First called Glenn Key and later Perkey Key after Richter Perky, builder of the famous Sugarloaf Bat Tower.......Sugarloaf Key, it has been said, derives it's name from the shape of nearby Indian Mounds. Most people agree, however, that the name comes from sugarloaf pineapples that were once grown here.
Sometime between 1905 and 1912, probably in 1910, the buildings that house Mangrove Mama's were built. They were originally constructed as a rail stop and station agents residence for Flaglers overseas railroad.
What took Henry Flagler fifty million dollars of his own money and seven years to build, took only hours for the labor day hurricane of 1935 to destroy. After much haggling it was finally decided that a road and ferry system would be built roughly following the path of the former railroad.
With the highway came the need for gasoline, groceries, and a place to relax a bit during a long road trip through the Keys. Captain Eddie took care of it all for decades.
Years later Terry Bell, a farmer from Tennessee, would run the place during the winter months after harvesting his crops. The place was given the name Mangrove Mamas, not by Terry but by the locals. It turns out that the Mangrove Mama, Terry's boat which sat out front, was the only thing there to identify the place.
Mangrove Mamas ca 1960
Not much has changed here really. We're still an oasis for those traveling through, as well as a treasured watering hole for the locals. Here at Mangrove Mama's, good food, good drinks and good company never seem to go out of style. So join us under the banana trees and coconut palms and swap a couple stories of your own!