Party like it's 1839
It's one of life's delicious ironies that the Dade County seat was established to provide a legal loophole for a dishonest businessman. The year was 1836, the site of the new county seat was Indian Key, and the scoundrel was Jacob Housman. The maneuver allowed Housman to break away from Key West's legal establishment, continually harassing him about his shady wrecking business, and move operations north to a deserted eleven-acre island off Mile Marker 78. Housman put in a post office and a hotel, and eventually his little colony included several dozen souls. The whole lot was almost wiped out by an invasion of hostile Seminole Indians in 1840 (Housman escaped, but died a year later, crushed between two ships). Come celebrate Indian Key's notorious history this weekend during its annual festival: Hop a boat at Robbie's Marina (MM 77.5, bayside) and spend the day touring the ruins, where costumed characters go about the business of daily life as it once might have been. The post office even creates its own stamp, valid for just two days, so you can send mail. Boats leave regularly from Robbie's beginning at 8:45 a.m. and running through 3:00 p.m. today and tomorrow. Tickets cost $8 for adults; $4 for kids. Call 305-664-2540 for info. --Gail Shepperd
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Swim fans gather
Your mother always told you it was unhealthy to walk around in a wet bathing suit. However if you're participating in the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships, sponsored by Nadadores of South Florida, you might have good reason not to take your Speedo off for the next five days. Competitions include water polo, diving, and swimming in a pool or the ocean. You might want to throw on a cover-up for the social events. But then again, you're in Florida, so why bother? Get soggy today through Monday, October 11, at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex (501 Seabreeze Blvd). Registration for competitors is $60 for one sport and $20 for any thereafter; watching is free. Call 954-828-4580. --Nina Korman