Ragged Keys are small islands north of the Upper Keys in Florida. They are located in Biscayne Bay, just north of Sands Key.
Earlier names for these islands were “Pollock Island “, “Laurence Island”, “Los Paradisos”, “Mascaras”, “Mucaras”, “Mucasas”, ” Knox Island ” and “Soldiers Island”.
Bernard Romans, who visited these keys in 1774, wrote that these were “Seven rocks called Mascaras”, which he said had been “Ill copied on English charts as Mucares”.
The northernmost of these islands, Ragged Key #1 has been inhabited in the past. The remains of an old wooden dock are in hazardous condition. The deteriorated concrete wall encircles majority of the island. The remains of previous development are concrete pillars and what used to be a cistern and looks like a broken concrete tank.
References… Juan de Liguera chart (1742) shows Mascaras (SP. – masks) Alaña chart (1743) also shows Mascaras. 1733 Plate Fleet wreck chart shows Mucasas. William Roberts, in his First Discovery and Natural History of Florida (1763) uses Mucaras. DeBrahm (1772) named each of these keys separately, North to South as follows: Los Paradizos, Soldiers, Knox, and Pollock. The 1861 Bache Coast Survey so names these keys. Bernard Romans, who visited these keys in 1774, wrote that these were “Seven rocks called Mascaras,” which he said had been ”Ill copied on English charts as Mucares.”
Historical names include Knox Island, Laurence Island, Los Paradisos, Mascaras, Mucaras, Mucasas, Pollock Island and Soldiers Island.