further examined. There were many kitchen-related artifact s retrieved from these units, but more interestingly, a greater number of architectur al artifacts were rec overed here than from other areas of the island. Three 1-x-2 m test units were excavated near the outside of the area previously identified by Baker (1973) as Feature Q, w ith the hope of finding ar tifacts related to the Howe household from the Housman period occupa tion of the site. Ar tifacts related to everyday activities, especially the prepara tion of food, were the most prevalent type recovered from these units. All of the artifacts collected in the field we re placed in bags with their specific provenience noted on them; they were further assigned F.S., or field specimen numbers, as a means of identification. A field bag list was created to keep track of the artifacts collected, before retu rning to Tampa.


53 Figure 16. Footprint impression in the floor of Feature C. Photograph taken by Dr. Brent Weisman on May 15, 2000, facing northwest. Laboratory Methods All of the artifacts recovered from the excavations at Indian Key during the span of this internship were brought back to th e University of South Florida’s Archaeology Laboratory in Tampa. Depending on the material, each artifact was cleaned, either by gently washing in water (as is the case for glass and ceramics), or by gently scrubbing with a dry brush (for metal or faunal material s). After the artifact s had been cleaned, and allowed to dry if necessary, they were cat aloged using Stanley S outh’s (1977) artifact group system, most commonly used fo r eighteenth century sites. South (1977) divides all artifact s into eight major gr oups: the Activities Group (mostly tools associated with agriculture, fishing or woodworking activities to name a


54 few), the Architecture Group (nails, bricks or mortar), the Arms Group (consisting mainly of gunflints and lead shot), the Clothing Group (mos t frequently buttons), the Furniture Group (household or commercial), th e Kitchen Group (all ceramics and glass [excluding window]), the Personal Group (beads, coins, personal ornaments or jewelry), and the Tobacco Group (pipe bowls and stems). The exercise of placing these artifacts into groups serves as a means of quantifying the artifacts for later comparative analysis and further research. As part of the cataloging pr ocess, all of the artifact s were weighed, counted, and further divided into provenience, class, a nd category, and described in detail after being individually examined. Although the artif acts collected and cataloged during this internship were not directly used in this th esis, information garnered from these artifacts has proved useful to a number of other Indian Key related research topics (Collins 2002, Weisman et al. 2001). Documentary Research A large portion of this internship wa s devoted to searching out documents pertaining to the history of I ndian Key. Libraries and hist orical societies throughout the state of Florida were contacted and vis ited in an effort to photocopy and examine newspaper articles, letters, government documen ts and historical artifacts. These items were obtained from the Historical Museum of South Florida in Miami, the State Library of Florida in Tallahassee, Monroe County Libr ary Branches in Islamorada and Key West, and the Hillsborough County Pub lic Library in Tampa.


55 The National Archives of the Library of Congress were also searched. The Memorial of the Attorney of th e Estate of Jacob Housman, Deceased from the April 20, 1846, 29th Congress, 1st session, was acquired from the Na tional Archives. Within this 200-page packet, were a number of handwritten documents, some illegible, dealing with many different aspects of Housman’s effect on Indian Key. Some of the most important, as related to this thesis, were the affidav it given by James Dutcher and his wife (Dutcher and Dutcher 1846) and Housman’s own petit ion to the Senate (Housman n.d.), both concerning the state of Indian Key before the attack of 1840. Finally, many journals and books from libra ries all over the c ountry, regarding the history of Florida were scoured, looking fo r bits and pieces of information concerning any aspect of Indian Key. The majority of in formation used in this thesis pertaining to the structures of Indian Key came from these sources.


56 Chapter Four: Research Questions Vernacular Architecture One of the major questions concerni ng the architecture of Indian Key is whether or not it can be considered vernacular in natu re. In short, vernacu lar architecture is one that typifies an area, that is usually the product of builder s rather than architects, and based on their previous experience and avai lable resources, not on style or academics (Metropolitan Dade County 1982). Given this defi nition, it is easy to call the architecture seen on Indian Key vernacular, as all of the original features, except those built specifically by the Navy, were most likely cons tructed without the help of professional architects, using resources available, with their placement and materials dictated by the island itself. Vernacular architecture has been described as the “architecture of habit,” as it is the “result of familiarity … and oft-times unconscious preference for basic forms and layouts – that exist independently of passing taste” (Gamble 1990:25). The term was first used in the nineteenth century by architectural theorists to refer to traditional rural buildings of the preindustrial era (Upton 1985). Since that time, many articles and entire books (Glassie 2000) have been written about diffe rent aspects of vernacular architecture.


57 Architecture of Indian Key To further examine what appears to be the vernacular architecture initially erected on Indian Key, it becomes important to ask why it ended up the way it did, and the reasons concerning the construc tion of the buildings on the is land. In this section, the architectural elements used in the creation of the structures, the origins of these elements, and the theoretical reasons for their use will all be reviewed. But first, the layout of Indian Key will be discussed, with a focus on what seems to be the use of an established grid-system prior to construction. When trying to answer the quest ion of why Indian Key ended up the way it did architecturally, it is necessary to realize the large infrastructural investment Jacob Housman made in the island. Indian Key ha s no natural resources besides the limestone rock of which it is composed. There is no fresh water or wood for construction, and the nature of the soil does not allow for self-su fficient crops. To choose to live on Indian Key requires a serious commitment, and an enormous amount of work. For Jacob Housman it meant creating capital out of ro ck. To do this, Housman planned out the settlement of Indian Key following a grid pa ttern similar to those used in New England, complete with a town square. In an attempt to understand the cons truction of Indian Key, it may be useful to approach it much like Anthony Garvan did with the city of Philade lphia (Garvan 1963). In his study, Garvan saw the city as a gri d, constructed out of elements borrowed from many different sources, all coming together to promote specific economic, social, and political goals (Garvan 1963). Grids used as a system fo r constructing an inhabitable


58 space, have been utilized in North America si nce the time of European contact, but it was not until after 1787 that “they took on near-mystic al qualities as models of urban form so near to divine wisdom that they would ma ke believers out of atheists” (Brissot de Warville 1792:243). Dell Upton (1992) studied the way in which culture affected and was affected by the ways cities were built and th e use of the grid system. He explains the role of this layout as such: The grid was understood as a single-order spatial system that eradicated natural ine qualities of topography by providing equal access to every location within it. It was nonhierarchical: the parts were clearly defined, but the connections among them were articulated and flexible, and could thus accommodate an unl imited number of separate networks of meaning and activi ty. The grid was conceived, therefore, as neutral among users, transparently depicting their relationships, and transpar ent, as well, in making social knowledge and spatial access available to everyone (Upton 1992:56). The basic idea of a grid can be modi fied and transformed to meet the needs of a specific community, but at the same time provides the first step in maintaining order, as it can dictate the movements of its inhabitants. The way in which streets are laid out, the location of businesses, homes, and communal areas, and the distance that separates these areas are all important factors that shape both the geographic and cultural landscape of a town. Grid systems were not just being utilized in the planning of New England cities. Through historic maps we know that a grid la yout was being utilized for a portion of Key West as early as 1829, but most likely earli er (Figure 17) (Whitehead 1829).


59 Figure 17. Plat of Key West drawn by William Adee Whitehead in 1829. This map shows that plots of land were di ctated by the system of streets laid out in a northeast-southwest and northwest-south east manner, as well as the need to place buildings along the waterfront of the port. The town at th at time was limited to the northwest corner of the island, while the rest of the key was either divided into large plots or left untouched. There is also a town squa re, noted in the bottom left corner of the map as Jackson Square, which contained the courthou se and jail. To some extent it appears


60 that Indian Key is just a scaled-down version of Key We st, as far as the layout is concerned. The planners of this city had to deal with many of the same issues as Housman did, including the topography and the n ecessity to receive goods from ships. It appears that the decision to use a grid system for Indian Key was influenced by the time Housman spent in Key West, as he could easily carry over many of the ideas to his own island. When looking at the construction of the landscape of Indian Key, it is important to investigate not only the c oncrete or simplified reasons for construction (i.e. town square located near the center of a community), but also the motives that are not as easily recognizable today. Factors such as the sight s, smells, and sounds of Indian Key would have played a large part in the construction of a town plan. The odor of rotting cargo or the noises associated with the unloading or lo ading of ships from th e wharves are reasons for placement of buildings which are not im mediately clear when standing among the ruins of the island today. Geography and th e environmental setting must also be considered when discussing th e layout of Indian Key. Th e deep water needed for the wharves decided their location, as well as the placement of the warehouse building. Salvaged items had to be taken off the ship, then moved from the wh arf to be stored in the warehouse. The shortest route from ship to storage would be the most valuable, as many items were undoubtedly large and heavy. Furthermore, breezes coming off of the Atlantic would have been an important fact or in considering the placement of houses, and areas void of overhanging vegetation would have been necessary to ensure a better quality of water from the associated cisterns It was important to Jacob Housman that


61 Indian Key be appealing to visitors, inhabitant s, and potential investor s, as these were the people whose good faith and financial support woul d be needed to sustain the tiny island community. Laying the town out in a grid pa ttern imparted a sense of safety, order and organization, which would have been impor tant in varying degrees to everyone. The overall layout of the island suggests that there was an attempt to control to some extent the mingling between residents a nd those there on business. When the island is viewed from above, it is easier to see th at the warehouse and rela ted wharf are located in the southeast corner of the island, separa ted from the other commercial buildings and residences by the town square, which wa s most likely used for both commercial and residential activities, while the smaller, more resident-friendly businesses such as the carpenter, blacksmith, and island store are all located in between the homes of Housman, Howe, and Perrine, as well as being close to Housman’s private dock/wharf (Figure 18). Documentary evidence supports this notion of an atte mpted separation of those living and working on the island. Hester Perri ne Walker, in her account of the “Massacre of Indian Key” (Perrine Walk er 1926), describes how her fath er, Dr. Henry Perrine, kept her and her sister Sarah close to their home, shutting them out “from all social life, with the exception of the family of Mr. Howe” (Perrine Walker 1 926:20). The two sisters also watched suitors and other guests who came to see them “depart from behind our blinds” (Perrine Walker 1926:22), as they were not a llowed to visit with them. Furthermore, the girls had little, if any interaction with th e men and women who worked on the island or stopped there for supplies. The type of divi sion seen on Indian Key does not only seem


62 Figure 18. Charles Howe’s 1840 map of Indian Ke y, with the residential/private areas and commercial areas highlighted.


