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08/01/2014 ~ Keys Energy Services (KEYS) and Historic Markers, Inc. recently unveiled Key West Historic Marker #73, highlighting the history of the Key West Steam Plant. The marker is also the first in a series of 15 for the planned Maritime Heritage Trail along the Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight.

The first power plant in Key West dates back to 1887 and was constructed by J.J. Phillbrick on Emma Street. The Key West Steam Plant on Trumbo Road was constructed by KEYS (City Electric System at the time) in 1951 on man-made landfill, once part of the Gulf of Mexico, that industrialist Henry Flagler created for his Florida Overseas Railroad. The Plant went on line in 1952 and remained in operation until 1991, when it was decommissioned following the 1987 construction of the Transmission Line (TIELINE) to the mainland electric grid. Additional historical information about the Key West Steam Plant can be obtained by visiting the Key West Historic Marker Tour website at, or by calling into the free audio walking tour at (305) 507-0300 and selecting marker #73.

The Key West Historic Marker Project was created by Bruce Neff after his involvement with KEYS to preserve the legacy of the Gato family in Key West via the Gato Village Pocket Park, the site of a decommissioned electrical substation, in 2008. After the Pocket Park project Neff sought ways to further preserve the history of Key West, for residents and visitors alike, which would highlight points of historical interest. The markers throughout the city display historical information and correspond to narratives accessed via a free audio walking tour.

PHOTO CAPTION: (From left) Historic Markers, Inc. Executive Director Bruce Neff and KEYS’ General Manager & CEO Lynne Tejeda sit beside the recently unveiled Key West Historic Marker #73 in front of the Key West Steam Plant on Trumbo Road.

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