A Brief History of the Curry Mansion

Front view of the Georgian revival mansion. Click for larger. On an evening in 1973, Edith and Al Amsterdam docked their yacht in Key West’s harbor and took a stroll along Caroline Street. It was there Edith spied a wedding-cake white mansion aglow with the light of its crystal chandeliers. It was a most fortuitous day for the Amsterdam’s and the future of Key West, as a “For Sale” sign was hanging in the yard.

Over a century earlier a penniless youth sailed from the Bahamas to Key West. It was 1837, and the island was occupied mostly by fishermen and wreckers. He found work as a clerk and after what can only be called a phenomenally successful career that spanned more than forty years, he had created an empire that encompassed merchandising, wrecking and shipbuilding. William Curry had arrived. He is considered to be the first self-made millionaire in the State of Florida. William built his home in 1869, on the site the family had homesteaded since 1855. In 1901, his son Milton, a partner in the William Curry and Sons Company, purchased the home from the heirs and demolished almost all but the cook house to construct the elaborate Georgian Revival mansion that stands on the property today. All that remains are the brick chimney and tiled hearth that once contained the wood-burning stove. Most accounts agree it was in this kitchen that the heretofore unidentified “Aunt Sally” created the Key West Pie. We now have reason to believe that she was Sarah Jane Lowe, wife of William’s oldest son Charles.

In 1920, the house passed from the Curry family. It was owned by two other families before the Amsterdam’s rescued it in 1973. The once beautiful structure with its carved Birdseye maple throughout the interior had fallen on hard times and the years of neglect had taken its toll.

The saving grace was that the house had been constructed of Dade County Pine. This slow-growing variety with a high content of resinous heart wood made the species rigid and strong, accounting for its inherent resistance to rot and insects.

Fully intending it as their private home, the Amsterdam’s began the arduous task of rehabilitation and restoration, but reality and skyrocketing real estate taxes forced them to look at other options. The home was turned into bed and breakfast in 1988 and has been operating continuously since.  The venture has proved to be as successful as William Curry’s extraordinary career.

The kindness and geniality of William Curry remained alive and thriving under the guidance of Edith Amsterdam, who  expertly restored and lovingly maintained one of Key West’s most important buildings. Her love and care of the historic landmark has given Key West and its visitors from around the globe the opportunity to experience a rare look into the past.

Policies

  • All guests and visitors must check-in with the front desk upon arrival. Rates are based on two (2) adults per room.

  • Occupancy of more than three (3) adults in any room is not permitted. An additional fee of $50.00 per night will be added for an approved third adult.

  • Abuse of this policy is considered “defrauding an innkeeper” (Florida Statue 509.151) and may be prosecuted as a felony for charges over $300.00.

  • Management reserves the right to enter rooms at any time.

  • Please understand that any damages to the property, incurred by yourself or your guests will be your responsibility.

  • Please also understand that all rooms are non-smoking; violation of this policy may result in a room recovery fee of $250.00.

  • Select special events are subject to more restrictions per signed contract for event. Travel agents making a reservation for a client will receive a 10% commission upon invoice; exception: Black-out dates.

  • Please note that during Poker Run, Fantasy Fest, and New Years we do require a minimum night stay, a contract to be signed and payment for your reservation in full. If this is required we will contact you.

If you have any other questions, please contact us

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Pets

 Small dogs (under 20 lbs.) are welcome at the inn, but like small children they must never be left unattended. There will be a $10/day fee that may be given directly to the housekeeper.

The Front Desk has an up-to-date list of pooch-friendly restaurants.

Daily Hot Breakfast & Happy Hour

Join us for a daily, hot, and made-to-order delicious poolside breakfast. We also encourage you to enjoy our Happy Hour every evening featuring an open bar and live music and entertainment.

Cancellation Policy

If a reservation is cancelled within 14 days of arrival, the deposit will be kept in full. Any cancellation between time of booking and 14 days prior to arrival carries a $50 processing fee.

Deposits for groups are nonrefundable. Deposits for Poker Run, Fantasy Fest, and New Years are nonrefundable.