63 to have been limited to simply gender sepa ration though. A clear di vision based on class can be seen in the treatment that the Perrine girls received as compared to Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Sturdy, who, according to historic ma ps (Howe 1840; Perrine 1885) lived in the middle of the island, presumably alone, a nd surrounded by a number of men. It is interesting that ones’ social st anding should play such an important part in the designed landscape of Indian Key, sin ce Jacob Housman could have chosen to arrange the island so that all the residential and commercial ar eas were located away from one another. Instead, he chose to fall back into standard practices, treating those who are considered to be important or privileged, like the Perrine’s different than the common islander. A different type of separation on Indian Key can be seen in the way that the twenty-nine slaves that were in the employ ment of either Jacob Housman or Charles Howe in March of 1838 were treated (Wilkin son 2003f). All of these men and women were housed in one of the six small dwellings located behind either one of the main houses and kitchens, close to the white families, but still separate. The “twenty or thirty small houses” (Dav is 1943:58) built on Indian Key before the summer of 1840 consisted of three large houses for H ousman, Howe, and Perrine, the warehouse complex, Senator English’s house an d kitchen, the Tropical Hotel, blacksmith and carpenter’s shops, a store, and a number of cottages and cisterns located on the southern end and the north-cent ral portions of the island. The larger houses, including those of H ousman, Howe, and Perrine, as well as the Tropical Hotel, were built to face the wate r, enjoying both the scenic views and the breeze. Housman chose to place his home clos e to the enclosed wharf on the east side of


64 the island, which also places him near th e everyday occurrences and business of the warehouse and the store. The Howe and Pe rrine homes were bot h located near the northern end of the island, set away from the commercial buildings and visitors. Charles Howe owned not only a home, but, according to Perrine (1885), a kitchen, shop, cistern, and “Negro dwellings,” making his portion of the island into a compound. Both the blacksmith and carpenter’s shops were placed some distance away from any homes, but close to the store, on a small piece of the isla nd that juts out in the northeast corner. Foundation Remains on Indian Key Housman’s ultimate goal was to make Indian Key both profitable and hospitable for its inhabitants, including himself. Unable to foresee what was to come in early August of 1840, Housman built the structures on Indian Key with the future in mind. Instead of building small shanties with no foundations, he opted for a much more expensive route, blasting large f oundations out of limestone at a considerable cost in both time and money. He also spent some time pl anning the layout of the island, taking into account a large number of factors, including re sidential and commercial separation, social organization, and topography. Documentary evidence concerning the stru ctures on Indian Key was collected from a wide variety of documents with differe nt levels of accuracy. Newspaper articles, military reports, first-hand accounts, general history books, and government documents were all examined for information regardi ng architectural change s during the different periods of occupati on at Indian Key.


65 Pre-Housman Period When Silas Fletcher and his family, al ong with Joseph Prince, settled on Indian Key in April of 1824, they constructed two buildings on the island, a store for selling goods for the firm of Snyder and Appleby, a nd a house for the Fletch er family. Four months after Fletcher and Prince bought out the stock to the stor e in January of 1825, Prince left the island, returning one year late r to open up another store on Indian Key. Many turtlers and wreckers soon began i nhabiting the island, a nd by 1829 a poll book has the population at over fifty (Schene 1976). A population increase such as this demands an increase in housing and other related struct ures. No information about the number or styles of the structures built, the materials us ed, or their exact location has been located as of this date. Housman Period Practically all of the hist oric documents relating to this period focus on the most notable occupants of the isla nd (Housman, Howe, Perrine), and as a result, most of the discussion of structures and ot her architectural feat ures is limited to these individuals. There is no mention of the houses the slaves occupied, or what type of “cottages” the carpenters Beiglet and Glass resided in. As a result, more inferences have to be made about the structures not mentione d in the historic record. When Jacob Housman began buying prope rty on Indian Key in 1831, his first purchase was a store and a twostory building containing a bill iard table and ninepin alley (Schene 1976). This is the property that Housman would eventually turn into the


66 Tropical Hotel. By 1840, Housman’s Indi an Key would contain “about 30 dwelling houses [and] two large store houses” (Housman n.d.). James A. Dutcher, a marble cutter from New York City, testified in an affidavit given to the Marine Court of the City of New York in April of 1846, that he lived on Indian Key from 1837 to 1838 (Dutcher and Du tcher 1846). Dutcher was first brought to Indian Key to construct a “rectangular cister n that was excavated out of solid rock, and built at an expense of $4,000” (Dutcher and Dutcher 1846:1). This cistern is almost certainly Feature A, for it is one of only two large rectangular cisterns, and is the only one to have been clearly excavated by a professi onal. In the affidavit, Dutcher states that there were approximately 35 buildings on the island, and that Housman kept a great deal of valuable property in the storage buildings he owned. He also di scusses the cisterns on the key, mentioning that there were severa l other cisterns, sim ilar to the one he constructed, but smaller, and that they were the only water supply for the island and the Navy personnel stationed nearby (Dutcher a nd Dutcher 1846:1-2). These cisterns are most likely the ones associated with the cottag es like Features F and G, as well as other smaller dwellings, such as Feature B. Dutcher is featured again, although in a diffe rent capacity, in the history of Indian Key. During his stay on the island, Dutche r not only served in Housman’s militia, but also as a justice of the peace, joining ot her Housman employees and acquaintances who held positions of power in the newly fo rmed Dade County. Dutcher and his fellow officials held their business in a new cour thouse constructed by Housman “to enhance Indian Key’s claim to the county seat” (Schene 1976:10), sometime around 1835. This


67 courthouse does not appear on either the Ho we (1840) or Perrine (1885) maps, and its location on the island remains unknown. Henry E. Perrine, son of Dr. Henry Perrine, and survivor of the “massacre” in 1840, returned to Indian Key in 1876 (Viele 2001 ). Nine years later, prompted by his children and grandchildren, he wrote a book about his father and his family’s life at Indian Key. In this book, the younger Perrine recalls arriving at In dian Key by boat from Palmyra, New York, on Christmas Day in 1838. He describes a “large warehouse three stories in height, and crowned with a lofty cupola” (Perrine 1885:13) as being the most prominent object on the island. Perrine also mentions Housman, whom he called the “proprietor of nearly all the island and of the various cottag es, ships, stores, hotel, and warehouse” (Perrine 1885:13), as well as his tw o-story mansion located near one of the three large wharves on the north east side of the island. When Henry E. Perrine first saw what wa s to be his family’s home, he described it as being a two and one-half story house w ith a cupola, and with a foundation that was extended out into the water. There were both upper and lower verandas on the side facing the sea, and a small wharf in front of it. There was a passageway that led from the house to the wharf, which had sides built out of rock and top made out of planks, giving it a solid appearance, even though it was hollow in the middle. The cellar inside this wharf became a bathing place in high tide, and was also used to stow a small boat during the beginning days of the Second Seminole War. The end of this enclosed space was used for a turtle crawl, for green and loggerhead turtles to be kept before they were slaughtered. Perrine drew a map to go along wi th his written descri ptions (Figure 19),


68 which for the most part matches other maps of the island concerning that period in time (Howe 1840), as well as the documente d archaeological features. Figure 19. Map of Indian Key drawn by He nry E. Perrine (Perrine 1885). No architectural remains of the Perrine house are known to exist today, and as a result, almost all of the information concer ning this structure comes from historical documents such as Perrine’s (1885) account. Th ere is one letter from Dr. Henry Perrine, written from Indian Key in 1840 to the Magazine of Horticulture in which he discusses the arid climate of the island, and notes that he is sitting “in the cupola of [his] dwelling, which is erected over the sea” (Perrine 1840:51) while writing the le tter. It is known, through the writings of the Perrine’s son Henr y (Perrine 1885), that this cupola was only


69 accessible by a steep stairway that led to an entranceway that could be closed by a heavy trap door. Perrine (1885) describes the rest of the house as such: the first floor of the house contained a parlor, dining room pantry, washroom, closets, and a room referred to as the bathroom, because it had a trap door with step s that led down into the water below. The second floor consisted of four bedrooms and tw o other rooms, one of which was used as a library, and for a short peri od of time, also a schoolroom for Charles Howe’s children. Perrine (1885) also mentions that there was no plaster or lath in th e house, because all of the walls and ceilings were lined with yellow pine. Although there are no photographs of the Perrine home, a watercolor of the structur e by Millard Wells (2000) was inspired by a crude sketch in Brookfield and Griswold ( 1985), which was then added on to from the painter’s knowledge of Keys architecture a nd materials used around the same time period (Figure 20). The events of August 7, 1840 have been di scussed in great deta il by a number of authors (Beare 1961; Brookfie ld and Griswold 1985; Eyst er and Brown 1976; Schene 1973), and as a result, will not be discussed here, as the focus of this thesis is on the architecture of the island. After the Spanish Indian raid, according to Weidenbach (1995:81): The lovely, thriving island had been wiped bare by the marauding Indians during the attack of Aug. 7, 1840. Nothing substantial remained except the homes of Senator English at one end of the island and Postmaster Howe at the other, plus the useable remnants of some of the wharves and storage facilities, the brick cisterns, and a makeshift grog shop


70 Figure 20. Dr. Henry Perrine’s home on Indian Key (Wells 2000:36). In her text, it is not clear where Weidenbach got this spec ific information from, and the report that the remaining cisterns were brick is a claim not substant iated in other reports of the architecture from this pe riod. In the footnotes section of her report, she says that portions of the data presented in the chapter that includes th e above statement were based on House Report #582 (1844) and House Repor t #163 (1845). These documents were requested from the National Archives, and now here in them is the presence of brick cisterns substantiated. Many different sources state that the one structure that was definitely not burned down that August night was the home of Charles Howe. (Dye 1974; Perrine Walker 1926; Wilkinson 2003a). According to some so urces (Dye 1974), this home was the only building left standing, while other sources (Perrine Walker 1926, Wilkinson 2003a) state


