The Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower

In 1929, a fish lodge owner was fed up with mosquito problems in the Lower Keys in Florida. So he decided to fight the bugs by bringing in their predator: bats.

But his cleverly hatched plan had a flaw:

In 1929 frustrated local businessman Richter Clyde Perky decided the time had come to rid his holiday resort of mosquitoes and the threat of both malaria and commercial failure.

His idea was to invest in a structure called a Bat Tower, the invention of a Texan ‘Bat Researcher’ by the name of Dr. Campbell who believed that the towers would provide an attractive home for bats, well-known gobblers of mosquitoes.

The plans in place, Mr Perky installed the huge wooden Bat Tower at great cost, shipped in hundreds of bats from Texas and Cuba and put the Champagne on ice. As soon as the bats were released they flew away, never to return.

The charming Bat Tower, minus the resort it was meant to save, can still be seen and photographed at mile marker 17 of Lower Sugarloaf Key. Watch out for the mosquitoes.

Read about this and other equally fascinating unfinished or abandoned structures in Florida here: Link - Thanks David!


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