The Audubon House in Key West

By: Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources

The famed ornithologist spent time in Key West, St. Augustine and Flagler Beach.

John James Audubon (Haiti-born Jean-Jacques Audubon, 1785-1851) was a famous French-American ornithologist (a branch of zoology that studies birds), naturalist and artist.

In 1832, Audubon is known to have visited Key West, taking cuttings from the plants growing on the property, now known as the Audubon House Museum & Tropical Gardens at 205 Whitehead Street. His painting of the white-crowned pigeon features the Geiger tree, which still can be found in the front yard of the house.

During several trips to Florida (including a short stay at St. Augustine and John Bulow’s Plantation in present-day Flagler County), Audubon discovered and depicted 52 new types of birds. His letters home and other published writings also recorded the scenery, settlements and colorful inhabitants of Florida. Some of these descriptions were published in his Ornithological Biography (1831-49).     
The original owner, John Geiger, built his house around 1850. The “Audubon House” Museum & Tropical Gardens was restored in 1960 by Key West natives Mitchell and Frances Wolfson.

More By Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources


You are signed in as:null
No comments yet