Isla-013 (2)

Observations from Bone Island

The Spanish called the island Cayo Hueso, cayo meaning island and hueso meaning bone. Over time, Cayo Hueso was bastardized into the modern name for the island, Key West.

“At Cayos Vacos and Cayo Hueso we see the remains of some savage habitations, built, or rather piled up of stones; these were the last refuges of the Caloosa nation.” Explorer and Cartographer Bernard Romans, 1774

“The former residents of Indians on this island is proved by the existence of a number of mounds supposed, to have been burial places. One of those was opened and examined in the year 1823. It contained a number of human skeletons, gold and silver ornaments, domestic utensils, arrowheads, pipes… Immense quantities of human bone found on every part of the island.” Observation by Dr. Benjamin B. Strobel, Charleston Courier, May 12, 1837