Tavernier Cont

Woods would begin developing both commercial and residential properties. In addition to developing an ice house, Woods’ most significant contribution to the community was persuading the Standard Oil Company to build bulk oil tanks. Woods was named the company’s agent until his death. He would also create Tavernier’s first subdivision and name it Olliewood. Olliewood is located one block east of the Tavernier Hotel.

Woods suffered a heart attack at the age of 47 while driving with his wife on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Coral Gables. He managed to pull the car safely over before he passed. Woods Tavernier business partner Hugh McKenzie would take over the business, including the Standard Oil agreement.

Raised in Illinois, Hugh “Mac” McKenzie briefly taught at Southwest Miami’s Shenandoah School. In 1928, Mac would marry his wife Hazel and, after spending their honeymoon in the Keys, moved to Tavernier at the end of the school year with a reported $5 in their pockets.

Mac would advance Wood’s initiatives and continue to develop the community, including providing the area its first movie theater. Mac’s first film endeavor was an outdoor movie theater. The second incarnation of Mac’s movie house was The Keys Theater, a building that still stands and has been home to the Tavern Store, Old Tavernier Restaurant, Copper Kettle, and today Café Moka.

He would begin building a bigger movie theater circa 1935. An unsuccessful enterprise, the two-story building was refitted with windows in 1939 and reopened as the Tavernier Hotel.

Mac and son, Johnny McKenzie, in
front of theater/hotel conversion, circa 1939
Mac and son, Johnny McKenzie, in front of theater/hotel conversion, circa 1939