BOWE CONCH HOUSE (monthly rental): The Bowe Conch House has evolved within the Thomas family, Conchs, born and raised in Key West, for more than 4 generations. Prior to buying the house in the 1930's for $2,500, George and Ethel Bowe-Thomas lived across the street paying $3.00 per month for rent! When the opportunity arose to own her own house, Ethel asked George how much money he had to assist in the effort. He replied, "Woman, you always raise your basket higher than you can reach." She told him to give her what he had and she would take care of the rest.
She did just that. To purchase their first house, Ethel continued to work as a cook for Father Marion of The Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church. George worked as a pipe fitter on ships in the Naval yard including the famous USS Bushnell; he also worked as a laborer on the Seven Mile Bridge.
Ethel planted the beautifully flamboyant poinciana tree in the backyard more than 80 years ago. Her husband said he was thrilled at the prospect of having a shade tree to sleep under when he grew old.
It puzzled George that Ethel raised chickens but didn't want to eat them, yet he built a chicken coop to protect the biddies from the cats. "Miss Ethel" continued to order biddies from the Sears Roebuck catalog! Yes, the baby chickens were mail ordered!
When their youngest daughter expressed a desire to attend college, George quipped in his usual chauvinistic manner, "I'm not wasting my money sending no girl to college"; nevertheless, when Ethel was alone with her daugher, she whispered, "You want to go to college?" "Yes" was the answer. "Then you'll go."
Thus the family has named this The Bowe Conch House, honoring Ethel as the positive catalyst who made it all happen and has, posthumously, maintained the house's legacy with the education of her children.
804 sq ft (main house)
Full size bed in separate cottage (addl $1000 to include cottage in rental plus addl cleaning fee)
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