A lot of community events take place during the weekend in Key West, during the hours that I work. Last week I was fortunate to attend an event honoring Claude Valdez at Fire Station #3.
This is the poster from that event with him and Daddy. Daddy was the Prime Minister of the Conch Republic, just love the sash, but more importantly - Mr. Valdez was the creator of the familiar Conch Republic flag...
Firestation #3 is located on the Corner of Grinnell and Virginia, and is now the Key West Firehouse Museum. I finally got to tour it the other night and I really enjoyed it! It's another wonderful example of a "hidden treasure" in Key West. I love how you never know what you may find around any given corner..
From the days of horses....
And coal, and mostly volunteer firemen
When every neighborhood had a call box that was numbered, so they would know which neighborhood was in danger...
Note "Division" St., which is now Truman Ave
And then the infamous story of the missing "Bum Farto", and so much more.......
Our wonderful tour guide Alex Vega did a captivating job of telling us of the history of firefighting in Key West. Alex has tirelessly worked for years to preserve the firehouse....
And with it our history too. If you are in Key West you should try and take the time to see it.
It was well worth MUCH more than the price of admission - which is Free - with donations greatly appreciated. Tours can be arranged by calling 305-292-8179 or check out thier website at www.keywestfirehousemuseum.com