Sunday, September 17, 2006

Yesterday's Keys

I'm reading -- devouring with fascination -- a book loaned to me by Captain Outrageous. Titled Yesterday's Florida Keys, it is one of several important historical accounts of the Keys and Key West authored by the late Wright Langley with his wife Joan and his sometimes co-author Stan Windhorn.

Long before he died in August of 2000, Langley was a well-known and familiar figure around the old Key West of the 60's, 70's and 80's. He and his wife Joan were long-time residents of Key West and were active historians. They collected old photographs of the City and the Keys, many of them from family members of those pictured in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They published many of those in three books of which they were joint or sole authors: Yesterday's Key West, published in 1973, and Yesterday's Florida Keys, which followed in 1974. The one I'm reading now, Yesterday's Keys, went through it's fourteenth printing in 2003, making it certainly a long-lived title in any publisher's catalog.

There are still two people listed as owner's of the Langley home on Georgia Street, apparently wife Joan and son(?) Mark from county records. The company Langley Press is registered as an active corporation in the State of Florida, and maintain a rudimentary company web site. The company continues to sell its catalog of six related books, and boasts of having "one of the largest private collections of historical photos of Key West and the Florida Keys." This collection spans the 1800?s to present and includes:

Maritime Scenes (shipping, navy, fishing)
Street Scenes and Architecture
Aerial Photos
Stereo Views
Presidential Visits
Famous Authors and Residents

I located copies of the two books that Wright Langley and a man named Stanley Windhorn co-authored, as well as Wright and Joan's book, Key West in 3D, at I bought all three. I also found a copy of the book I was trying to remember in my previous post titled What's Your Name?. They'll all be here in a couple of weeks.

P.S. Special thanks to Keith Rensberger who gave me the name of the Nicknames book. Keith was here around Easter time. I guess he's still reading the blog. Thanks, Keith.

1 comment:

Vincent I.P. said...

Stanley Windhorn is my grandfather. I found that book when I was in Key West on spring break once, at a little book store on the island.

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