71 that besides Howe’s home, two or three of the one-room slave dwellings, or Senator English’s home were also spared. Naval Occupation In 1844 a congressional committee was appointed to examine the various expenditures that had been accrued since the start of the Seminole Wars. When this Committee on Public Expenditures checked th e accounts of three commanders of the Florida Squadron, C.R.P. Rodgers, John Rodge rs, and John T. McLaughlin, they were shocked by the exorbitant amount of money they had spent. Even more perplexing to the committee was that out of the $343,937.76 total, Rodgers and Rodgers squadrons had only spent a combined $60,551.08. This m eant that Lt. McLaughlin alone was responsible for over $283,000 in expenses charged to the U.S. government. Committee members went over every voucher accumulate d by McLaughlin during a four-year span, looking for possible impropriety on the part of the lieutenant, and also the way in which goods were dispersed throughout the squa dron (Viele 1999, Weidenbach 1995). In response to the charges against him, Lt. McLaughlin (1844) wrote to the House of Representatives in an attempt to addre ss these issues. One specific complaint the committee had involved the amount of mone y McLaughlin had spent constructing and repairing buildings on Indian Key. In his de fense, McLaughlin states that “the number of houses erected on the Island, by the Squadron wa s twelve, including a boat shed, capable of stowing away 150 canoes” (1844:13-14). He goes on to say that only two of the houses were painted and none of them had any glass in their windows, because the paints,


72 oils and glass he charged to his account were all used in the maintenance of his ships. Furthermore, when accounting for other building supplies, he states that lime and cement were used for a bake oven and cisterns “w hence the Squadron obtained its supply of water in part” (McLaughlin 1844:14). McLa ughlin (1844) does not mention the location of any of the structures or the bake oven, where the materials needed for the buildings came from, or the reuse of any of the founda tion remains from the Housman occupation. The examination into the spending ha bits of McLaughlin and the Florida Squadron was not the first time the lieutenant had to defend his actions on Indian Key. Lt. Robert Tansill was a Marine assigned to the Florida Squadron in the fall of 1841. Before he had even arrived in south Florida, Tansill made arrangements with the editor of the St. Augustine News to keep him informed of any interesting developments he came across during his new assignment. Tansill co mpiled lists of offenses he saw in a little black notebook, and reported to the News under the codename “OPQ” (Weidenbach 1995:34). Besides writing to the paper, Tansill wa s also complaining about the Squadron and the treatment of the men within it to the Secretary of the Na vy. In May of 1842, the Secretary received a letter fr om Lt. Tansill stating: Lieut John T. McLaughlin has erected a house on Indian Key E.F. at the public expense, which is supposed to have cost some thousand dollars. It is enclosed with extensive palings, and completed suitable for a dwelling house, with a kitchen and other necessary outhouses for his accommodation, and is now occupied as such by Lieut McLaughlin’s family, to whic h I respectfully solicit your attention, and hope the Departm ent will see cause to order a Court of Enquiry on the subject… (Weidenbach 1995:40).


73 The matter was left alone until after the e nd of the Second Seminole War. McLaughlin was then requested by Secretary Upshur to pr ess charges again Tansil l for “treating with contempt his superior officer” and “c onduct unbecoming an officer” (Weidenbach 1995:43), as a result of his letter writing. McLaughlin himself would not be charged by the Navy with any crime. The court-martial of Lt. Tansill bega n in Philadelphia in January of 1843. Included in the documents associated with the trial of Lt. Tansill are a few details concerning the architecture of Indian Key. With regards to the house mentioned in Tansill’s letter, members of the Florida S quadron testified that the house was built to furnish housing for the officers and the Squa dron commander, but also contained the company office and emergency hospital spac e. The building was a two-story frame house, approximately 28 feet square that was en closed with a fence to keep cattle out. This fence was “made by the carpenter from th e refuse planks of a marine barracks that had just been built” (Weidenbach 1995:50). Also contained in the court-martial do cuments was an account of the state of Indian Key in 1840 when Naval Surgeon J ohn Hastings arrived on the island. He describes a building “roofed ove r, without sides …used partly as a barracks, workshop, and hospital” (Weidenbach 1995:82), which could have been the warehouse. The uninhabitable condition of Indian Key when the Navy took it over is undeniable, making the construction of the buildings by McLaugh lin absolutely necessary. No known maps or photographs taken during thei r period of occupati on exist, and the exact locations and appearances of these stru ctures remains unknown.


74 Post-Naval Occupation In 1847 the construction of a lighthouse for Carysfort Reef was authorized, but the choice of a design was delayed until after the creation of the United States Lighthouse Board in 1852. A revolutionary iron scre wpile design was chosen, and a foundry in Philadelphia cast and assembled the iron skeletal structure to check for specifications. The tower was then dismantled and shipped to Indian Key, which had been chosen as the designated depot and construction site (Dean 1982). Although nearly thirty miles from Carysfort Reef, Indian Key was the choice of Brevet Major Thomas B. Linnard, the topographical engineer assigned to the Carysf ort Reef Lighthouse. In a letter to the Topographical Engineering Corps dated November 22, 1850, Linnard defends his selection of Indian Key by stat ing that “it is the only plac e nearer than Key West, where good water can be procured, a channel deep e nough for our vessels passes close to it and it is easily approached fro m sea” (Linnard 1850:1). Linnard also wrote back to Washington about the recent occupation of the island by Lt. McLaughlin and the Florida Squadron. He notes that duri ng the Navy’s reign: A number of good buildings were erected, consisting of a hospital and several houses for officers quarters. These buildings are still in a fair state of preservation, having been repaired from time to tim e by the present occupant of the island. He is the agent of a house in Charleston, who claim the Key under a mortgage from Housman. He carries on a small traffic with the wreckers in provisions, water, and whiskey (Linnard 1850:1). Through this one letter, it is known that the builders of th e Carysfort Reef Lighthouse utilized buildings on Indian Key th at had been construc ted approximately ten


75 years earlier by Lt. McLaughlin, and that a representative of Smith Mowry, Jr. of Charleston was present on the island, perhaps to protect the claim of his employer. Preparations to construct the Alligator Reef Lighthouse, which was to be located near the site of the wrecked schooner USS Alligator began in 1871 (McCarthy and Trotter 1990). Indian Key, located four m iles away from the proposed location of the lighthouse, was chosen as the construction s ite for this 150-foot light, as it was the nearest body of land. The lighthouse parts were to be manufactured by Paulding Kemble of Cold Spring, New York, and shipped down to Indian Key for final assembly (Dean 1982). An 1872 report from Congress mentions that construction completed on the island prior to the shipment of the lighthouse mate rials included “a building for quarters for mechanics and laborers, with a capacious cist ern, and ample storage room in the cellar, and a smithery and large shed for the iron wo rk and other material for the lighthouse” (U.S. Government Records 1872:1). A “fuelwharf” (U.S. Government Records 1872:1) had also been built, for storage of coal for the tender. One can assume that the mechanics housing building with a cistern and storage in the cellar was the re-use of the warehouse complex, Features A/C. One side may have b een used as a cistern, one side as storage, and a dwelling constructed on top of it. Architectural Elements After examining the features that re main on Indian Key, some interesting architectural elements pres ent themselves. The use of Key Largo Limestone for foundation material can be logi cally explained by the lack of soil and the presence of


76 rock on Indian Key. The ways in which this stone was used, though, indicate some forethought and some instances of trial and e rror. Key Largo Limestone is an extremely porous material (DEP 2000a), a fact undoubted ly learned during the construction phase on the island. Unable to rely solely on the bedrock for cistern use, it became necessary to cover the floors and walls with pl aster, and in some cases to cover brick with one or more coats of plaster as well. Bricks Bricks are an important piece of the ar chaeological and architectural history of Indian Key. The investigation of bricks included in this th esis is just a cursory one, intended to look at some possible origins as we ll as explain some of their common traits. Bricks have been around for more than 10,000 years, as evidence of their manufacture was found in the Pre-Pottery Neol ithic A and B levels of Jericho, Israel. The craft of brickmaking was later spread by the Romans throughout Europe and Britain during the time of their empire The first bricks arrived in America sometime in the late eighteenth century aboard a ship, as it was common to use them as ballast. It is not clear when bricks were first produced in the Unite d States, or by whom, but it is safe to say that the industry caught on quickly, and brick manufacturer s spread across the country (Gurke 1987). The types of bricks most often utilized in structures incl ude common, face, fire, clinker, pressed, and glazed. The three bricks archaeologists are most likely to come in contact with are common, face, and fire bric ks. Common bricks are the most often used


77 type of bricks. They are made of ordinary clays or shales in kilns, and usually receive little or no special attention from the manufact urer, meaning they do not have any special scoring or markings and were not produced in any special color or surface texture (Brownstone 1984). Common bricks are generall y used for backing courses in solid or cavity brick walls, and are almost always reddi sh-brown in color. Some of the color differences in bricks are a result of the inclusion of iron oxides, silicates of lime, carbonates of lime, magnesia, alumia oxides, or alkalies in the clay blends (Gurke 1987; Integrated Publishing 2003; Kelly and Kelly 1977). Face bricks are used in the exposed f ace of a wall, have be tter durability and appearance, and are of a higher quality than common bricks. The most common colors in this type of brick are various shades of brown, red, gray, yellow, and white (Integrated Publishing 2003; Kelly and Kelly 1977). Fire bricks are more expensive than eith er common or face bricks. They are used mostly in areas of extreme heat, such as fire places or ovens, but have also been employed as building bricks. Because these bricks mu st be able to withstand extreme conditions, they are produced from special clays called fire clays, which have a greater resistance to heat. The most common size of fire bricks is the “standard 9 in. straight” (Gurke 1987:99), which is slightly larger than both co mmon and face bricks in all dimensions. These bricks usually come in shades of li ght yellow or cream (Gurke 1987; Kelly and Kelly 1977).


