The Matecumbe Historical Trust's free lecture Monday, Aug. 26 is about surviving a category five hurricane as told by Islamorada founding residents at 6:30 p.m.at Island Community Church, mile marker 83 bayside.
The Trust plans to show a video from seven of the survivors who came together to share their stories of the September 2, 1935 Hurricane that swept over the Florida Keys and had Islamorada as its epicenter. The interview was done a few years ago by the Matecumbe Historical Trust on the 75th anniversary of the hurricane.
The film offers a rare opportunity to listen to Joe Pinder, Alma Pinder Dalton, Laurette Pinder Russell, Norman Parker, Charles Pellicer, Everett Albury and Charlie Roberts speak about the disaster of the 1935 that took more than 500 lives. The National Hurricane Monument was built in Islamorada and dedicated in November of 1937 to honor the locals and veterans who lost their lives.
According to www.keyshistory.org, the population density of the Upper Keys at the time the hurricane struck was about 673, according to the 1935 census. The Upper Keys was considered from Long Key to Card Sound Bridge in Key Largo. Transient or temporary personnel were not counted as official residents in the census and thus not shown in the population figure. This included about 750 World War I veterans building a bridge to begin the elimination of ferry boats to travel throughout the Keys.
The death count of civilians was 228 in an official report, while the veterans count was 257. More bodies and skeletons were found in later years.
This Trust event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call Barbara Edgar at 305-393-0940 or visit http://www.matecumbehistoricaltrust.com.