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Key West Cemetery Tour Honors Black History Month

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Bringing history to life, guided tours through Key West’s famed cemetery at the end of the month will focus on African-Americans who helped shape the “Southernmost City.”

The guided tours, on Saturday February 23rd, are in honor of Black History Month.

The 19-acre cemetery was established in 1847. During the 90-minute strolls through the 19-acre cemetery, which was established in 1847, visitors will be escorted to the gravesites of many of the island’s notable African-American residents where interpreters will tell the stories of the deceased.

Gravesites include those of Sandy Cornish, who helped establish the black community’s first church in 1865, and Thomas Romer, who served as a privateer in the War of 1812 before Key West’s settlement. Participants also can view the U.S.S. Battleship Maine Memorial containing the remains of U.S. sailors who died when the Maine exploded and sank in Havana Harbor in 1898, touching off the Spanish-American War.

Strolls are scheduled to depart from the cemetery’s Frances Street gate every 20 minutes beginning at 9 a.m.

The event is sponsored by the City of Key West, Historic Florida Keys Foundation and Friends of the Key West Historic Cemetery Committee.

Space on the strolls is limited and pre-registration is required. A donation of $10 per person to the Historic Florida Keys Foundation is recommended.

The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.

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