Benjamin Curry Jr. purchased an acre of land on which to construct this home in 1855. He was the brother to Florida’s first millionaire, William Curry. The house remains in Benjamin’s family to this day. The home features the original doors, floors, windows, and framework from when the home was originally constructed. In the backyard, the 150 year-old cistern and double door, four-seat out-house are still standing.
Like many homes in Key West, the family home began as a simple one room cottage at the rear of the property. As their finances and family grew, they built the two story structure with a deep front porch facing the street. They have since connected the one room cottage to the front house by a covered porch.
Benjamin Curry Jr.’s grandson, Benjamin Curry Moreno, or B. Curry Moreno as he was called, was one of the original city engineers. B. Curry was responsible for helping to establish the current infrastructure of Key West. Thanks to his efforts, we have the streets and sidewalks as they are today.
B. Curry Moreno married Rosina Zurhorst in 1917 after graduating from the University of Georgia and returning to Key West. They had one child, a daughter Laura who was known as Betty. Betty was one of the artists that originally designed the Mallory Square renovation. Betty also established the history department in the Monroe County library.
Betty married Toby Bruce, a man brought to Key West originally by Ernest and Paulina Hemingway. Toby grew up in the same town as Paulina and was a friend of theirs. Ernest brought him to Key West to renovate his newly purchased home on the 900 block of Whitehead Street. Toby ended up meeting Betty and settled in Key West.
Toby and Betty were friends with the Hemingways for the rest of their lives. They traveled together, enjoyed fishing trips and would often entertain at each other’s homes. Toby was often referred to as “Hemingway’s man Friday.” At Ernest’s funeral, Toby was one of the pall bearers.