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Florida history museum photo: Dry Tortugas / Loggerhead Key

Dry Tortugas (Loggerhead Key) Light House, Florida, ca 1880.

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Historical Museum Guide for Florida

A directory of Historical Museums in Florida, categorized by county.

Taking a trip to Florida?  A visit to these history museums and historic sites will allow you to soak up some local history and culture while you are there.  Visit a historical museum and gain insight into the history of your early Florida people and the way they lived.

Some history museums have virtual tours, histories, genealogy data and historic photos to view online!

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Florida History Museums

Alachua County

Archer Historical Society Railroad Museum  [3D Photos]

The railroad station was built prior to 1900.  It has been moved and restored as a museum featuring historical artifacts and items related to the history of Archer, Florida.  Located at the corner of Main and Magnolia Streets in Archer, FL.

Micanopy Historical Museum

 

Brevard County

Historical Landmarks in Brevard County

Indian River Historical Cruise

North Brevard Historical Museum   [Photo Tour]

The history museum features artifacts, antiques and documents related to the history of Brevard County, Florida.  Located at 301 S. Washington Avenue in Titusville, FL.

 

Broward County South Florida Railway Museum

A place to learn about and experience the history of railroading and it's impact on South Florida growth and progress.  Located at 1300 W. Hillsboro Beach Blvd in Deerfield Beach, FL.

 

Calhoun County Panhandler Pioneer Settlement

This living history museum features a collection of 18 historical buildings.  The buildings were moved from their original locations throughout Calhoun County and have been arranged on five acres to replicate an idyllic farm community.  Historic buildings include 3 log cabins, the McClellan house, a general store, blacksmith shop, firehouse, a Methodist Church and Doctor Dowling's Office.  Take a tour and take a step back in time to a simpler time.  Pioneer classes in blacksmithing, basket weaving, fireplace cooking, making jam and jelly, quilting, syrup making, woodstove cooking and more are ongoing throughout the year.  Building rentals are available for weddings and events.  Located inside Sam Atkins Park in Blountstown, FL.

 

Collier County

Collier County Naples Museum

Featuring a recreated Seminole War fort, 2 historic cottages a Seminole village, a working archaeology lab, and a 1910 steam locomotive, one can take a step back in time to earlier days in Collier County.  Located at 3301 Tamiami Trail in Naples, FL.

Everglades City Museum

Learn about the rich history of Everglades City and surrounding region.  105 West Broadway in Everglades City, Florida.

Immokalee Living History Museum

This 15 acre living history museum gives you and idea of what life on a Southwest Florida ranch was like in the early 1900s.  Located just off Main Street and Roberts Avenue West in Immokalee.

Naples Historical Society
Mission:
Preserving our History and Heritage for the Community and Future Generations to Enjoy.
We are the guardians of a rich and vibrant past. From the simple elegance of the Palm Cottage™ house museum (built in 1895) to the peaceful ambiance of The Norris Gardens, we offer Naples’ most unique historical experience. Take a step back in time strolling through one of our Gardens, like our Shade Garden, or by taking a Walking Tour of the Third Street Historic District, or just touring the Palm Cottage™ house museum…any tour will give you a glimpse into the fascinating history and heritage of Naples. Once you’ve experienced the charm and elegance of authentic Naples, we’re confident you’ll want join us in our mission.  Located at 137 12th Avenue in South Naples, FL.

Smallwood Store Ole Indian Trading Post and Historic Museum

 

Dade County

The Barnacle State Historic Site

Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Visitors will find railroad memorabilia, artifacts and other historical items and they will have a chance to ride in the cab of a train locomotive.  Located at 12450 S. W. 152nd Street in Miami, FL.

Historical Museum of Southern Florida

[Online Exhibits]  [Online Photos]

Focused on the history of Southern Florida, the museum brings history alive through exhibits, artifacts and it's huge collection of over 1 million photographs and prints.  The museum features a research archives.  Located at 101 W. Flagler Street in Miami, FL.

