How the Florida Keys Got Their Names

You’ve probably heard hundreds of stories of how the Florida Keys were named. While some are fiction and hearsay, some of them are the real story!

One of those real stories…does the name Charles Brookfield ring a bell? Brookfield, a Philadelphia native, first arrived in Miami at the age of 21 and began a life for himself in South Florida and the Florida Keys. In 1926, he built a boat made to navigate the reefs, shoals, and seagrass shallows and named it Manatee. In 1927, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey hired Brookfield and his boat to help survey parts of South Florida. As it turns out, that trip was when Brookfield helped name the Bob Allen, Bottlepoint, Bradley, Calusa, and Manatee keys.

While those names may sound a bit random, they each have significance. Bob Allen was named after a man who saved the whooping cranes from extinction, which was no easy task. He had to spend lots of time in the keys, and one island where he helped roseate spoonbills was shaped like a bottle, giving Bottlepoint its name.

Bradley Key is an homage to Guy Bradley, a wildlife officer who helped protect the keys against plume hunting. Calusa was named in honor of the Calusa people native to South Florida. The Manatee Keys were named after Brookfield’s famous boat.

This is just the history of a few of South Florida’s famous keys. The Florida Keys continue to be a popular vacation destination, especially with South Florida vacation rentals. The rich and interesting history paired with the country’s most beautiful weather and beaches makes Florida the perfect vacation spot for the summer. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation spot or Miami vacation rentals, visit us online!