78 Clinker bricks are bricks that have been overburned in the kilns, resulting in a hard and durable brick that may be irregular in shape. Pressed bricks are made by the dry press process, and are usually used as face brick. These bricks have regular smooth faces, sharp edges, and perfectly squared corn ers. Glazed bricks have one side of each brick glazed in white or other colors. The ceramic glazing material consists of mineral ingredients that fuse together in a glass-like coating during bu rning. This type of brick is usually reserved for hospitals, dairies, laborat ories, or other buildings where cleanliness is extremely important (Integra ted Publishing 2003). Starting around 1870, many manu facturers began stamping one or more surfaces of common, face, fire, and paving bricks with a “brand” or impressed identification. This coincided with the development of high producti on brick machines, since this meant that the name, logo, or hometown of a company could be pressed into the surface of a brick during the manufacturing process (Kelly and Kelly 1977). Bricks were being branded long before this period though, just at a greater cost of time and energy. Gurke (1987:125) reports that “as early as the third millennium B.C., brickmakers in Mesopotamia were making their bricks with distinctive inscriptions … in the United States, there is an example of four bric kmakers in the Pensacola, Florida, area who impressed their names in their products begi nning in 1807.” Unfortunately, Gurke (1987) does not mention who these brickmakers were, or where they were shipping bricks. This question is answered however, by Lazarus (1965) who in his article states that Marianne Bonifay, Charles Lavalle and two others star ted producing bricks in Pensacola with an “M. Bonifay” imprint on them in 1807. Because of information of this type, statements


79 about when a brick was manufactured, then, cannot accurately be based on the presence or absence of a maker’s mark or brand. Without a maker’s mark or other telltale signs of manufacture, it is difficult to identify the origin of a common brick. One reason for this is that the proportions of common bricks have not greatly changed in over 4,000 years. These generalized proportions have been stuck with because the geometry of brick walls relies heavily on the width of a brick being appr oximately twice its thickness, and its length being equal to or a little more than twice it s width. Bricks of equal size ar e also important because they allow the mason to create smooth bonds and to interlock the different courses of bricks for greater strength and durability (Lazarus 1965). Another reason why the identification of bricks from archaeological si tes is so difficult is that not much research has been done on the subject. Although bricks can be found at a large percentage of historical sites, there have been only a few articles and books written specifically about historical archaeology and bricks. Often bricks are ove rlooked by archaeologists in favor of more colorful and exciting artifacts, which results in not many professionals taking an interest in studying bricks or their history. During the past three field seasons at Indian Key, ten samples of bricks from different features around the island have been collected and cataloged (Keffer 2002) (Table 1), to determine whether or not it would be able to identify different periods of use and/or construction through the examination of these materials. Most of the samples consist of dark red fragments of common bric ks with no maker’s mark or name. One of the bricks collected from Indian Key (sample 02G7), is a pale brown or tan pressed brick,


80 with dimensions matching those of bricks manufactured by the Bacon and Abercrombie brickyard in Pensacola, and used in the cons truction of Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas (Lazarus 1965). Table 1. Indian Key brick samples from Keffer 2002. Sample Feature Description Length (in. ) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (g) 02G7 G used, pale brown pressed brick 9.0 4.2-4.4 2.5 3368.5 IKAY A used, face brick pressed, dark red body 7.65 3.5-3.6 2.15 1904.0 IKB2a B used common brick fragment, poss. hand molded n/a 4.25 2.45 812.5 IKB2b B used, medium reddish brown pressed common brick fragment n/a 4.5 2.55 1320.5 01-F-07 F used, dark red, crumbly, very sandy, pressed fragment (may be floor tile) n/a 3.75 2.05 521.0 01-F-50 F Fine grain, red, pressed fragment (may be floor tile) n/a n/a 2.00 261.5 surface near chimney feature F two used, very light weight, sandy paste, handmade brick fragments n/a n/a n/a 381.0/494.5 01-F-60 F pressed white specialty tile fragment with white slip on surface (oven liner?) n/a n/a 1.45 91.0 n/a n/a dense, pressed brick, pale gray, custom firebrick (oven liner?) n/a n/a 1.90 858.5 02-G/F17 between Features F and G half of a bat, unused firebrick branded in two lines “Ruff.. & Storub..”, probably from West Midlands, England n/a 4.5 2.50 1755.5


81 Construction on Fort Jefferson began in 1846, with the first bricks being used in 1847, when bricks from North Danvers, Massachus etts, were used in the construction of officer’s quarters. Three years later, the engi neer supervising the c onstruction of the fort visited brickyards in Pensacola, Florida a nd Mobile, Alabama. He found the Pensacola bricks to be superior and recommended thei r use for all exposed su rfaces, with northern bricks behind them forming the rear course next to the conc rete core. Pensacola bricks were also larger, averaging 90 cu in., while nor thern bricks averaged less than 60 cu in. The first order of bricks from Pensacola was not placed until 1853. When the purchase order for the requested southern bricks finally came through, companies in Pensacola (principally Bacon and Abercrombie), Mobi le, New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah pressed millions of bricks for the fort be fore the Civil War (Bearss 1983; National Park Service 1993). The bricks bought by the government from these brickmakers were not only going to Fort Jefferson. Starting in 1855, the Bac on and Abercrombie Bric kyard in Pensacola manufactured 65 million quality bricks for “var ious military fortifications along the coast of Florida” (Lazarus 1965:79). They supp lied the governmental bricks until 1861, when, for an unknown reason, the Bacon and Ambercro mbie Brickyard sent notice to Fort Jefferson that it would not supply any more bricks or lumber (National Park Service 1993). There is no way to know when the Fort Jefferson-size bricks found at Indian Key came to the island, only that it was some time after 1853. Once Bacon and Abercrombie discontinued shipping their bricks to Fort Jefferson, surplus br icks were most likely sold to the public. These bricks could have also been brought to the island when the


82 government constructed Carysfort Reef li ghthouse there between 1871 and 1872. This seems a more likely scenario, as the bricks th at were manufactured for Fort Jefferson cost one dollar a brick for transportation al one (Hatton 1987), and the average person, especially those living on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, could not afford to buy such expensive materials. The majority of the other bricks, including those found in Features D, E, and H (the circular cisterns), are common bricks with no obvious markings. These bricks were most likely br ought to the island by the Navy, but cannot be assigned a specific date, as the dating of common bricks is not yet a precise enough science. There are reports that bricks were being made in and shipped out of the Pensacola Bay area before 1827 (Lazarus 1965). It is very possible that some of the bricks made it down to Indian Key prior to the Naval occ upation, either by being purchased by someone there, or by being part of a wreck that was brought to the island. The date that a brick was manufactured though, does not have to equa l the date it was used in a structure or building, and as of this date, there is no wa y of positively knowing when or from where bricks arrived at Indian Key. Plaster Plaster has a long history of use in the fi eld of architecture, and was utilized in some shape or form in nearly every build ing built in the world up until the 1930s or 1940s because of its variety and adaptability to any building size, structure, shape or


83 configuration. Its vers atility means it can be applied to a wide assortment of materials including brick, stone, timb er, or frame construction. Up until the end of the 19th century, wh en changes in the manufacturing process made gypsum the favored plastering medium, plas terers used lime plaster made from four ingredients: lime (from ground a nd heated limestone or oyster shells), aggregate (sand), fiber (cattle or hog hair), and water. Traditionally, bags of quick lime are mixed with water to “hydrate” or “slake” the lime (M acDonald 1989:2). As the two mix, heat is given off, and as it cools, a lime putty is crea ted. This putty is then mixed with the sand, water and animal hair to make “coarse stu ff” (MacDonald 1989:3), the first layer in a standard 3 coat or layer process. This first coat, applied in a 3/8-inch thick layer, is also called a scratch coat, because it is scored in two directions with a 3-pronged wooden scratcher to help the second co at bond to the first (Poplar Fo rest Architectural Restoration 2003). Evidence of this “scratching” can be seen in the floor of Feature C, where there is evidence that a second, and in some places, a thir d layer of plaster had been applied to the floor (Figure 20). The second coat, known as th e straightening or brown coat, is applied up to several weeks later after the first layer has had time to cure. This coat is the same thickness as the first. The third and final laye r, referred to as the white or finishing coat, contains a much higher percentage of lime putt y, little aggregate, and no fiber, giving the wall or floor a smooth white finish. Some plas terers moisten this coat with a damp brush as they lay it down to ensure that it is smooth. This last layer is applied in a much thinner coat than the first two, at 1/8 of an inch compared to 3/8 (MacDonald 1989, Poplar Forest Architectural Restoration 2003).


