Latitude / Longitude:
24°52′40″N 80°40′37″W / 24.8778°N 80.6769°W / 24.8778
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Indian Key was an unincorporated community in Monroe County and, for a while, Dade County, Florida, United States. It was located in the upper Florida Keys on the island of Indian Key and is currently a ghost town.
Some of the survivors of the 19 ships of the 1733 Spanish treasure fleet wrecked on the nearby Florida Reef by a hurricane camped on Indian Key until they were rescued. Beginning in the 18th century, Bahamians and Cubans used Indian Key as a base for fishing, turtling, logging and wrecking. Crews might stay on the island for months at a time, but there were no permanent settlers.
Indian Key continued to be occupied for a while after the Second Seminole War ended, in 1842. The county seat for Dade County was moved to Miami in 1844, and the upper Keys, including Indian Key, were returned to Monroe County. The 1850 Census found a few families living there, while only two families were left on the island in 1860. In 1856, during the Third Seminole War, the U.S. Army stationed a few men on the island to protect the two remaining families from possible attack by Seminoles. The Keys lost most of their population again during the Civil War, but William Bethel, a wrecker, continued to live on the island from the 1850s until sometime after 1880.