In the 1820s and 1830s, there was no more profitable business than that conducted by the proprietors of wrecking vessels of southern Florida, and Key West was its grand center. Fielding A. Browne and Whitehead were both victims of shipwrecks in the Bahamas and Key West. The Hon. Peter T. Knight and Hon. George W. Reynolds owe their residence in Key West to their mothers being shipwreck on the way from Germany to the port of New Orleans.
March 25, 1822, Lieut. M. C. Perry, commander of the U.S. Schooner Shark, [see: Painting] hoisted the flag of his nation at Key West. A regularly constituted naval depot and station established under command of Commodore David Porter, who was one of the most enthusiastic advocates of developing Thompson's Island into a grea fortified naval base to guard the Gulf of Mexico and the mouth of the Mississippi River. Commodore Porter with his mosquito fleet and an old New York steam ferry boat were responsible for suppressing the Spanish pirates.
Monroe County was created in 1823. It was named for James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, who served from 1817 to 1825. [Source: wikipedia.org]
On the 29th of December, 1824, the Legislative Council created six counties--Alachua, Leon, Nassau, Walton, Mosquito and Monroe.
In 1832, Key West was incorporated as a city and, under the new charter, Colonel Oliver O'Hara was elected as its first mayor.
On February 4, 1836, Dade County was carved from Monroe County's great area.
In 1855, Manatee County was created from a portion of the mainland of Monroe County.
In 1869, Cuban migration to Key West begins.
In 1861, The East and West Martello Towers are constructed as additional fortifications.
In 1886, a fire destroyed a large part of the city of Key West.
In 1887, Lee County was created reducing Monroe County to its present form and area.
In 1912, The Overseas Railway was completed.
In 1939, The Federal Government reestablished U. S. Naval Station and Submarine Base.
In 1940, U. S. Naval Air Station Is opened at Trumbo Island.
~History Sources & Links~
Monroe Co. [dot] gov.
wikipedia, the online encyclopedia
History & Chronology, etc. by CyberConch
Historic Bridges of the United States
Painting by David Harrison Wright