In 1836, Indian Key became the first county seat for Dade County. At that time, this tiny island was the site of a lucrative business-salvaging cargo from shipwrecks in the Florida Keys. Accessible only by boat, visitors come here to swim, sunbathe, and hike.
In 1840 Chakaika, leader of the "Spanish Indians," led a raid on the settlement at Indian Key that burned all but one building of this prosperous town, then the county seat of Monroe County. Oral traditions of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida assert that some members of their tribe are descendents of Chakaika's group. The Indian Key town ruins are on display, along with interpretive panels of the town's history.