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The Heart of the Florida Keys
Marathon is a progressive, family-oriented community that enjoys a beautiful natural environment and a resident population of ca. 12,000. Incorporated in 1999, the City of Marathon defined its boundaries as being “from the East end of the Seven Mile Bridge approximately Mile Marker (MM) 47 to the West end of Toms Harbors Bridge, approximately MM 60.” Being about 1 hour from Key West and Key Largo (at the mid-point of the Keys), Marathon is the Heart of the Florida Keys.
The islands of Marathon are Boot Key, Knight Key, Hog Key, Vaca Key, Stirrup Key, Crawl and Little Crawl Key, East and West Sister’s Island, Deer Key and Fat Deer Key, Long Pint Key and Grassy Key. Given the number of islands, it is not surprising that Marathon has more waterways and canals than any other area of the Keys, and therefore more waterfront properties.
These islands are steeped with the rich Florida history of Henry Flagler’s railroad days. The name Marathon came about by the railroad workers who were working night and day to complete the railway. Due to the unrelenting pace and struggle to complete the project, the popular exclamation, “This is getting to be a real Marathon”, is how the name originated. Vaca Key and Knight Key were actual railroad stations for the Overseas Railroad, as was the now named Marathon. Before the railroad, the settlers here were farmers, wreckers and fisherman.
While Marathon may have begun as a tiny fishing village, however, it has now become the commercial hub of the Middle Keys. A bustling town by Keys standards, City now offers shopping malls, a country club, a golf-course, hotels, motels, and restaurants ranging from elegant to fast-food.
But Marathon still also maintains its claim to some of the best fishing in the world, with the City hosting tournaments throughout the year. Great fishing, along with beautiful beaches, warm weather and residents proud to call Marathon home are some of the reasons many visitors from all over the world choose to spend time in Marathon, the Heart of the Florida Keys.
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