Journey through two centuries of Key West history at our three historic sites, the Custom House Museum, East Martello Museum, or Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters. The Society has been at the forefront of historical preservation in Key West starting in 1950 with the Fort East Martello, then the Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters, and the Custom House.
Custom House. Towering over Mallory’s historic seaport, the Custom House, dating from 1891, served as the island’s customs office, postal service, and district courts. The Custom House has been faithfully restored as a national landmark, an award-winning museum and official headquarters of The Society. Experience two floors of exhibitions that weave together two centuries of history, art, people, and events. Also be sure to look on the website for other events such as the Distinguished Speaker Series.
Fort East Martello. Construction began in 1862 by the U.S. Army on this Civil War Fort and Tower. After the Civil War, the Army closed the fort and it sat abandoned for decades. In 1950, The Society restored Fort East Martello as its first museum. Today, visitors can explore the preserved battlement’s collection of relics from the Civil War, learn about the wrecking and cigar-manufacturing industries which shaped the Florida Keys, view unique folk art and sculptures, as well as meet the Ghosts of East Martello, including the infamous Robert the Doll.
Lighthouse & Keeper’s Quarters. The current lighthouse opened in 1848 and operated until decommissioned in 1969. Today, this sentinel of the sea is a museum dedicated to Key West's maritime heritage and to the men and women who bravely kept the light burning through the threats of war and weather. Visitors can climb the 88 steps to the top of the light as well as explore the belongings, photographs, and words of the lighthouse Keepers and their families.
Experience Key West history and save with your Vacation Pass!