84 There is no equal to the strength and dur ability of the three-coat system of plaster application. It not only resi sts fire, it also reduces noise transmission to and from the buildings or rooms to which it is applied (MacDonald 1989). Plastering is a skilled craft, requiring years of experience and training and special tools. No documentary evidence has pointed to Housman hiring a plasterer to wo rk at Indian Key. This may have been a skill that James Dutcher or some other craftsman living or working on Indian Key possessed. It may further be inferred that a Naval worker completed a portion of the plastering because of the placement of the three coats of plaster on top of a layer of bricks instead of right on the bedrock in Features B and C, an idea furthered explored in the Results section. Mortar Mortar has been used in the construction of masonry structures for thousands of years. The same lime putty used for plaster is mixed with sand, usually in a ratio of 1 part lime to 3 parts sand by volume. Other ingredients such as clay, natural cements, brick dust, pigments, animal hair, and crushed marine shell could be added to the mortar, but the basic recipe of lime putty and sa nd remained unchanged until the arrival of Portland cement in the early 1800s. Portland cement, patented in Great Britain in 1824, is a fast-curing, hydraulic cement that ha rdens under water. Although it was not manufactured in the United States until 1872, it was regularly imported. Up until around 1900, portland cement was considered primarily an additive to help accelerate mortar set time. By the 1930s, most masons used an equal mix of portland cement and lime putty in


85 their mortar (Mack and Speweik 1998). It is an expression of the experimental time between the advent of portland cement and its common use that is seen at Indian Key. This idea will be more thoroughly expl ored in the Results section. Figure 21. Floor of Feature C, showing evidence of “scratching” on the first layer of plaster over the brick floor. Photograph taken by Dr. Brent Weisman on May 15, 2000, facing northwest. Cisterns All of the building materials previously di scussed were used in the construction of the many different types of cisterns found on I ndian Key. These structures have been reused more and have remained intact better than any other architectural feature built on the island. Cisterns are also an in teresting architectural feature, in that they are extremely


86 important to the daily life and activities of those who depend on them for water, but are always somewhat simple in design. Ther e are relatively few ways of building a functioning cistern, and there is no doubt that the residents of Indian Key, from Housman to McLaughlin and beyond, experimented w ith cistern construc tion and location, as people in other parts of the United States had been doing for quite some time. In a report on San Francisco’s cisterns, Boden (1937:2) notes that very early (pre1800s) cisterns were sometimes made only of a sunken wood box made of “tar-soaked planks with caulked seams.” In the 1850s in that city, many cisterns were rebuilt in brick, with the early covers made from wooden flat tops and later c overs made of arched brick tops. These cisterns were va riously round or square (Boden 1937). An 1863 description of cistern constructi on by Inashima (1990) states that once the area of the proposed cistern has been ex cavated to the appropr iate depth, the ground surface at the bottom should be paved with a fl at course of bricks grouted with cement, and covered with two layers of tiles. The si de walls should also be composed of grouted bricks. The entire interior should then be covered with a one-inch thick layer of cement (or plaster, as seen at Indian Key) (Loudon 1863). A 1997 study of cisterns in a southwestern Virginia county found that cisterns were built out of various materials, includi ng concrete (88%), concrete block (9%), and plastic (3%) (Virginia Water Resources Res earch Center [VWRRC] 1998:7). They were also lined with various materials, including paint (63%), plaster (6%), plastic (6%), and an unknown substance (6%). Nineteen percen t (19%) were not lined (VWRRC 1998:8). Forty-nine percent (49%) of the cisterns we re 11 to 50 years old, 38% were less than 10


87 years old, and 13% were more than 50 year s old (VRRRC 1998:7). Some of the cistern owners reported that they annually re-lined the cistern to prevent cracks and leaking (VRRRC 1998). A circular printed by the St ate of Illinois (1958) Depart ment of Public Health notes that a municipal water sy stem is the most desirable source of water for homes or businesses, followed by a well, and then by a cistern. Cisterns ar e described as being typically constructed of brick or stone, with an inside plas ter of cement mortar, although they are never permanently airti ght (State of Illinois 1958). Of cistern filters, Lye (1992) notes that some cistern systems try to incorporate some type of sedimentation or filtration between the catchment area and the storage chamber. The filters vary from simple sand filters (which must be maintained periodically) to gravel, fiberglass, charcoal, or permanent cinderblock filters incorporated into the cistern design. In some cases, a si mple settling chamber is built to remove sediment before the water is transferred to the larger storage chamber (Lye 1992). Since rainwater was the only source of fr eshwater on Indian Key, its collection was extremely important to its residents. Th ere is no doubt that the construction plans of the houses and other buildings on the island were modified in order to collect the greatest amount of water. Roofs were most likely peak ed or hip in style, with long, overhanging eaves and gutters of some type to funnel the rain down into the cisterns found below these structures. Galvanized steel and alum inum roofs are the best and most commonly used cistern catchments, as rough surfaced roof s collect dirt and de bris (such as bird droppings, leaves, dirt, and other foreign materi als) that add organisms to and affect the


88 quality of the water. To help prevent th ese types of contaminan ts from entering the system, sand, gravel, or charcoal filters are so metimes used. All of these filters require frequent maintenance to preven t pollution of the water. R oof washers, consisting of a valve and a shunt tap system, may also be used to filter the rainwater. They are cheaper to construct and require less maintenance than filters. They work by trapping the first flow of water that comes off a roof and cha nneling it away from the cistern (University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service 2003). More than likely, di fferent methods of filtering the water at Indian Key were used at different times. We do know, from at least one historical reference that during the late 1830s, water was “strained before drinking to get rid of any wrigglers”(mosquito embryos) (Perrine 1885:17). Th ere is no mention by Perrine of how this “straining” was accomplished. Once the water is in the ci stern, there has to be a way of getting it out. Any cistern located on or below the ground surface re quires a pump to provide water pressure. There have been no pumps or pump systems fo und at Indian Key as of this date. One explanation for this may be that pumps are quite valuable and movable; they can be hauled off and used somewhere else. This is most likely the case at Indian Key, where the inhabitants, whether they were wrecker s, fishers, or the Navy, probably took their pumps with them when they left. They may have also been salvaged by other island visitors, or washed off the island by one of the many storms that have gone over Indian Key through the years. Another feature likely related to the ex trication or filtration of water from a cistern is the semi-circular feature found on the floor of Feature B (Figure 21). When


89 Baker (1973) excavated the interior of this feature, he found that the plastered floor sloped gradually to the south east corner, which contained th is horseshoe-shaped plastered brick basin. This may have served as a filt ration device, allowing se diment to settle in this lower corner, or it may have been where the pump and associated pipe connected the cistern to the kitchen above, ensuring that there was always wa ter near the pump. Figure 22. Horseshoe-shaped basin in Feature B with interior dimensions highlighted. Photograph taken June 6, 2003, facing east.


90 Chapter Five:Results Key West/Bahamian Architecture After examining the descriptions of th e original Housman buildings taken from various documentary sources and the architectural remains themselves, similarities between the architecture of Indian Key and the famous Conch archit ecture of Key West emerge. Most of the historic homes found both in Key West and the Bahamas today are of frame or masonry and frame construction. For th e most part, they all exhibit what Shiver (1987:10) refers to as a “tenac ious adherence to a handful of extremely simple forms.” There is almost a complete absence of “hi gh style” architecture, which, when combined with the limited styles, means that many of the early buildings in Key West are indistinguishable from the older ones. This is a result of Key West starting out as an industrial town, with a population comprised mostly of wr eckers and mariners. Ships’ captains from New England, the Carolinas, and the Bahamas often had their ships’ carpenters build their houses, which may well account for the almost uniformly symmetrical designs seen throughout Key We st (Caemmerer 1992). The individuals who built many of the early homes probably had very little, if any, formal architectural training, and were from both the Bahamas and the United States. They learned through observation and trial and error, as they were “incapable of fully adapting to the demands

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91 of refined architectural theory: (Shiver 1987: 13), and without using any formal plans, produced a “distinctive and func tional architecture refined from their practical experience at precise, durable ship c onstruction (Wells and Little 1979:13). For the fledgling homeowners of Key West though, there were not many other options, unless they wanted the expense of hiring and sendi ng for a trained architect. The typical Key West house, according to the Federal Writers’ Project Guide to 1930’s Florida (Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of Florida 1984:197) was: a one-and-a-half story frame structure put together with mortise and tenon joints, and secured by pegs and trenails, is anchored deep in the nativ e coral rock. None has a basement because of the solid rock beneath the topsoil. Few are painted, for paint does not last long in the tropics. Roof area is of prime import ance because the city depends solely on rain for its drinking water, as that obtained from drilled wells is brackish. Many houses have roofs with two and even three combs, and every inch of roof space is drained into pipes leading to backyard cisterns. Most houses have slatted shutters, which remain closed to keep out the glare, the slats permitting a free current of air. The majority of the above statements most lik ely apply in one form or another to Indian Key during the Housman period, as the vernacu lar architecture seen on Indian Key is clearly related to that of Key West. The majority of the shipbuilders, seamen, and wreckers who constructed the homes of Key West were either immigrants from the Bahamas or sailors originally from the north east. Houses built duri ng this early period were probably an amalgamation of styles, brough t together and adapte d to fit the tropical climate. From the Bahamians came the ope n porches and large verandas; the louvered

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92 shutters to keep out the heat and glare, and the square or rectangular, aboveground cisterns that stood alongside or under each house or kitchen. New England homes were the inspiration for the deep overhanging roof eaves that provided shade, as well as allowing for an upward circulation of warm air (Hatton 1987). Th e “Oldest House in Key West,” the former home of wrecker Ca ptain Francis Wallington, is an example of a New England/Bahama house that was constr ucted by a ship’s carpenter in 1829 using components from both geographical locations as well as from saili ng vessels (like the ship’s hatch cut into the be droom roof for ventilation) (Figure 22). This house is probably quite close to what the larger houses on Indian Key looked like. In fact, Indian Key was home to two carpenters, Glass and Be iglet, whose experience more than likely included some work on various t ypes of ships. The fact th at the early Key West houses were styled after the houses in New Engla nd and the Bahamas would have suited Jacob Housman well, as these were structures that reminded him of home, but were adapted to a tropical environment. Although the foundations and cisterns asso ciated with the original houses on Indian Key were masonry in nature, the hous es themselves were undoubtedly constructed out of wood, just as the majo rity of historic Key West hom es are. In the nineteenth century Keys, wood was available from a nu mber of sources, including by way of wrecked cargo ships. Lumber was also being directly imported to Key West in the form of mahogany from Honduras, cypress from the upper Keys near the Florida mainland, and pine from Pensacola, Mobile, and Pasa goula (Starr 1975). Befo re wrecking brought the arrival of the carpenter-arc hitect to Florida, houses in the territorial period were

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93 usually constructed of wood in the form of imported lumber, shipwreck salvage, or rough logs, or tabby (a mixture of sand, water, burned shells for lime, and shells that served as filler for building mortar that was poured in to wooden forms (Hatton 1987). It is more than likely that the wood used on Indi an Key during the pre-Housman, Housman, and post-Naval periods came from some of thes e same sources the early Key West lumber came from. Figure 23. Francis Watlington house in Key West, bui lt in 1829 (Old Island Restoration Foundation 2003). During this earliest period of construc tion, ships carpenters employed a mortise and trenail (a wedge or hard wooden pin driv en into an exposed dowel to secure the timber) type of construction, as this was us ed both in vessels and houses of the time, because nails were hand-forged and had to be imported from England and Spain at a high cost (Sherrill and Aiello 1978). Besides mortis e and trenail, there ar e two other types of