 

Duval County Rhoda L. Martin Cultural Heritage Center

[History of Rhoda L. Martin]

Visitors will learn about Mother Rhoda L. Martin, the founder of the Jacksonville Beach Colored School which is housed inside the walls of the Heritage Center.  Located at 376 4th Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach, FL.

 

Escambia County Dorr House

This 1871 Greek Revival home is owned and operated by the State of Florida through the University of West Florida, and supported in part by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the state of Florida.  Visitors may tour the home and enjoy the period furnishings.  Located at 311 South Adams Street in Pensacola, FL.

Historic Pensacola Village and The T. T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum

Pensacola Historical Museum

Housed inside the 1886 Arbona Building in downtown Pensacola, the museum is focused on the local history of Pensacola, FL.  Collections includes military exhibits, a maritime gallery, Native American artifacts and many historical items.  Located at 115 E. Zaragosa Street in Pensacola, Florida.

Ximenex-Fatio House  [History Timeline]

The house was built about 1798 by Andres Ximenez, a Spanish storekeeper.  Containing a brick oven, it holds the only original kitchen structure remaining in NE Florida.  In the 1820s the house was remodeled and used as a boarding house.  Today it has been restored to depict an early 19th century inn.  Located at 20 Aviles Street in St. Augustine, FL.

 

Flagler County

Florida Agricultural Museum

The museum was created to preserve the agricultural history of Florida.  In 1992, it was designated the Museum of Agriculture and Rural History of the State of Florida.  In 1997, the museum was moved to it's present home on 460 acres in Flagler County and is called the Florida Agricultural Museum.  The museum is active in preserving and conserving the agricultural past of Florida and  heritage livestock.  Visitors will enjoy an educational experience while learning about the agricultural history of the state of Florida.  Horseback riding is offered on some of the most beautiful trails in Florida as well.  Located at 7900 Old Kings Road in Palm Coast, Florida.

Hardee County Cracker Trail Museum and Village

The Cracker Trail Museum is focused on the history of the Florida Crackers who were early cowboys who were given the nickname "crackers" because of the cracking of whips as they drove the cattle to market.  The Cracker Trail Museum features over 4500 historical items including an original working blacksmith shop, a cracker house, post office and a 1914 Baldwin Locomotive.  Hardee County is known as "Bone Valley" due to the dinosaur bones found in the area.  Many of these are also on display in the museum.  Located inside Pioneer Park at the corner of State Road 64 West and Highway 17 South in Zolfo Springs, FL.

 

Hendry County Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum - Seminole Museum

Explore the history of the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida.

 

Hillsborough County

American Victory Mariners Memorial and Museum Ship

Ancient Native Village Living History Museum

Tampa Bay History Center

In this relatively new museum, visitors can learn about the history of the Tampa Bay area through exhibits and dioramas.  Inside the three story atrium, visitors can take a stroll through a 1920s cigar store, row up the Hillsborough River, experience a cattle drive and learn about early Florida exploration in a theater presentation.  Located at 801 Old Water Street in Tampa, FL.

 

Jackson County

Jackson County Historical Sites and Sidewalk Tour

Features a self-guided tour of the Marianna Historical District and the community of Greenwood. The tour features 17 historical sites which are significant in Marianna and 7 sites in Greenwood.  The historic sites include homes, churches, business establishments and cemeteries.  Tour guides are available at the Historic Russ House which houses the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.  Located at 4318 Lafayette Street in Marianna, FL.

Russ House

The 19th century Classical Revival style home of Joseph W. Russ is being restored and will be opened to the public in the future.  Located at 310 W. Lafayette Street in Marianna, FL.

 

Lake County Florida Carriage Museum and Resort

Located in Weirsdale, Florida, the museum houses over 170 European and American carriages with the diversity of the simplest American hand cart to the elegant European state carriage.

