Rock Harbor Cont

The Currys would move from Key West to the largest island in the archipelago, Key Largo, and would settle in Rock Harbor. The community was also home to Beauregard Albury whose house remains the oldest standing structure on the island of Key Largo still in its original location. Today it is recognized as the home to REEF, the Reef Environmental Education Foundation located in the Overseas Highway’s median at approximately Mile Marker 98.

Albury would sell part of his land to secure room for one of two grammar schools to be built in the Upper Keys. Two two-room coral rock structures were built circa 1926. One was constructed on Upper Matecumbe and was destroyed in the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. The sister school was built on land once belonging to Albury. The bones of the Rock Harbor Grammar School are still visible within the structure now home to the Key Largo Moose Lodge found in the median of the Overseas Highway at Mile Marker 98.8.

The Curry’s (L to R): John, Elizabeth, Floyd,
Cyril, Bertha, Norman
The Curry’s (L to R): John, Elizabeth, Floyd, Cyril, Bertha, Norman

On April 28, 1955, the Florida Keys News ran a story regarding another Key Largo school, the Burlington Grammar School. The one-room wooden structure, was used to teach children attending grades one through nine, moved from Tavernier to the Rock Harbor locale of Mile Marker 101. “A petition is being circulated in Key Largo, relevant to relocating the site of the new Negro School to be built in that area. The petition asks for a change of the location from the site originally selected. It is pointed out that property values are too high in this spot to be used for this purpose and to relocate the school on property or less commercial value.” The Burlington Grammar School, as it was named, closed February 1965 when Monroe County integrated its school system. Students were relocated to Plantation Key’s Coral Shores School.