Marker text: EDUARDO H. GATO HOUSE
This house, with its elaborate Queen Anne style detailing, was built c. 1894 by E. H. Gato, Sr. (1847-1926). The Gato family was one of Key West's most prominent families, and three generations of the family lived here until 1951. Eduardo H. Gato was a Cuban patriot who helped finance Cuba's revolutionary leaders including Jose mart, who fought for freedom from Spain. Gato came to Key West in 1874. He was instrumental in Key West's evolution from a small fishing town to one of Florida's wealthiest cities through his development of the Cuban tobacco industry. he built Key West's foremost cigar factory, where millions of cigars, using tobacco imported from Cuba, were hand rolled and boxed for shipment worldwide. In 1917, he built the first fireproof cigar factory on Simonton Street and constructed a nearby "city" of fram cigar workers' cottages, the Barrio de Gato, or Gatoville. Gato was president of the E. H. Gato Cigar Co.; vice-president of the Key West Bank; and proprietor of the Key West Street Car, a horse-drawn system. Eduardo H. Gato Jr. (1874-1948) served as vice-president of the E. H. Gato Cigar Company and oversaw the extensive Gato real estate holdings.
A Florida Heritage Site
Sponsored by the Santiago Family and the Florida Department of State, 2013