This picturesque sandy isle in the Ten Thousand Islands first drew blood with it’s namesake.
Today it continues to draw blood by way of mosquitos – well sometimes anyway.
Campers beware! 😉
Pavilion Key is a popular island campsite in the Ten Thousand Islands, inside Everglades National Park. While the beach camping is very nice, the island also hosts a surprisingly large mosquito population for an offshore island. At night in the darkness when the stars are out and the wind drops, it’s not necessarily a silent night! Protected inside the inner sanctum of my tent, I hear a roar of skeeters overhead – buzzing about for hours until a breeze picks up again!
The island’s name harks back two hundred years to a cruel twist of fate for a young blonde virgin who was imprisoned for a time inside a pavilion made of logs and palm fronds on the isle. She was the only “survivor” of a raid on a Dutch merchant vessel by the pirate captain Charles Gibbs. The rest of the ship’s occupants and crew were murdered out on the sea, while she was brought back to this island pirate camp presumably as a sex slave for the captain. Eventually the rest of the crew grew tired of the captain keeping a live witness to their crimes and forced their leader to surrender the girl’s fate. She was reportedly poisoned* in her meal and died an agonizing, slow death. Not long after, the US schooner Porpoise discovered the as yet uncharted island and found her recent grave and the pavilion structure.
Thus the name Pavilion Key!
*( Words on the Wilderness: A History of Place Names in South Florida’s National Parks
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With that said..
Boy, what a story!!
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