The Citrus Tower and History Museum

Known as one of Florida's first tourist attractions, the Citrus Tower is over 500 feet above sea level and has an enclosed observation deck where visitors can take in a breathtaking view of the rolling hills and lakes of Florida's ridge section.  Located on the highest hill in Florida at 141 N. Highway 27 in Clermont, FL.

Lady Lake Historical Society Museum

The museum is focused on the time period from 1833 to present.  Learn about the log cabin, Seminole Indians and the history of Lady Lake, Florida.  The museum is located directly behind the log cabin located on 441 in the center of the town of Lady Lake, FL.

Lake County Historical Museum

Housed inside the historic Lake County Courthouse, the museum is located on the first floor.  Explore interactive exhibits and learn about Lake County history from the saber-toothed tiger, indigenous peoples, Medal of Honor recipients, early life, industry and the amazing array of famous (and infamous) Lake County residents and visitors.  Located at 317 Main Street in Tavares, FL.

 

Lee County Southwest Florida Museum of History

The history museum is housed in an old railroad depot and located at 2300 Peck Street in Fort Myers, FL.  Features exhibits of Southwest Florida history.  Exhibits include Seminoles, Paleo, Calusa, Spanish explorers and the early settlers of the area.

 

Leon County

Florida Black Archives, Research Center and Museum

Housed in the old 1907 Carnegie Library on the Florida A & M Uinversity campus, the museum offers informative exhibits on the history of Africa and African Americans.  The Black Archives has been open since 1977 and contains historical documents and artifacts related to history of African Americans.   Location is the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Gamble Street on the campus of the Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, FL.

Knott House Museum

The beautiful home was built in 1843, serving as the home to attorney Thomas Hagner.  The house was used during the Civil War in 1865 as a temporary headquarters for the Union and in fact it is where the Emancipation Proclamation was announced by Brigadier General Edward McCook.  The home saw many occupants until it was inherited by the Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board in 1985.  The home was renovated and opened as a museum in 1992.  Guided tours are offered.  Located at 301 E. Park Avenue in Tallahassee FL.

Museum of Florida History

Focused on the history of Florida and it's cultures, the museum holds artifacts and exhibits devoted to the history of Florida.  Located in the R. A. Gray Building at 500 S. Bronough Street in Tallahassee, FL.

Mission San Luis

This living history village and National landmark takes visitors back in time to the days when Apalachee Indians Spaniards arriving to the area where drawn together.  Featuring both Apalachee and Spanish artifacts from this historic site, visitors will find a recreated community which includes an Apalachee Council House, the Spanish Deputy Governor's home, the friary and a church.  Located at 2100 W. Tennessee Street in Tallahassee, FL.

The Old Capitol Museum

The Tallahassee Automobile and Collectibles Museum

The museum features over 130 automobiles including antiques, horse drawn vehicles, and even original Batmobiles.  In addition, visitors will find many historic items of Americana.  Located at 6800 Mahan Drive in Tallahassee, FL.

Union Bank Museum

Built in 1841, this is the oldest bank building in Florida.  Today it houses the Florida A&M University Black Archives, Research Center and Museum.  Located at the corner of Apalachee Parkway and Calhoun Street in Tallahassee, FL.

 

Levy County

Cedar Key Museum State Park

 

Manatee County

Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez

Primarily housed inside the 1912 Cortez Schoolhouse, the museum is focused on the history of the Village of Cortez with special focus on it's maritime and fishing history.  Located at 4415 119th Street West in Cortez, FL.

Manatee County Agricultural Museum

Focus of the museum is on the agricultural history of Manatee County.  Exhibits include historical farm implements, tools, equipment and photographs which depict the historical significance of livestock, citrus, vegetable farming and commercial fishing in Manatee County.  Located at 1015 6th Street West in Palmetto, Florida.

