Key West, Florida

Key West Business Signs

Key West is a city located within the present-day U.S. state of Florida.  Interestingly, Key West is not located anywhere along Florida’s protuberance.  It is located further south, on the island of Key West, which is closer to Havana, Cuba than to Miami, Florida.  Prior to European interference, the island of Key West was inhabited by the Calusa peoples.  Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon was the first European to visit this area in 1521.  Soon after, a Spanish fishing and salvage village was established here, complete with a small garrison.

The name Key West derives from the Spanish ‘Cayo Hueso,’ which means “bone cay (a low island or reef).”  According to the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, the island got this moniker due to local legends purporting it to be “littered with the bones of prior native inhabitants, who apparently used the isle as a communal graveyard.”

The island would eventually fall into the hands of the British before becoming Spanish property once more.  However, in 1822, Lt. Commander Matthew C. Perry claimed the island as United States property.  No one protested, and so it remained.

Today, according to a 2010 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Key West, Florida has a total population of 24,649 people.  Key West, Florida also holds the honor of being the southernmost U.S. city.

Key West, Florida’s economy, as one could guess, is dominated by the tourism industry.  In fact, the Port of Key West has been a major destination and docking hub for cruise ships since 1969.  Today, several cruise ships dock at the port on a regular basis, including the Royal Caribbean ship Majesty of the Seas and the Carnival Fascination.  In fact, both cruise ships visit the Port of Key West weekly.

Key West, Florida is also home to Naval Air Station Key West, which was completed on December 15th, 1940.  This naval air station and military airport “is a state-of-the-art training facility for air-to-air combat fighter aircraft of all military services.”  This station is also home to Fighter Squadron Composite 111 (VFC-111), Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) Detachment Key West, the U.S. Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School, and Headquarters, Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF South).

Elsewhere in the city of Key West, Florida is the Harry S. Truman Little White House.  This house, which served as the winter White House for President Harry S. Truman, is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  This house was built in 1890 by U.S. Navy Architects Scott, McDermott & Higgs.

Additionally, Key West, Florida is also home to the houses of famous writers Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway.  The Ernest Hemingway House, or the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, was built in 1851, but served as the residence of internationally acclaimed author Ernest Hemingway from 1931 to 1939.  It was at this house where many Hemingway short stories and novels were written.  The Ernest Hemingway House is also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is considered a U.S. National Historic Landmark.  Even today, this house is infested with 50 of the descendants of Hemingway’s original polydactyl (six or seven toed) cat Snowball.

Every April 23rd, Key West, Florida celebrates its brief declaration of independence from the United States in 1982, when it declared itself the “Conch Republic” in protest to a United States Border Patrol blockade, which itself was a response to the Mariel Boatlift.

Do you own a small business in and/or around the Key West, Florida area?  Thinking of starting up one?  The resources below could help you:

Apply for a Business License in Key West, Florida:

Key West Business Guild:

Key West Chamber of Commerce:

Looking for Key West business signs?

Advertize your small business!  Get in touch with one of our authorized member sign shops:

561 Signs
1200 Clint Moore Road, Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487

7168 Pembroke Road
Miramar, FL 33023

9040 SW Bird Rd.
Miami, FL 33165

Dolmen Creatives
6652 NW 77th CT
Miami, FL 33166

Apogee Signs

Midway, FL

Scott Thornton

Signs Galore Inc.
Crestview, FL
Michael J. Rutledge

Just-In-Time Signs
Auburndale, FL
Brian Dorer


Ryan-Markland Signs Inc.
Inverness, FL
Bill Ryan


Dino Rentos Studios
6863 Hanging Moss Road
Orlando, Florida 32807
Born too Wrap Tint & Protect Inc.
360 Chaucher Ct.
Lake Mary, FL. 32746

Intergraphic Creative Group Inc.

Cape Coral, FL

John Jacobsen


MC GraphiX

Palm Bay, FL

Maria Lawrence