About Our Inn

Inn History

The Mermaid & The Alligator sits regally on Truman Avenue treasuring the stories of bygone eras. Norvin G. Maloney, a young, successful lawyer and city attorney, built the home in 1904.  It was one of the grandest homes built at the time, and praised for the wide verandas built to take advantage of the eastern trade winds.

The Maloney family was prominent in the Key West community and it was Norvin’s grandfather, William C. Maloney Sr. (1813-1884), a pioneer and innovator, who settled his family in Key West.  William Maloney served as a US Marshall, became a lawyer, and served as a clerk to Asa Tift (a well known merchant and wreaker who built the notorious Hemingway house).

Norvin’s sister, Ida Elizabeth Maloney von Paulsen, like her brother, was a notable figure in the Keys community and served as the first woman airport manager in the country.  She managed the small Key West airport in 1934, much to the chagrin of some male pilots.

Possessing over 100 years of stories, the house has served not only as a private home, where it was foreclosed on by one owner, and fought over in a divorce settlement by another, but it also has acted as a boarding house, apartment building, and, eventually, a B&B.  The house boasts an enviable front yard, thanks to the1909 hurricane, which blew the house back from its street-side foundation. The previous owners, Dean Carlson & Paul Hayes, lovingly restored it to its pre-hurricane grandeur, thus preserving its wonderful "old house" personality.


Our Inn Today


Today, the house has been revived to show off its full glory.  Dean and Paul were instrumental in treating the house to the period ornamentation they feel it deserved.  The Victorian home still retains many of its original features, like the Dade County Pine floors, the attractive staircase and the elegant pocket doors between the living and dining rooms.  Original windows now have Victorian style interior trim and the overhead sprinkler is covered by attractive crown moldings and faux Victorian-style pillars.

The home is an eclectic mixture of furniture and art.  Each room resonates its own unique character; offering sophistication, old world charm, and modern convenience.  The interior is adorned with unique art from the various places that Dean and Paul visited. The home boasts art from Cuba, Costa Rica, Hawaii, numerous Mediterranean countries, and more.

The clientele is an intriguing mix of all ages, gay & straight, here to celebrate an important occasion or just to get away. They come from all over the world.  Friendships have formed meeting for the first time at breakfast or over wine, often discovering how small the world really is.

At The Mermaid & The Alligator memories are made. Guests are treated to an experience they will always treasure.  Beyond just the recommendations, it is helping the guests experience the wonder and beauty of Key West.  The Mermaid & The Alligator welcomes you, so come and share.