A Visit to Windley Key Fossil Park

While we were traveling West down the Keys, we stopped over for a week near Islamorada.  Now, I never imagined that I’d find a coral fossil park to be interesting but this place was pretty cool.  It’s located near MM85 in Islamorada.

The land was formed of Key Largo limestone, fossilized coral, dating back to approximately 100,000 years ago.  The land was sold to the Florida East Coast Railroad, which used the stone to build Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s. After the railroad was built, the quarry was used until the 1960s to produce exquisite pieces of decorative stone called “Keystone”. The limestone was used on many historic buildings such as the St. Louis Post Office, an altar in a chapel in NYC, a courthouse in Miami and the nearby Hurricane Monument in Islamorada.  After that, it was designated as an historic and geologically significant area and has been maintained by the Florida Park Services.


The machines would cut vertically and then horizontally to allow workers to remove slabs of the coral.





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I'm the average sailor...converted from a landlubber of course. While I was born with a love of the ocean it has evolved into a love of sailboats and other vessels that ply the open seas and connected waterways. I am probably like most of the people who (hopefully) will read our blog with the exception that we are now doing what we always dreamed of doing and I hope to help others do the same. I am NOT any of the following...a naval architect, a marine surveyor or connected commercially to any builder, distributor or boat sales organization. My opinions are generally my own, although influenced by many years of research.

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