"No Flamingos in Flamingo" Flamingo by grandmaR

Flamingo Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 25 photos

At the turn of the century when plume hunting was a major source of cash income, Flamingo was a barely accessible, isolated town of 38 shacks resting on stilts; it showed little sign of growth or even survival.

In 1893, Leverett White Brownell, a visiting naturalist, wrote one of the few accounts of early Flamingo. He reported that the tiny town was infested with sand fleas and mosquitoes. (In fact, he witnessed an oil lamp extinguished by a cloud of mosquitoes.) He noted that tomatoes, asparagus and eggplant were the principal crops, and flea powder the staff of life.

The citizens had to chose a name for their town in order to establish a post office. Howell C. Low was appointed as the first postmaster of Flamingo on December 13, 1893. The name had nothing to do with attracting the tourism industry.

The 1910 federal census record shows 49 people living in Flamingo and Cape Sable. Most listed their profession as farming. There were ten heads of households, with 18 children and seven servants. Five people were cane farmers and one worked in charcoal making. (Charcoal was sold in 100 pound sacks at Key West.) Jobs that other individuals held were boatmen, farmer, hauling cane, cane farming (13) and one was retired

We also know from tradition that many, if not all, fished for cash and food. Most also hunted.

  • Last visit to Flamingo: Jan 2005
  • Intro Updated Jan 12, 2012
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