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94 construction used a little late r in the construction of the historic houses of Key West, braced frame and balloon. In braced frame c onstruction, heavy verti cal corner posts are framed into the sills that then rise to suppor t the roof plate. Gi rders framed into the corner posts support the floor for each story, and the whole house is held together using mortise and tenon joints. In balloon frame cons truction, the weight of the roof plate is supported by multiple vertical studs that have been fastened to the sills. The studs also support the floor joists, which re st on the roof plate. This is the most popular type of construction employed in the United Stat es, and was used nationally after 1830 (Caemmerer 1992, Hatton 1987). Some of the carpenter-architect cr aftsmen supplied more than just the plans for the homes they were constructing. Plaster was often repla ced in interiors by mahogany or cedar timbers, salvaged by wreckers from a vessel damaged in the nearby reefs. Other common house amenities includ ed windows and doors that were shuttered, especially if exposed to direct sunlight or wind, and wood-shingled roofs (replaced by metal and crimped sheet metal in the 1900s) (Sherrill and Aiello 1978). Porches were also of great importance to the tropical-environment homeowner. These provided more livable space, as well as a means of keeping the interior of the house cooler, by providing more shade. In twostory houses, there is also usually a porch on the second story, called a gallery. Ch imneys are rare in Key West, although when they are found it is in outsid e kitchen buildings, separate from the main house. This keeps the heat away from the home, and also se rves as fire preventi on. This separation of

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95 home and kitchen was a familiar theme during th e early to mid-nineteenth century (Gaske 1982, Lees 1980), and can be seen in the arch itectural footprint of Indian Key. It may be inferred that Jacob Housman took more than an interest in wrecking from his time spent down in Key West. It seem s that he may have absorbed the eclectic style of architecture that was emerging, thanks to the carpen ter-architects of the island and the ever-increasing population of Baha mian and New England immigrants. The more Classic revival portion of this buildi ng style would provide a sense of grace and society to the barren rock that Housman wa s determined to make his Eden, while the Bahamian influence lent its comfort and suita bility to the tropi cal environment. Post Office Former mayor of Key West Walter Maloney, a clerk employed by Jacob Housman in 1840, left Indian Key for Key West a few weeks before the events of August 7. Thirty-seven years later, Maloney was pr ompted to respond to an article published in the Key West newspaper, Key of the Gulf which detailed the dest ruction of Indian Key. Within the letter, he states that he arrived at Tea Table Key two days after the attack, and that he accompanied Charles Howe back to Indian Key. After arriving on the island, Maloney followed Howe “into the room in hi s dwelling which he had used as the Postoffice of the island” (Maloney 1876), so that Howe could show him how fortunate it was that he did not lose his papers or other items important to him.

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96 Maloney’s letter is very valuable, in that it corresponds to other historical documents that stated that the Howe home was one of the only buildings left standing after the fire, but more important, it rule s out Feature L as the Post Office. On the subject of the Indian Key Post Office, Dodd (1948) notes that Charles Howe became postmaster in 1836, and remained in that position until March 31,1842. After Howe, I.W. Marshall and Luther A. Hopkins both ran the post office until it was discontinued in May of 1843. The post offi ce was reestablished in November of 1850, discontinued twenty-three years later, then reestablished again in 1880 for five months, before being discontinued again in September of that same year (Bradbury and Hallock 1962). The re-use of Howe’s home as the post office by at least Marshall and Hopkins is most likely. The building may have continue d to be used in this capacity by later postmasters, but no evidence to supp ort this has yet been uncovered. Cisterns A firm argument can be made that the r ound cisterns, Features D, E, and H, were constructed by the Navy during their two-year period of occupation of Indian Key. This idea is supported by both the architectural, archaeological and documentary evidence, since these structures do not appear on eith er the Howe (1840) or Perrine (1885) maps. Furthermore, in the place that they would occupy on these maps stand four houses with kitchen/cistern outbuildings. We know through naval documents (McLaughlin 1844, Weidenbach 1995) that the Florida Squadron constructed twelve buildings, including some cisterns, on Indian Key when they t ook possession of the island in the summer of

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97 1840. It is possible that what remained of th e four houses and outbuildings in that area were too badly destroyed by the fire, and th at they were removed by the Navy so that they could construct usable cisterns near th e center (the highest part) of the island. The debris from the demolition/removal of these features could have been moved to another part of the island, and may be part of Featur e K (an ill-defined concentration of building rubble and artifacts located approximately 20 m north of Features A and C) (Baker 1973), or may have been deposited offshore some where around the key. Features F and G may have been in better shape, so they were le ft in place and reused to a great extent, especially Feature F. The circular cisterns found on Indian Key are the only co mpletely brick structures on the island, and are architecturally consiste nt with the design the Navy was using in other areas during the same time period. One of these places is Fort Pulaski, located on Cockspur Island in Chatham County, Georgia, approximately 15 miles east of Savannah. Fort Pulaski was one of the Forts of the Thir d System of the United States, commissioned by President James Madison after the War of 1812 illustrated the ineffectiveness of the U.S. coastal defense system. Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas and Fort Taylor in Key West are also part of this thirty fort syst em, which stretches from Maine to New Orleans (National Park Service 2003, Wilkinson 2003e). Southeast Archeological Center Nationa l Park Service archaeologists identified circular brick cisterns and square brick stru ctures during their inve stigation of Cockspur Island (National Park Service 2003:2). Work on these featur es to this point has been focused on mapping and cataloging, with limited ex cavations. As a result of this initial

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98 research, the archaeologists have been able to associate these features with the construction village associated with the fort Construction began on Fort Pulaski in 1829, and continued off and on until 1847. Based on maps drawn by Lieutenant Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant Joseph K.F. Mansfield, who both supervised the construc tion of the fort at different times, the researchers were able to locate and identify some of the masonry remains. According to the maps, the cons truction village consisted of three laborers quarters, a bakehouse, a mechanics boarding house (storm house), master workman’s (mechanic’s) quarters, superintending engineer s quarters, an office, assistant engineering quarters, a blacksmith shop, a stable, a cust oms/boatmens house, and various associated cisterns. All of the wooden structures rela ted to the remaining brick features were destroyed by three separate hurricanes in the second half of the 19th century (National Park Service 2003). During the 1999 field season, six shovel tests were dug around two of the square brick features in the construc tion village. These tests yiel ded various artifacts including coal, cinders, metal fragments, nails, brick a nd mortar rubble, oyste r shell, mammal and fish bones, glass, and historic ceramics. Th e ceramics dated to the period of the fort’s construction (1829-1847), and the historic maps and fieldwork led to the interpretation of these features as ovens or stoves. The gene ral shape of these founda tion remains, as well as some of the materials used, such as th e brick and mortar utili zed in the foundations, and the wood for the upper structures, closely resembles some of the features found on Indian Key, specifically B, F, and G.

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99 The town of Woolsey, built by the U.S. Navy in the 1820's to house the workers building the Naval Yard in Pensacola, Florida (now the Pensacola Naval Air Station), is another example of early naval archite cture. From 1994 to 1998, the Pensacola Archaeology Lab (PAL) monitored a large construction project that impacted the historical zone of Woolse y at the Pensacola Naval Ai r Station. During the PAL investigation, four largely in tact round brick cisterns we re uncovered in the Woolsey project area. The cisterns measured approxi mately 2 m in diameter, were 70-80 cm deep, and were all lined in plaster (Curren et al. 1998). Although thes e cisterns are much smaller than those found at Indian Key, the ba sic similarities in ma terial and shape are enough to suggest the use of a governmental te mplate concerning cistern construction in the early 19th century. The presence of circular brick cister ns at Fort Pulaski and Woolsey, and the square brick foundation remains at Fort Pulask i lends some validity to the argument that the circular cisterns found on I ndian Key, Features D, E, and H, were constructed during the Naval occupation of the island, and furthermor e, that other features, such as Features B, F, and G were repaired and re-used by the Navy, perhaps as kitchens/cisterns or stoves/ovens. Mortar In the fall of 1989, the Programmed Plan for the Stabilization, Maintenance and Protection of Indian Key Stat e Historic Site, Monroe Count y, Florida was completed for the Friends of Islamorada Area State Parks (Decke r et al. 1989). As part of this plan, six

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100 samples of masonry and mortar from four different Indian Ke y features were sent to the Erwin Chemical Laboratory in Miami for anal ysis. One sample of plaster came from the bottom southeast corner of Feature B (also know n as IK-1); one sample of mortar (IK-21), one large red brick section with three mo rtar joints (IK-2-2), and one plaster/brick fragment (IK-2-3) were all ta ken from the east side of Feat ure E; one sample of plaster was taken from the southwest corner of Featur e F (IK-3); and one sa mple of plaster was taken from Feature M (IK-4). The analysis of the material revealed that every one of the samples was made up of the same three ingr edients: silica sand, portland type cement, and magnesium and calcium compounds ( lime) (Decker et al. 1989). The exact percentages from each sample are given in Table 2. Table 2. Analysis of masonry samples from Decker et al. 1998. Sample Number Feature Silica Sand Portland Type Cement Magnesium and Calcium Compounds IK-1 B 20.56% 30.07% 45.20% IK-2-1 E 35.04% 8.81% 51.40% IK-2-2 E 34.26% 5.19% 55.60% IK-2-3 E 22.02% 15.12% 58.00% IK-3 F 1.12% 51.05% 43.20% IK-4 M 2.43% 39.43% 54.10% Since the analysis of the masonry compounds found no fiber component, as one would expect in a traditional plaster, but did find portland type cement (not used in plaster) in every sample, it seems as though th e compound referred to as plaster on Indian Key, may actually be a type of mortar. Furt hermore, the samples from Features B and E had a relatively strong and typical mortar strength, and exhibited traditional sand to

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101 cement ratios. The samples from Feature F and M on the other hand were found to be below the typical strength and durability for mortar from this time period, making them more susceptible to decay and leakage. One reason for this might be that Features F and M were plastered or mortared during the H ousman period, while Feat ures B and E, both of which had plaster/mortar applied on top of bricks inst ead of bedrock, were treated during the Naval occupation of Indian Key. While both periods of use added cement to their mix, most likely out of necessity because of the porous limestone bedrock, it was the later work by the Navy that got the proper mix for strength and durability. It seems that whoever applied the earlier plaster/mortar layers used too little sand, as compared to the amount of cement, making the plaster/mortar still somewhat strong, but th e result is most likely not the work of a trained professional. We know that the necessary supplies were purchased by Lt. McLaughlin, who, while trying to account for his expenditures to the House of Representatives, wrote that he had purchase d lime and cement that were used in the construction of a bake oven and cisterns (M cLaughlin 1844). The person who applied the plaster/mortar in the later Naval period used methods and tools usually reserved for plastering, such as using three coats, and "scratching" the firs t coat with a wooden scratcher to help the second laye r bond to the first, as seen in Feature C. No matter which period of construction is being discussed, it is apparent th at the craftspeople who built the masonry structures and f oundations on Indian Key were quite capable, and their adeptness is apparent in the fact that their wo rk still stands today, over 150 years later.

