Porgy Key

Aerial of Porgy Key. Photo taken by the Federal Government on October 7, 1987. From the Wright Langley Collection.

Porgy Key is a small island north of the upper Florida Keys in Biscayne National Park. It is in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

It is located in southern Biscayne Bay, just north of Old Rhodes Key and Totten Key, just south-east of the southern tip of Elliott Key, and in between Old Rhodes and Reid Keys. It is on the south side of Caesar Creek, the creek that separates Elliott and Old Rhodes Keys.

It was earlier known as Porgee Key. The Bache Coast Survey of 1861 shows Porgee Key. It is also spelt Porgee in a 1920 Smithsonian Institution study of Cerion snails.

Israel Lafayette Jones was born a slave in 1858 in Raleigh, N.C. In 1892 he gained his freedom and moved to South Florida in search of work. Before settling in Key Biscayne, he lived in Coconut Grove, where he married Mozelle Albury and had two sons whom he named regally King Arthur and Sir Lancelot. Both boys are believed to be the first black Americans born on Key Biscayne.

Lancelot Jones was born on a sailboat in the middle of Biscayne Bay in 1989. He lived on Porgy Key for all of his 99-year life. Both Sir Lancelot Jones and King Author Jones inherited their father’s citrus production to become the largest independent supplier of key limes in the country.

Lancelot launched a fishing guide business due to the proximity of the Cocolobo Cay Club, catering to wealthy elites, five presidents, countless senators and dignitaries, and industry leaders such as Harvey Firestone and Mark Honeywell fishing for elusive game fish.

Lancelot eventually sold his land to the National Park Service to ensure their protection. The National Park Service designated Biscayne National Monument, which later became Biscayne National Park.

For the price of a Key Lime Pie, Lancelot greeted guest and school groups and educated visitors about Porgy Key and its ecology. He lived all but the last two years of his life on Porgy Key.

A young Jones family poses in front of their home on their Porgy Key home (Photos courtesy of Ranger Gary Bremen of Biscayne National Park).