This beautifully designed, precision crafted, custom wood gift is a replica of the Florida Keys Memorial located in Islamorada to honor the victims of the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. The dual-layered design is laser-cut from wood, painted, and screen printed to faithfully match the memorial. It measures 5 7/8” high, 8 5/8” wide, and 1 7/8” thick – and is made entirely in the USA. The history on the back reads: The Florida Keys Memorial in Islamorada, Florida, known locally as the “Hurricane Monument,” was built to honor hundreds of American veterans and local citizens who perished in the “Labor Day Hurricane” on September 2, 1935.
Islamorada sustained winds of 200 miles per hour and a barometer reading of 26.35 inches for many hours on that fateful holiday. Most local buildings and the Florida East Coast Railway were destroyed by what remains the most savage hurricane on record. Hundreds of World War I veterans who had been camped in the Matecumbe area while working on the construction of U.S. Highway One for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) were killed. In 1937, the cremated remains of approximately 300 victims were placed within the tiled crypt in front of the monument.
he 18-foot tall monument is constructed of native keystone, and its striking frieze depicts coconut palm trees bending before the force of hurricane winds while the waters from an angry sea lap at the bottom of their trunks. Monument construction was funded by the WPA and regional veterans’ associations. Over the years, the Hurricane Monument has been cared for by local veterans, hurricane survivors, descendants of the victims and presently by the Village of Islamorada.