Tavernier Key was first identified as Caio di Tabanos on a 1639 chart. The place name Tavernier is likely a bastardization of the Spanish word for horsefly, tabano. In Spanish, the letter “b” is pronounced with a “v” sound. The island, found in the Atlantic shallows just offshore of the southern tip of Key Largo, was identified as Cayo de Tivanos by William Roberts’1763 work First Discovery and Natural History of Florida. In 1775 the island was named Kay Tavernier. Today the island is known as Tavernier Key.

The community that would form along Henry Flagler’s railroad at the southern tip of Key Largo would take the name Tavernier. Like Planter before it, early Tavernier was home to a large farming community. As the farming industry diminished, the arrival of Chicago’s Oliver M. Woods would help modernize Tavernier. Woods and his wife had been lured to South Florida’s land boom circa 1924. A land developer and real estate agent, Woods purchased properties in the Upper Keys that had fallen into tax default and then sold off at rock-bottom prices both in the Tavernier area on Key Largo as well as on Plantation Key.