Famous People in the Industry
Geiger – A Key West wrecker for over 40 years, Geiger
proved to be a very skilled captain.
Between 1835 and 1876 he was mentioned in fifty-seven
wrecking court cases. These
are merely a portion of the total wrecks he was involved in, but
they exhibit his skill not only as a seaman but also a salvager.
Prosperous and well-liked, his house (the present day
Audubon House) was the site of many of Key West’s brightest
Tift – Tift was a
famous Key West wrecker and merchantman, who began his career by
purchasing the Naval warehouses at present-day Mallory Square,
following the departure of Commodore David Porter and the
anti-piracy squadron. He
used them for salvage storage and made one into Key West’s first
icehouse. He is best known for his salvage of the Isaac Allerton,
which was the largest salvage operation ever undertaken in the Keys.
Working as the wrecking captain on this wrecked yielded him
$50,000 for him and his crew. Asa Tift also designed the present day Hemingway House
in the 1870’s.
James Webb – Webb was appointed as the first judge of the
District Court of the United States for the Southern District of
Florida and served from 1828 to 1839.
This court was set up to specifically to regulate the
wrecking industry. It
issued licenses to wreckers and the salvage awards had to be settled
by the court.
Marvin – Marvin succeeded
Judge James Webb, first as a territorial judge until 1845 and then as
a district judge from 1847 to 1863.
He is most noted for penning the respected work on salvage law
entitled “A Treatise on the Law of Wreck and Salvage”.
Vessels and Equipment
American Lighthouse System
Key and Jacob Housman
People in the Industry