Manatee Village Historical Park

Manatee Village features historical structures which have been restored from Manatee County's past.  Visitors will get a taste of what life was like when the county was first settled.  Historical buildings inside the park include the 1903 Wiggins General Store, Fogarty Boatworks, the 1912 Settlers House, the original 1860 wooden county courthouse, a 1908 schoolhouse, a 1887 Church, and a cow hunter's bunkhouse.  Visitors strolling through the park and it's historical structures will find themselves in an earlier day when there was no electricity or automobiles in Manatee County.  Located at 1404 Manatee Avenue East in Bradenton, FL.

Palmetto Historical Park

Palmetto Historical Park provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about the history of Palmetto and the north side of the Manatee River as they stroll through the complex of historical buildings.  Included are the 1914 Carnegie Library, an 1880 Post Office, a small schoolhouse, a 1910 cottage, the Cypress House and Heritage Chapel. 

  • Carnegie Library features a research library where visitors can do family and historical research.

  • The Cottage Museum features historical household items and furnishings along with collections of antique radios, sewing machines and the Jo Harrison Doll exhibit.

  • Cypress House Military Museum features a collection of historical military artifacts and recorded interviews with local WWII Veterans.

  • Heritage Chapel was built as a composite of three original churches in Palmetto, Florida.  The lovely structure is available for rental.  Call 941-723-4991 for rental information.

The Palmetto Historical Park is located at 515 10th Avenue West in Palmetto, Florida.

South Florida Museum

Focus of the South Florida Museum is on the natural and cultural history of South Florida.  Visitors will find large collections of scientific, historic and cultural objects which preserve a natural and social record for posterity.  Archaeological exhibits of Native American pottery and artifacts along with dinosaur bones and fossils from the ocean floor are featured.  More exhibits include medical history, maritime history, historical photos, an aquarium and planetarium.  Located at 201 10th St. W in Bradenton, FL.

 

Monroe County

Fort East Martello Museum and Gardens

Built during the Civil War, Fort East Martello was never used for it's intended purpose.  Serving as a museum today, it features large collections of historical documents and artifacts related to the history of Key West.  Included is a collection of military memorabilia.  Located at 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd. in Key West, Florida.

Fort Jefferson & Dry Tortugas National Park and Monument

Key West Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters Museum

Key West Shipwreck Historeum Museum

Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society Museum

Museum of Art and History at the Custom House

 

Nassau County Amelia Island Museum of History

Housed in the historic Nassau County Jail on Amelia Island, the museum features 4000 years of Florida history along with a great research library.

 

Okaloosa County Air Force Armament Museum

Dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of historical artifacts and memorabilia associated with Air Force Armament.  Exhibits include antique aircraft, bombs, missiles, rockets, bunker busters as used in Operation Desert Storm and more.  Located at 100 Museum Drive on Eglin AFT in Florida.

Baker Block Museum

Housed in an old 1908 General Store, the museum features a collection of historical documents, artifacts and a research library of early newspapers and genealogical material.  Located at 1307 Georgia Avenue in Baker, FL.

Destin History and Fishing Museum

Visitors to this museum will step back in time to the days when Destin was a fishing village.  On display, are fish of all kinds, antique fishing paraphernalia, an antique fishing boat, and historical photos of Destin settlers, boat captains, boats, beach scenes and more.  Located at 108 Stahlman Avenue in Destin, FL.

Heritage Park and Cultural Center

On FaceBook

Operated by the City of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the park features a complex of museums including the Indian Temple Mound Museum, the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, the Garnier Post Office Museum, the Fort Walton Temple Mound and the Civil War Exhibit building. These represent the history of the Fort Walton Beach area from prehistoric times to the 1950s.

See:

1. Indian Temple Mound Museum

2. Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum

3. Garnier Post Office Museum

4. Civil War Exhibit Building

The museum complex is located at 139 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE in Fort Walton Beach, FL.

Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida

Devoted to the collection and preservation of historical artifacts and items related to the history of NW  Florida, the museum is housed in what was originally the home of the Valparaiso State Bank.  Visitors will discover a research library and archives devoted to the local history of Oskaloosa and Walton Counties on the museum premises.  Located at 115 Westview Avenue in Valparaiso, FL.

Indian Temple Mound Museum and Fort Walton Temple Mound

On FaceBook

Features 12,000 years of Native American history through artifacts and exhibits.  The collection is considered the finest in the Southeastern US.    The prehistoric temple mound is located on the museum grounds.  It is reported to have been built between 800 and 1400 AD by the Mound Builders.  Visitors will also find exhibits and artifacts related to the early exploration of the area including pirates, European explorers, CW soldiers and early settlers. It is located inside the Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park and Cultural Center at 139 Miracle Strip Parkway SE in Fort Walton Beach, FL.

 

Orange County

The Maitland Historical Society offers the following 4 historical musuems to take you back in Maitland history:

1. Maitland Historical Museum

2. The Telephone Museum

    221 W. Packwood Avenue

    Maitland, FL 32751

3. Waterhouse Residence Museum

4. Waterhouse Carpentry Shop Museum

    820 Lake Lily Drive

    Maitland, FL 32751

Orange County Regional History Center

Housed inside the 1927 Orange County Courthouse of yesteryear, the museum offers local history as far back as 12,000 years ago when the Paleo-Indians roamed this area, through the history of citrus growing, and right into the 20th century space exploration.  Located at 65 East Central Blvd in Orlando, FL.

 

Osceola County

Museum of Military History

[Photo Archives]

The museum provides education and awareness about the American military experience through interactive exhibits, workshops, lectures, publications and outreach programs.  Visitors will learn about the American military heritage of all branches of the service and experience heroic accounts of bravery and sacrifice as told by those who fought for America's freedom.  Located at 5210 W. Irlo Bronson Highway in Kissimmee, Florida.

Osceola County Historical Museum / Osceola County Pioneer Village

The Pioneer Village features several late 19th century structures to delight visitors and depict life in the Kissimmee, Florida area when citrus was king and folks lived off the land.  Historical buildings on the grounds include: The 1889 Lanier "Cracker House"; a general store, a blacksmith shop; a one room schoolhouse and a citrus packing house.  Adjacent to Shingle Creek, is the Mary Kendall Steffee Nature Preserve where historical plants that were once used for medicinal purposes, dyes and cooking still thrive.  The Osceola County Historical Museum itself, features historical artifacts and exhibits related to history in Osceola County.  The museum also houses documents and records related to the history of Osceola County dating back to the mid 1800s.  Research is free to the public but it is best to schedule a time.  Call 407-396-8444 to schedule research time.  Located at 4155 W. Vine in St. Kissimmee, FL.

 

Palm Beach County

Flagler Museum

Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County Museum

[Palm Beach County History Online]

Operated by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, the museum is housed inside the restored 1916 Courthouse.  The museum holds permanent and rotating exhibits related to the history of Palm Beach County.  The Historical Society of Palm Beach County has extensive archives which is a valuable resource for researchers of family history.  Located at 300 N. Dixie Highway in Downtown West Palm Beach, Florida.

 

Pasco County

Florida Pioneer Museum and Village

The Florida Pioneer Museum is actually a complex of buildings which include a large steel building which holds farm machinery, tools and vehicles, the Overstreet House, Lacoochee one-room school, an 1878 church from Enterprise, and the Trilby Depot.  Focus is on the basic and simple values of our forefathers, the dignity of labor and the value of craftsmanship.  Located at 15602 Pioneer Museum Road in Dade City, FL.

 

Pinellas County

Heritage Village  [Virtual Tour]

Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History   [Photo Gallery]

 

Polk County Lake Wales Depot Museum and Cultural Center

The depot was constructed in 1928 and has served as a museum dedicated preserving and exhibiting the history of Lake Wales, Florida.  Located at 325 S. Scenic Highway in Lake Wales, FL.

