Southernmost point buoy
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The Southernmost point buoy is an anchored concrete buoy in Key West, Florida marking one of the extreme points of the United States. The large painted buoy is a tourist attraction established in 1983 by the city at the corner of South Street and Whitehead Street.
The southernmost point was originally just marked with a sign, which was often stolen. In response to this, the city of Key West erected the now famous concrete buoy in 1983. The concrete buoy is actually an old sewer junction that was dug up in the area and found too heavy and large to move, so it was painted up to look like a buoy.
Today it is one of the most visited and photographed attractions in Key West.
The wording is not accurate. Florida's official southernmost point is Ballast Key, a privately owned island south and west of Key West. Signs on that island strictly prohibit unauthorized visitors. The marker is not even the southernmost point of Key West Island. The private yard directly to the southeast of the buoy is obviously farther south. Land on the Truman Annex property just west-southwest of the buoy is the true southernmost point on the island, (approximately 900 feet (270 m) farther south), but it has no marker since it is U.S. Navy property and cannot be entered by civilian tourists. The southernmost part of Key West Island accessible to civilians is the beach area of Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park at approximately 24.545142 N, 81.80964 W, and approximately 500 feet (150 m) farther south than the marker.
The claim on the buoy stating "90 miles to Cuba" is a rounded number, since Cuba, at its closest point is 94 statute (81 nautical) miles due south.
In popular culture
A subplot of Robert Tacoma's second novel, Key Weirder (2005), involves an interstate dispute over where the true southernmost point is located, and, therefore, where the monument should be placed. O