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102 When looking at the differences between th e floors of Feature A and Feature C, it can be theorized that the original floor of both features was simply smoothed bedrock, or one layer of plaster/mortar over the bedrock, as is the current state of Feature A. More work seems to have been completed on the fl oor of Feature C, perhaps during the Navy’s occupation of the island. On top of the bedr ock and single layer of plaster lies a layer of bricks, then up to three layers of plaster/mo rtar in some areas. The same three-layered floor construction can be seen in Feature B, loca ted just to the east of Features A/C. This may have been an attempt to create a more watertight cistern in the warehouse and Feature B for use by the Navy, as the use of br icks seem to correlate to that period of occupation. The type of buildings and the way in wh ich they were constructed on Indian Key during various periods of occupation seems to be a mix of contemporary practices and new ideas, which were then adapted to suit the tropical and isolated environment the inhabitants of this small is land found themselves in. This style of building included borrowing architecturally from New England and the Bahamas, periods of trial and error, and the re-use of materials and structures al ready present on the ke y. From the high level of integrity of some of the ol dest features found on Indian Ke y, it is clear that the builders of the various structures on the island did a fine job in creating a lasting habitat.

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103 Chapter Six: Summary and Conclusions After investigating Indian Key, it becomes clear that more than one style of architecture is present. From his hometo wn of Staten Island, Jacob Housman brought the basic plan of the island, including the centr alized town square. A clear Bahamian influence was taken from his time spent in Key West, with the cupolas and open porch designs of some of his houses. Architecturall y, Indian Key is a ble nd of different styles that have been uniquely adapted to suit its lo cation. The reuse and remodeling of some of the features on the key can be dated relativ e to one another, but cannot be given an absolute date, presenting an opportunity for furt her research into the architecture of this island. Historical documents have suggested that some kind of architectural template was employed on Indian Key during the Housman period of occupation. In his affidavit, James Dutcher, the marble cutter from Ne w York who was paid to quarry the large cistern in the warehouse, mentions that by 1838 there were several other cisterns on the island similar to the one he constructed in the late 1830s (Dutcher and Dutcher 1846). The other cisterns mentioned are probably th e rectangular cisterns associated with the eight cottages and kitchens loca ted near the center of the is land (of which only Features F and G remain) and Senator English’s cottage and kitchen (Feature B) just to the west of the warehouse (Features A and C). All of these cisterns are rectangular in shape,

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104 measuring between 5.5-x-3 m and 6-x-3.5 m in si ze, and are all constructed of mortared coral bedrock walls with a plastered bedrock floor. Most likely during the Navy’s occupation of the site, a plas tered brick floor was added to Feature B, and during an unknown period of occupation, a “backyard stoo p” consisting of a course of bedrock blocks mortared to the surrounding bedrock (C ollins 2002:166) was affixed to Feature F. Besides these additions, the basic layout a nd construction of the remaining rectangular cisterns is quite similar to that of the wa rehouse, just in a smaller scale. From the historical maps and documentation (Howe 1840, Perrine 1885), it is known that the cottages associated with the cist erns that lined the center of the island were all uniform in size and shape. The same construction plan s were probably used for Senator English’s cottage, and a slightly scaled-down version ma y have been used for the cottages occupied by Glass, Beiglet, and the slave quarters of Howe and Housman. Returning to cisterns, there does appear to have been some experimentation concerning their construction on Indian Key. There are two other cisterns that most likely date to the Housman period besides the th ree previously mentioned. Feature I is a small 4.5 m square bedrock bloc k cistern thought to be relate d to the Tropical Hotel, because of its location on the key and the artifacts found around it (Baker 1973). There is no clear reason why this cistern is square instead of recta ngular like the others found on the island, but lack of materials or space could both be logical answers. Another square cistern, Feature M, is located near the Howe complex in th e upper northern portion of the island, and measures 9.8-ft.-square in size. Its walls were p oured into frames much like tabby when constructed, and were made out of a clay-like mortar matrix that included

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105 bricks and large stones. This cistern might represent an attempt by Howe to use a more tried and true method of construction, as tabby has been used in Flor ida houses since the late eighteenth century. When looking at the architecture employed on Indian Key during the Housman period, it must not be forgo tten that, although Jacob Housman was quite influential and important to the planning and construction of the island’s earliest buildings, other men and women inhabited I ndian Key and brought with them their own ideas and previous experiences. Charles Howe or a member of his household could have constructed the cistern before Dutcher came to the island, or before other materials were made available. The large stones and bricks found in the walls of Feature M could have certainly been ballast on a ship that docked or wrecked near Indian Key. Feature I was most likely built small for a specific arch itectural demand, and the tabby-like cistern (Feature M) was most likely was an experime nt in a construction medium that never worked or fit with the island for some unknow n reason. These are just a few reasons of why Features I and M do not seem to meet th e original architectural template drafted for Indian Key. Indian Key has had a long history of spor adic occupation and re -use, as is evident in the archaeological and arch itectural records of the isla nd. As a means of simplifying the large amount of data presented, a map iden tifying from which time period each of the twenty-two original features identified by Baker (1973) were constructed, as well as their estimated periods of re-use, was created using the information gathered in this thesis as well as previous archaeological investigations (Figure 23). From this map, is evident that the majority of the remaining Housman period features are located in the northern portion

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106 of the island, while the features built by th e Navy are found inland, near the center of the key. The Naval period features, almost al l of which are cisterns, may have been constructed near the center of the island to ensure that they would be easily accessible and that utilizing their water supply would not put a soldier in jeopardy by placing him too close to the shoreline in case of an attack. There is just one feature on the whole southern end of the island (Feature N), a brick cistern that has not been relocated si nce Baker (1973) documented it. Historical maps (Howe 1840, Perrine 1885) show that a number of cottages once graced the southwest quarter of the island. Carpenters Glass and Beiglet both lived in these small cottages with separate kitchens or cisterns, which appear to have been razed during a later period of occupation. This thesis draws conclusions about the architecture of Indian Key by analyzing the results of archaeological investigations as well as historic documents. The ideas presented here are theories that can be refined when further work on the island is completed. Some of the areas and questions th at need to be addre ssed through additional work are those features that do not have any de finite dates of use associated with them. These include Features K, N, and P, which all need to be relocated again and investigated more thoroughly. Other Features, such as L, O, and R, are cu rrently visible, but their full usage history remains a mystery.

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107 Figure 24. Map of the archaeological and archit ectural features found on Indian Key, and their estimated periods of construc tion and re-use. Base map: Baker 1973.

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108 We know through historic documents (McLaughlin 1844) that the Navy constructed a hospital on Indi an Key during its two-year occupation of the island, and that the Perrines utilized a trap door that led down to the water as their “bathroom” (Perrine 1885). We do not however, yet know the exact location of the Naval hospital, nor the site of any other restrooms or sanitati on facilities. There ce rtainly would have to have been such amenities available to the resi dents and guests. Finally, further research needs to be completed to find out what changes Housman and the twenty-four men enlisted in Company B of the Florida Militia made to Indian Key in the late 1830s in order to defend the island better against att ack. Some type of watchtower or garrison might have been constructed so that the guards could watch for incoming vessels. By focusing on the entire history of Indian Key through its architecture, this thesis has attempted to expand the past of the isla nd to include other periods of occupation and re-use of features after the Housman period of the early nineteenth century. Most of the current history of the island being interpreted to the public concerns this one phase of the island’s history. If only one image of Indian Key’s history is put forth, a false impression that the past was one simp le, singular story could easil y emerge. Without further research concerning the Naval and early twentie th century occupations of the site, Indian Key could become Housman and nothing more than the events of August 7th, 1840.

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109 References Cited Audubon, John James 1859 The Birds of America Gifford Audubon, Roe Lockwood and Son, New York and Philadelphia. Baker, Henry 1973 Archaeological Investigations at Indian Key, Florida. Miscellaneous Project Report Series No. 7. Bureau of Ar chaeological Research, Division of Historical Resources, Department of State, Tallahassee, Florida. 1982 The Archaeology of Indian Key: An Overview. The Florida Anthropologist 35:100-104. Barnes, Jay 1998 Florida’s Hurricane History University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. Beare, Nikki 1961 Pirates, Pineapples, and People: A Hist ory, Tales, and Legends of the Upper Florida Keys Atlantic Publishing Company. Bearss, Edwin C. 1983 Fort Jefferson, 1846-1898: Fort Jeffe rson National Monument, Monroe County, Florida United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Denver Service Center, Denver. Boden, Charles R. 1937 San Francisco’s Cisterns. California Historical Society Quarterly XV(4):113. Bradbury, Alford G. and E. Story Hallock 1962 A Chronology of Florida Post Offices The Florida Fe deration of Stamp Clubs, Handbook No. 2.

