Southern FL The "Labor Day Hurricane," Sept 1935

Mass Burial of Hurricane Victims Cremation of the bodies, Southern Florida Hurricane

By Associated Press.
Areas hardest hit in the Florida hurricane, which took an estimated death toll of from 400 to 500:
Tavernier, Plantation Key -- Red Cross reports at least 100 killed. Twelve to 15 houses left standing in town of 400.
Matecumbe Key -- Two war veterans' construction camps demolished. Many crushed in collapse of hotel used as hospital. Washington relief officials estimate 150 veterans killed. Rescue train wrecked; crew saved.
Rock Harbor -- Meager dispatches report 75 or more dead.
Key West -- Associated Press corresondent, on aerial survey, finds railway to Florida mainland twisted and broken; miles of track lifted from roadbed. Trees flattened on crushed houses.
Vaca Keys -- Ferry station wrecked.
Isla Morada -- Station master estimates several hundred dead; only 25 residents saved. Island housed 250 fishermen and families. Estimates of dead may include veterans on lower Matecumbe, nearby, railway officials believe.
Clearwater -- WAYNE OLIVER, managing editor of Clearwater Sun, on survey to Tampa, lists damage in that area chiefly to crops.
Cedar Key -- Island of 1200 population, 90 miles north of St. Petersburg, awaits storm. Buildings mostly old, of flimsy wood. Evacuation started.
St. Petersburg -- Tide rises, sea heavy, as storm swerves up west coast. Property damage reported "considerable." Messages say none believed dead, but "have no knowledge of conditions at Clearwater and Tarpon Springs."
Miami -- "All down the keys isolated frame houses have been crushed," reports Associated Press correspondent after flight over area. "About them there is no sign of life."
Cedar Key -- Most of 1200 in village connected by single strand to mainland huddle in school and other buildings as high winds blow; craft shattered; no injuries reported.
Sarasota -- Buildings unroofed, communication lines cripples but no loss of life. Beach cottages hardest hit.
Bradenton -- Heavy property and crop damage, power lines down, but no lives reported lost.
Long Key -- Every building demolished, but 14 residents of this fishing resort escaped deaths says message to Jacksonville telephone official.
Greenville -- Heavy rain and high wind. No loss of life.
Tampa -- Sixty-five wind uproots trees. Some roofs torn, windows broken. High tide subsiding after washing out part of bayshore drive. Three naval destroyers on training cruise held in port.

The Galveston Daily News Texas 1935-09-05
(Transcriber's Note -- One source I found stated the total death toll at 423 victims. The Weather Bureau recognizes the total at 408 victims.)


1935 Labor Day Hurricane

This was a horrific event that the Keys will always remember. You can read more about this disaster at