Key West Cemetery

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Some newer graves are put in above-ground vaults, similar to the cemeteries in New Orleans, since the space for below-ground burials has become increasingly limited. Photo: Marc Averette
Many older graves date back to the mid-1800s and are weathered, broken and\or illegible. Photo: Marc Averette

The Key West Cemetery is a 19-acre (77,000 m2) cemetery at the foot of Solares Hill on the island of Key West, Florida, United States.

It is estimated that as many as 100,000 people are buried there, many more than the 30,000 residents who currently live on the island.[1]

It is in the northeast section of the Old Town area of the island.

History[edit]

In 1847 it was established at its current location after an 1846 hurricane washed dead bodies from the earlier cemetery out of the coastal sand dunes on Whitehead Point near the West Martello Towers.[2] An Jamaican Memorial Cemetery was dedicated beside the West Martello Tower in 2009. Slaves, ill from the sea voyage to slavery in "The New World," were buried there prior to the US Civil War.

In 2005, the cemetery was among those profiled in the PBS documentary A Cemetery Special.

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Coordinates: 24°33′23″N 81°47′42″W / 24.556418°N 81.795077°W / 24.556418; -81.795077