Just south of Miami Beach lies the southernmost sand barrier island of the continental United States—Key Biscayne. Long the symbol of an idyllic, barefoot, island lifestyle, this swirl of sand, 5 miles long by 1 1/2 miles wide, is the subject of this lucid history, which begins 4,000 years ago and continues through its discovery by Ponce de Leon, its use as a military and lighthouse reservation, the Seminole Wars, shipwreck salvaging, and its present function as public parkland and residential and high-rise condominium village. On Cape Florida, Key Biscayne’s southern end, the Cape Florida Lighthouse, newly restored, stands watch as it has for over 170 years. Drawing from original documents, including many letters and pictures saved by descendants of settlers and lighthouse keepers, Key Biscayne offers a vivid portrait of this compelling Florida island.
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