The Making of FL Keys History
After the infamous and devastating Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 destroyed Flagler's Overseas Railroad, work soon began on what was to become the original Overseas Highway to Key West. The highway was completed in the early 1940's giving way to the first motoring tourists.
Businesses including cafes, inns and restaurants sprang to life especially on Upper Matecumbe Key; in 1907 it became Isle Morada and now is hailed as Islamorada FL, "The Fishing Capitol of the World".
In 1947 Sid and Roxie Siderious purchased OD King's Rustic Inn, originally built in 1928 as a little roadside cafe with a couple of rooms to rent along the original Overseas Highway on upper Matecumbe Key, and transformed it into what is now known as the Green Turtle Inn. The "Turtle" became known as the spot where fishermen, as well as Keys' travelers, could enjoy great food and a comfortable night's rest. Much as the namesake this Islamorada restaurant served fare featuring the popular delicacy - sea turtles harvested from FL Keys waters serving menu items including turtle steaks, soups and chowders. The Islamorada dining scene had a new face and it was a turtle! Our island had quickly come the Islamorada dining capitol of the world!
As word of good food tends to travel fast, the Green Turtle soon became popular with the local crowd as well. Revelers flocked to the Green Turtle Inn and after dinner it was common for guests to clear tables from the floor, ushering in music, dancing and celebrating the Keys lifestyle long into the night. After the famed "Sid and Roxie era" the restaurant was owned for a time by local restaurateur and acclaimed entertainer Henry Rosenthal.