What started out as a joke has become Key West’s most unlikely tourist attraction! At one time this cleat actually served a purpose and tethered boats to the docks. Now days it’s relegated to passers-by who point and laugh at such a silly take-off on the term ‘Southernmost’.
We actually spoke to the person responsible for this most likely of attractions who told us of its origin. The Schooner Western Union used this cleat in past years for mooring till it eventually broke, one of his crew as a joke painted the words ‘Southernmost Broken Cleat, Key West, Fl. USA’ on it instead of replacing it (probably after one too many beers). 🙂 Everyone then had a good laugh and it still remains today, that my friends is straight from Captain Lenn of the Western Union himself! That day, a humorous attraction was born by scribbling on a wall for a good laugh from his fellow crew which still lives on today. So I ask you, looking back “Who got the last laugh”? 🙂
I’ve mentioned before that this town is full of southernmost anything just to bring in an extra dollar. Why there’s a southernmost tattoo parlor, southernmost furniture store, southernmost cigar factory, southernmost corner office, southernmost buoy (Key West’s most famous one) and the list goes on and on.
You can find this Southernmost Broken Cleat (close up below) in my favorite section of town called Harbor Walk adjacent to the historic & majestic Schooner Western Union. It’s absolutely FREE to view, ponder & giggle at and will only take 2 minutes out of your busy fun-filled day in the vacation wonderland I call home.