Joseph 'Bum' Farto's Desk – Key West, Florida - Atlas Obscura

Joseph 'Bum' Farto's Desk

The former desk of Fire Chief Joseph "Bum" Farto is all that remains after his mysterious disappearance following a drug conviction.  

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Legendary Key West fire chief Joseph “Bum” Farto disappeared mysteriously in 1976 while awaiting sentencing for drug trafficking and became known as the Jimmy Hoffa of Key West.

Some locals believe he escaped to Central America, while others believe he was kidnapped and killed by members of a drug cartel. Jimmy Buffett sang about his disappearance and helped popularize the question, “Where is Bum Farto?”

While no knows for sure, his desk, cigar ashtray, telephone, chief hat, and uniforms are all on display at the Key West Firehouse Museum. Some people believe his ghost also resides inside. 

Know Before You Go

The museum is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is just $10. Lots of great artifacts and history are found throughout the building that is also a former firehouse complete with a pole.

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