Homestead - South Dade

Cold War, cold beer, cold blooded: Fundraisers tour abandoned missile base

Bob Freer looks at Godzilla the Alligator at a fundraising event for the Nike Hercules military base in Everglades National Park on Saturday, February 25, 2017.
Bob Freer looks at Godzilla the Alligator at a fundraising event for the Nike Hercules military base in Everglades National Park on Saturday, February 25, 2017. rkoltun@miamiherald.com

History buffs and animal enthusiasts gathered in the Everglades for a fundraiser tour that snaked through an abandoned military base and ended with a wildlife demonstration.

The tagline for Saturday’s event was Cold War, cold beer, cold blooded, a nod to the history of the Nike Hercules base the group toured.

The base, known as one of the best preserved relics of the Cold War, was built in 1964, just two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis and was one of four sites in the Nike Hercules missile system. After it was decommissioned in 1979, it largely fell into disrepair. In 2004, the 22 buildings that make up the site, including three missile barns, a missile assembly building, a guard dog kennel and barracks, were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

After the bus tour, reptile wranglers showed off a tegu, an alligator, snakes and a tortoise, among other creatures.

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