Key West Maritime Historical Society Collection of Marine Paintings
Wooden Side Paddle Steamer CITY OF KEY WEST
Built in Athens, N.Y. in 1865 and launched as The CITY of RICHMOND, this classic shallow draft, 939 ton steam boat with the “walking beam”, 900 H.P. engine was designed primarily for river transport.
Length 227 ft. Beam 30 ft. 6 in. Draft 10ft.
In 1898 the Florida East Coast Steam Ship Company, a branch of Henry Flaglers East Coast Railroad, bought the ship and renamed her CITY of KEY WEST. The elegant and ageing steamer was put into service between the then southern most extent of Flaglers Railroad at the mouth of the Miami river and the City of Key West. Train passengers and freight could now make connections in Key West with ships going almost anywhere.
CITY of KEY WEST was put under the command of Captain Steven Bravo, a handsome young man with a thick handle bar moustache. He must have cut quite a figure steering the old ship through and around the treacherous reefs and shoals that abound in the shallow waters between Key West and Miami. It was an overnight trip. The ship would refuel at the foot of Duval St. and return to Miami.
Sold in 1903, dismantled in 1908, she ended her days as a house boat in Perth, N.J.
Fine-art giclee print is available - email the artist for pricing.