Construction began in 1862 by the U.S. Army on this Civil War Fort and Tower in order to provide extra protection for Key West and defend against the possibility of a Confederate sea assault.

While Key West remained a Union-controlled island during the Civil War, the majority of Key West citizens supported the Confederacy.  With such a rift, it is perhaps surprising that no battles took place on or around the island.  Having no use for the Fort once the war was drawing to a close, Fort East Martello was abandoned in its unfinished state by the Army.

In 1950, the Key West Art & Historical Society, with its own army of volunteers, cleared away years of debris and dust to open Fort East Martello as its first museum.  With continued community support, the Society restored this national landmark in accordance with its original 1860s design.  Today, visitors can explore the preserved battlement’s collection of relics from the Civil War, learn about the wrecking and cigar-manufacturing industries which shaped the Florida Keys, view the unique folk art of Mario Sanchez and the imaginative metal sculptures of Stanley Papio, as well as meet the Ghosts of East Martello, including the infamous Robert the Doll.

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348 Reviews

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TripAdvisor® Traveler Reviews

  • "Best reason to stop in keys"

    Reviewed 28 October 2017

    This was my first stop in key West, this fort is the home of Robert the Haunted Doll !!!! My wife was very creeped out I thought it was Awesome, your supposed to ask Robert for permition to take his...

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  • "Creepy....but informative!"

    Reviewed 26 August 2017

    We visited the museum as one of the stops on the Ghosts and Gravestones tour. We learned a little about the history of Fort East Martello. The fort was constructed during the Civil War but was never...

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  • "Part of the ghost tour"

    Reviewed 26 August 2017

    We did this as part of the ghost tour. We saw Robert the Doll. There are interesting stories in regards to this doll. They also have speak about a bizarre story of an old X-ray tech that fell in love...

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3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd.

Key West, FL 33040.  

Phone: (305) 296-3913  

Open daily from 9:30AM – 4:30PM, Closed Christmas