In 1886 an entire village for cigar makers was developed in one corner of Old Town Key West. The Pohalski and Co. cigar factory was located at the corner of White and Truman. Cottages lined the nearby streets and lanes as was typical of the other parts of town where other cigar factories were located. The cigar maker cottages were simple in design and construction and provided basic shelter to factory workers. In his book The Streets of Key West, J. Willis Burke writes about Pohalski Village: "On the other side, off the western [should be eastern] side of the cemetery are Havana Street and Pohalski Avenue, byways that echo the area's once thriving cigar-making industry.... In the late 1880s, cigar magnate Pincus Pohalski, a transplant from Texas built a factory and then established an entire village within this block." Smaller lanes in the village include Gerome Avenue which is a City of Key West walking lane about eight feet wide and nearby Nichols Avenue which is only about ten feet wide and runs perpendicular to Pohalski Lane the rear through street west of White Street. Division Street at the south is now known as Truman Avenue. Olivia Street is the terminus one block north of White. At the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th the people who lived in these homes probably did not have horses let alone cars. The houses were jumbled together on small lots accessed via small lanes called Avenues.
I looked through the old shoebox and found a couple of photos of the block which show the factory and workers, the same corner during a Mother's Day Parade in 1928, the razing of the Standard Oil Gas Station in 1964. Today a Chrevon Gas Station is located in the same spot. Little Nichols Avenue is located just behind the Chevron Station. Pholhaski Lane is located adjacent to the gas station. A group of former cigar cottages on Olivia Street are now combined into the Lionsgate Condominiums.
912 White Street is a remnant of the former Pohalski village which has been renovated and expanded. The black and white photo above was taken in 1965. The color photo is very recent and shows the recent addition where the master bedroom and bath are now located.
The listing Realtor describes the modern day 912 White Street this way:
"Citrus Cottage - your perfectly renovated and beautifully furnished Key West Getaway boasts a large upstairs Master suite and 2 bedrooms down with a Jack and Jill bath between. A new kitchen and the living area open to the deck and heated pool. Also a small shed with a half-bath and outdoor shower."
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a private showing of this not so little three bedroom cottage with a pool in Old Town Key West offered at $876,000. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.