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110 Brissot de Warville, J.P. 1792 New Travels in the United States of America, Performed in 1788 Dublin, W. Corbet, P. Byrne, A. Grueber, W. McKenzie, J. Moore, W. Jones, R. McAllister, and J. Rice. Brookfield, Charles M. and Oliver Griswold 1985 They all called it Tropical: True tale s of the Romantic Everglades, Cape Sable, and the Florida Keys Historical Associati on on Southern Florida, Miami. Brownstone, Douglass L. 1984 A Field Guide to America’s History Facts on File Inc., New York. Buker, George E. 1980 Lt. John T. McLaughlin, U.S. Navy, and the Second Seminole War, Order of the Indian Wars Journal 1(2):12-24. 1997 Swamp Sailors in the Second Seminole War University Press of Florida, Gainesville. Caemmerer, Alex 1992 Houses of Key West Pineapple Press, Sarasota. Carr, Robert S. 1987 Archaeological, Historical, and Arch itectural Survey of the Middle Keys Ms. No. 1514, on file, Florida Division of Historic Resources, Tallahassee. Chiappone, Mark 1996 Geology and Paleontology of the Flori da Keys and Florida Bay, Volume 1: Site Characterization fo r the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Environs Nature Conservancy, Zenda, Wisconsin. Collins, LeRoy 1971 Forerunners Courageous: Stories of Fr ontier Florida. Colcade Publishers, Inc., Tallahassee. Collins, Lori 2002 Positively Fourth Street: A GIS-Based Landscape Approach to Historical Archaeology at Indian Key State Hi storic Park, Florida (8MO15). Unpublished MA thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa.

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111 Curren, Caleb, Steve Newby, and Steve Smith 1998 Woolsey Archeology: Construction M onitoring at an Early American Navy Town Site Pensacola Archaeology Lab. Davis, T. Frederick 1943 Indian Key and Wrecking in 1833. Florida Historical Quarterly 22(2):57-61. Dean, Love 1982 Reef Lights: Seaswept Light houses of the Florida Keys Historic Key West Preservation Board, Key West. Decker, H. Carlton, William Flynn Wescott, George Gann-Matzen, Charles Alden, and Henry Baker 1989 Programmed Plan for the Stabilizati on, Maintenance and Protection of Indian Key State Historic Site, M onroe County, Florida. Prepared for The Friends of Islamorada Area State Parks. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) 1997 Indian Key State Historic Site Historic Structures Cyclical Maintenance Plan, September 1997 Prepared for the Friends of Islamorada Area State Parks and Indian Key State Historic Site. Division of Recreation and Parks, Bureau of Natural and Cultural Resources, Tallahassee. 2000a Indian Key State Historic Site Un it Management Plan: Approved Plan State of Florida, Division of Recr eation and Parks, Tallahassee. 2000b Strategic Beach Management Plan, Florida Keys Region Office of Beaches and Coastal Systems, Tallahassee. Dodd, Dorothy 1944 The Wrecking Business on the Florida Reef. Florida Historical Quarterly 22(4):171-199. 1948 Jacob Housman of Indian Key. Tequesta 8:3-19. Dutcher, James A. and Susan Dutcher 1846 Affidavit given to Thomas Jefferson Smith, Justice of the Marine Court of the City of New York, April 16, 1846. Or iginal on file, National Archives, Washington, D.C. Dye, Jr., Dewey A. 1974 The Indian Key Massacre. In U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, November 1974 pp. 74-78. Washington, D.C.

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112 Eyster, Irving 1965 Unpublished report on the excavation on I ndian Key, June through September, 1965. 1982 The Archaeology of the Florida Keys: An Interview with Irving Eyster. The Florida Anthropologist 35(3):105-114. Eyster, Irving and Darlene Brown 1976 Indian Key Jeannie’s Magic Printing, Long Key, Florida. Eyster, Irving R. and Jeane Eyster 1997 Islamorada and More Pigeon Key Foundation, Marathon, Florida. Feil, Charles 2001 Over Key West and the Florida Keys Pineapple Press, Sarasota. Fontaneda, Do. d’Escalante 1575 Memoir of Do. d’Escalante Fontaneda Respecting Florida, Written in Spain About the Year 1575. Translated from the Spanish with notes by Buckingham Smith, edited by David O. True. 1944 repr int. University of Miami, Miami, Florida. Fuson, Robert H. 2000 Juan Ponce de Len and the Spanish Discovery of Puerto Rico and Florida The McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, Virginia. Gamble, Robert 1990 Historic Architecture in Alabama: A Primer of Styles and Types, 1810-1930 University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa. Gannon, Michael 1993 Florida: A Short History University Press of Florida, Gainesville. Garvan, Anthony N. B. 1963 Proprietary Philadelphia as Artifact. In The Historian and the City Oscar Handlin and John Burchard, eds., pp. 177-201. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press. Gaske, Frederick Paul 1982 The Archaeology of a Florida Ante bellum Period Boarding House: The Ximenez-Fatio House (SA 34-2), St. Augustine, Florida Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Department of Anthropology, Flor ida State University, Tallahassee. Gilbreth, Frank 1974 Bricklaying System Hive Publishing Company, Easton.

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113 Glassie, Henry 2000 Vernacular Architecture Indiana University Pr ess, Indianapolis. Goggin John M. 1944 Archaeological Investigations on the Upper Florida Keys. Tequesta 4:13-35. 1950 Indians and History of the Matecumbe Region. Tequesta 10:13-24. Goggin, John M. and Frank H. Sommer III 1949 Excavations on Upper Matecumbe Key, Florida Yale University Publications in Anthropology, No. 41. Yale University Press, New Haven. Griswold, Oliver 1965 The Florida Keys and the Coral Reef: Au thentic history of the romantic Southernmost United States from earliest Indians to the Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Parker Art Printing Asso ciation, Coral Gables. Gurke, Karl 1987 Bricks and Brickmaking: A Handbook for Historical Archaeology University of Idaho Press, Moscow. Hammond, E.A. 1969 Sketches of the Florida Keys 1829-1833. Tequesta 29:73-94. Hann, John H. 1991 Missions to the Calusa Ripley P. Bullen Series. University of Florida Press, Gainesville. Hatton, Hap 1987 Tropical Splendor: An Architect ural History of Florida Alfred A. Knopf, New York. Hemingway, Ernest 1981 Ernest Hemingway, selected letters, 1917-1961 Edited by Carlos Baker. Scribner, New York. Hess, Kamelle 1977 The Darkness at Indian Key Manor Books, Inc., New York. Hodge, Frederick W., ed. 1907 Spanish Explorers in the Southern United States, 1528-1543 Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. 1959 reprint, Barnes and Noble, Inc., New York.

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114 Hoffman, Lorraine C., 1982 A History of Indian Key: Part Two. In Tropical Trail Newsletter edited by Lorraine C. Hoffman. Metro Dade C ounty Park and Recreation Department, Miami. Hoffmeister, John E. 1974 Land from the Sea University of Miami Press. Housman, Jacob n.d. Petition to the United States Senate by Jacob Housman, Captain of Company B, 10th Regiment, Florida Militia. Original on file, National Archives, Washington, D.C. Howe, Charles 1941 A Letter from Indian Key. Florida Historical Quarterly 20:197. Hudson, F.M. 1943 Beginnings in Dade County Tequesta 1(3):1-35. Hume, Ivor Nol 1969 Historical Archaeology Alfred A. Knopf, New York. Hurt, G. Wade, Chris V. Noble, and Robert W. Drew 1995 Soil Survey of Monroe County, Keys Area, Florida United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service Hyde, Luther W. 1965 Principal Aquifers of Florida Map Series No. 16 (r evised). Bureau of Geology, Florida Department of Natu ral Resources, Tallahassee. Inashima, Paul Y. 1990 Archeological Investigations of th e Hampton Mansion Subsurface Drainage and Cistern System: 1979 and 1988 Seasons Applied Archeology Center, Denver Service Center, National Park Service, Rockville, Maryland. Integrated Publishing 2003 Types of bricks URL: Accessed September 1, 2003. Jutro, Peter Richard 1975 Lignumvitae Key Ph.D. dissertation. Depart ment of Philosophy, Cornell University, Ithaca.

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115 Keffer, William 2002 Indian Key Brick Assessment Manuscript on file, Univ ersity of South Florida Archaeology Laboratory, Tampa. Kelly, Roger E. and Marsha A. Kelly 1977 Brick Bats for Archaeologists: Values of Pressed Brick Brands Historical Archaeology 11:84-89. Lamb, Lisa N. 1998 Preliminary Report on Excavations at the Indian Key Warehouse, Summer Report on file, Department of Anthr opology, University of South Florida, Tampa. 2000 Preliminary Report on Archaeological Excavations at the Indian Key (8Mo15) Warehouse Complex, Feature A, June 1999 Dr. Brent R. Weisman, Principal Investigator. Prepared for the Florida Park Service, Lignumvitae Key, Florida. Unpublished ms. on f ile, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa. 2003 Historical Analysis of the Indian Key Warehouse: An Analysis of NineteenthCentury Ceramics Unpublished MA thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa. Lazarus, William C. 1965 A Study of Dated Bricks in the Vicinity of Pensacola, Fla. The Florida Anthropologist 18 (3):69-84. Lees, William B. 1980 Limerick; Old and in the Way: Arch aeological Investiga tions at Limerick Plantation, Berkeley County, South Carolin a. Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology Studies No. 5. University of South Carolina, Columbia. Loudon, J. C. 1863 An Encyclopedia of Cottage, Farm, and Villa Architecture and Furniture; Containing Numerous Designs for Dwelli ngs, from the Villa to the Cottage and the Farm, Including Farm Houses, Farmeries, and Other Agricultural Buildings; Country Inns, Public Hous es, and Parochial Schools: With the Requisite Fittings-Up, Fixtures, a nd Furniture; and Appropriate Offices, Gardens, and Garden Scenery: Each De sign Accompanied by Analytical and Critical Remarks (revised). Edited by Mr s. Loudon. Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, London. Linnard, Thomas B. 1850 Letter to Colonel J.J. Abert of th e Topographical Engineering Corps, Washington, D.C. Written November 22, 1850. On file, National Archives and Records Services, Washington, D.C.

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