Peary Court Cemetery
Backstory and Context
The Peary Court Cemetery, located within the Key West, Florida’s Historic District, comprises approximately one acre of land. Associated with the U.S. Army, records indicate the first interment was in July of 1835. The U.S. Army Barracks at Key West, established in 1831, was abandoned in December, 1835 because of the yellow fever epidemic. The Army troops re-occupied the barracks from 1862 to 1880. During that time men continued to be stricken and die from yellow fever and typhoid fever. These men were buried in the cemetery as were the wives and children of soldiers stationed at the post. Records indicated that burials continued into the 1920s. In 1927, 436 bodies were removed and transferred to the military cemetery at Fort Barrancas, Pensacola, Florida. In 1949 the cemetery transferred from Army to Navy control. In 1990, archaeological excavations conducted at Peary Court to determine the extent of the cemetery and whether or not it had been completely moved revealed that the 1927 relocation efforts were incomplete and that some remains still existed within the property. In 1998 the cemetery was transferred to the City of Key West through the Historic Surplus Property Program. Today the property is maintained as an historic open space and cemetery.