News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2014
Media Contact:
Cathy Guerra

Free lecture at The Deering Estate at Cutler: "Hidden Histories of the Dry Tortugas"

(MIAMI, April 14, 2014) – In partnership with the Archaeological Society of Southern Florida, the Deering Estate at Cutler presents a free lecture on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm. Lectures are held in the Visitor Center Auditorium at the Deering Estate at Cutler located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Topic: “Hidden Histories of the Dry Tortugas”
Presenter: Sarah Nohe
Visitor Center Theatre; FREE & open to the public.

Dry Tortugas National Park is located on a remote island off of Key West and is actually located inside Fort Jefferson, a massive but unfinished fortress, which sits on Garden Key.  Although much of the military and architectural history of Fort Jefferson is well-documented, there are some interesting details that have not been the subject of any study. People have been compelled to leave messages on the walls of the fort using a variety of materials.  These inscriptions span the first few decades of the 20th century, a time when the fort was not being officially utilized.  Upcoming renovations to preserve and stabilize the fort’s overall architectural integrity put these smaller details at risk.   The Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) partnered with the National Park Service to conceive of a long term preservation solution for this historic graffiti and carried out a photographic documentation of the at-risk area.  Not only did the project save this unique and fragile resource, but it unlocked a hidden history: The graffiti dates from the 1880’s to the present day, and represents the only records of the fort being used during periods of its abandonment.  The concentration of graffiti that was recorded is in an off-limits wood lined magazine within the fort’s walls. Many are written in chalk, and more of the dominant inscriptions are written in Spanish. These early Spanish inscriptions have presumably been left by Cuban fishermen during the era of the Cuban Independence.

This month’s speaker, Sarah Nohe, received her Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and Anthropology from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and, after spending some time in the NYC art world, went back for a Master’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Sarah’s research focuses on ways public art is used to create new cultural meanings or, from an archaeological standpoint, provide new information. She currently works for the Southeast Region of Florida Public Archaeology Network, a state-funded organization that promotes and facilitates the conservation, study and public understanding of Florida’s archaeological heritage.

About the Deering Estate at Cutler
The Deering Estate at Cutler, a Miami-Dade County Park, is located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue in Miami. This 444-acre natural and archeological preserve and historic site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a center for education, culture and recreation. Historic house tours are offered daily at 10:30 am & 3:00 pm. Natural areas tours are offered daily at 12:30 pm (October – May). EcoAdventure Tours are also offered throughout the year for an additional fee. For more information on the Deering Estate's educational and cultural programs, please visit

About the Archaeological Society of Southern Florida
The Archaeological Society of Southern Florida (ASSF) was established in 1949. The ASSF operates as a non-profit, volunteer organization which acts as a support mechanism for the office of the Miami-Dade County Archaeologist, serves as a focal point for local archaeology enthusiasts and professionals in the field, and helps to promote knowledge and appreciation of native archaeological and historical sites in the South Florida area.