General

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.

Available departures

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TripAdvisor® Traveler Reviews

  • "Basically, it's Robert the Doll"

    Reviewed 22 September 2018

    Three spots is probably an optimistic rating for this museum. The high point, and focal point, of the place is Robert the Doll. If you're into the paranormal and want a good tingly feeling, go see...

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  • "Talk to Robert!"

    Reviewed 16 September 2018

    Saw Robert The Doll (again). As my friend and I were standing at Robert’s case, my friend talked with him. I stood there looking at Robert, I said nothing. Suddenly, my arm started burning. I looked...

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  • "Quite an eclectic collection"

    Reviewed 05 September 2018

    Having pleasantly visited the West Martello Tower and Botanical Garden on Tuesday of the week we were in Key West, we decided to visit the East Martello Tower and Museum the following day. What fun...

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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