Imagine the Life of Black Caesar at Adams Key
Adams Key is one of the islands of the Florida Keys located just north of Caesar Creek in beautiful Biscayne Bay. It is located in the lower part of Biscayne National Park, a reserve dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the coral reefs and other ecosystems that make up the Keys. Another famous island in this archipelago, Elliot Key, lies just to the north of it.
History of Adams Key
Adams Key once featured the Cocolobo Club which was a popular private retreat for some very famous people like former Presidents Nixon, Harding, Adams, Johnson, and Hoover. During the time of this club, the island was named Cocolobo Island. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew completely destroyed the buildings that still remained from the club. Today it is a day-use only island with two park ranger families living on it.
The Legend of Black Caesar
Florida was once a Spanish province (1565-1763) claimed by the European country as part of its New World conquests. Spain, like others, enslaved Africans and used some of them to build the infrastructure of its colonies in the regions. Those who escaped enslavement, such as after a shipwreck, sought the Florida Keys as a place where they could carve out their existence. The legend tells us that one of those escaped slaves, Black Caesar, did more than just survive. He was actually a pirate and it is told that he did his raids on ships heading through the waters of Biscayne Bay.
People think that Black Caesar ran his operations at Caesar Creek which is located southeast of the information center on Adams Key. It is told that Black Caesar would have his ships tied to limestone exposures and partially capsize them to avoid detection by other transport vessels in the area. Then, when he saw a vessel to attack, his ships would get into upright position and head out to do their pirate business. Of course the waters of Caesar Creek are quite challenging to navigate but the pirates had the advantage because of their experience with them and accurate charts.
What You Can Do on Adams Key
The island has shaded pavilions for picnics, barbeque grills, and docking facilities to park your boat. There are also toilet facilities available. As mentioned before, the island is day-use only and is open from dawn until dusk. You can have a picnic or take a hike on its short trail.
Of course getting to Adams Key can be only done by boat as with other islands in the area but experts warn that it can be quite challenging. They recommend small boats less than 36 feet in length that can handle depths of no more than 3 feet depth as the waters surrounding the island are quite shallow. It is also reported that currents running through Caesar Creek can be rather strong. However, there are good navigational markers to help guide you to good anchorage for your vessel and get you safely to Adams Key so that you can take in its natural charm and beauty.