While putting together this series this week, I've learned about all the industries Key West has thrived on - some of which were: fishing, turtling, sponging, pineapples, cigars and pink gold: shrimp (from the GULF). One of the most surprising factoids I discovered was learning about how Key West was once the RICHEST city in the United States. How did they achieve such wealth & status? Back in 1828, Key West thrived on the salvaging of shipwrecks, which was known as the wrecking industry...

Photos above I captured at Mallory Square
and edited on

"Long established trade routes came close to the Florida coast and the reefs just seven miles offshore of Key West. Stormy weather, or a captain's inexperience with this treacherous area, could easily cause ships with valuable cargoes to founder just off shore. As a result, wrecking and salvaging soon became the island's primary business and its citizenry became wealthy on the proceeds. Storehouses and chandeliers abounded, and people came from all over to bid on the valuable salvaged items. Between 1828 and the 1850s, Key West was considered the richest city, per capita, in the United States."  (Learn more about the history of Key West here.)

Since Key West was designated as a U.S. port of entry and a customs house was established, salvaged cargoes could be entered at Key West instead of further up the coast at St. Augustine. This also allowed Key West to be a transshipment port for foreign cargo, particularly from Cuba.

Clinton Square Market at Mallory Square

More shots captured at Mallory Square

Although fishing is still a popular industry in Key West, today it thrives on tourism. A popular and historic destination tourist flock to in Key West is Mallory Square. Not only is it a cruise ship port, but  Mallory Square is a special place to celebrate sunset. It also holds some lovely little shops like the Shell Warehouse, and a historeum called the Shipwreck Museum. This place enacts the story of what it was like to see a "Wreck ashore!!" (other than people doing the Duval crawl).

The Shell Warehouse at Mallory Square was a great little find because for our past three anniversaries, we've spent them on the Florida shores (Key Largo, Naples, and now - Key West). I've been collecting treasures of coral, starfish and shells from our trips. This shop - by far - has had not only great prices, but a wonderful selection - I may even turn the photos into coastal wall art...


Don't clam up now...

Collecting these shoreline beauties is a great way to have keepsakes from your Key West trip, and add seasonal coastal flare to your home. You can show them off in baskets, bowls or cylinders... or even design your own display by using them to create a wind chime or cover lamps or even a fireplace surround...

And what a great conversation piece your finds can be,
for friends and family to share with them your trip to Key West...

Don't let the sunset on your day without having a
Happy Thrifty Thursday...



  1. Excellent pics Lynda! Did you use something special in picnik? Doesn't quite look sepia, but very cool effect. *GROAN* on your puns chica and thank God you don't have a fireplace because ewwwwwww. :)

  2. Hey Jill! Thanks!

    I converted the photos to B&W by removing COLOR through EDIT, thank enhanced the EXPOSURE and CONTRAST (also though EDIT). After resizing (to 350) I went to CREATE and started testing some of the EFFECTS. I got this effect by applying CROSS PROCESS (yes - it's different and a little more intense than sepia).

    I love!
    :D Lynda

  3. At the risk of sounding repetitive I'll simply say another fabulous set of images Lynda! And ditto on what Jill said above about the picnik effect & your puns ;-)

  4. How interesting! I didn't know about it being such a wealthy city, or about their "wrecking industry." These photos are really cool, too. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for the hookup with Michelle's Sunshine blog Chris!! and thanks for stopping by - Chris & Julia!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    :D Lynda

  6. Salvaging of shipwrecks was an actual industry, so interesting!

    Regarding shells from shops..., I think I'm conflicted about that. I love shells and love to see the abundance in a great store like Shell Warehouses, at the same time though I know that most of these shells are harvested alive, and the animals killed, which doesn't feel right. The pictures are gorgeous though!!



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