 

Putnam County Interlachen Hall & Museum

The Historical Society of Interlachen, Florida operates a museum on the first floor of the old Interlachen Hall.  Interlachen hall was originally built in 1892 to replace the Town Hall.  More information about Interlachen Hall.  Located at 215 Atlantic Avenue in Interlachen, FL.

 

Santa Rosa County Bagdad Historic Village

Bagdad was once a thriving port which was well known for yellow lumber produced at the saw mill owned by Joseph Forsyth.  With the depression came depletion of natural resources and once-thriving lumber business was  gone.  Today, the village is being preserved and a museum is housed in the New Providence Missionary Baptist Church building.  Other buildings in the complex include a post office which is being restored, historic homes and the historic Bagdad Cemetery.  The museum complex is located at 4512 Forsyth Street and the museum is located on Church Street.

Santa Rosa Virtual Museum

 

Sarasota County

Historic Spanish Point

Historic Spanish Point is a fascinating 30-acre museum overlooking beautiful Little Sarasota Bay in Osprey, Sarasota County, Florida. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the site preserves and interprets 5,000 years of history.

Experience prehistory by stepping inside A Window to the Past; an archaeology exhibition about the gulf coast regions earliest inhabitants. Surround yourself on three sides by a 15 foot high prehistoric shell mound, the only place in the Unites States where this happens.

Explore Florida's pioneer life by touring a homestead house built in 1901, a citrus packing house, the charming Mary's Chapel and a pioneer cemetery. Reflect on the formal gardens created in the early 1900s by Mrs. Potter Palmer as part of her winter estate. Interact with a working maritime heritage boatyard and take seasonal excursions on the Magic, a reproduction of a 1906 motor launch.

Enjoy nature trails through native plant communities and stunning views of Little Sarasota Bay from large boardwalks. Relax in a dazzling Butterfly Garden which boasts blooms year-round. Bring a picnic lunch and dine under the graceful branches of a hundred year old Southern Magnolia.

The Visitors Center, in the restored 1920s era Osprey School, features a Museum Store, an Orientation Theatre, Meeting Rooms and Exhibit Gallery.  Located at 337 N. Tamiami Trail Osprey FL 34229.
 

Seminole County

Goldenrod Historical Society and Museum

[Goldenrod History]

The Goldenrod Station and Museum is housed inside the old Goldenrod Fire Station along with the Goldenrod Area Chamber of Commerce. The museum holds historical artifacts and items related to the history of the Goldenrod community which is an unincorporated community which sits in part of both Orange and Seminole Counties of Florida.  Located at 4755 Palmetto Avenue in Goldenrod, FL. 

Museum of Seminole County History

Focused on the history of Seminole County, the museum is housed in a 1926 building once known as "The County Home" or "Old Folks Home".  Today, the historic building serves as the county museum.  Featured exhibits include several rooms furnished in period furnishings and depicting early Sanford households, an early schoolroom, early country store, agricultural artifacts and other antiquities related to the history of Sanford.  Located at 300 Bush Blvd. in Sanford, Florida.

 

St. Johns County

Jacksonville Maritime Museum Society

St. Augustine Museum of Weapons and Early American History

 

St. Lucie County St. Lucie County Historical Museum

The museum offers a glimpse into the historic past of St. Lucie County and the surrounding area through exhibits and a small research library which is open by appointment.  Located at 414 Seaway Drive in Fort Pierce, FL.

 

Volusia County Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station  

[Virtual Tour]   [History]

Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1998, the 120 year old lighthouse, known as the tallest lighthouse in Florida is open to the public year round.  Visitors who make their way to the top of the tower are treated to a panoramic view of the Florida coastline.  The lighthouse keeper's home and other buildings surrounding the lighthouse, form the museum.  The museum features exhibits about the lighthouse, history of the area, shipwrecks and holds lighthouse artifacts. is Located 12 miles south of Daytona Beach at 4931 S. Peninsula Drive in Ponce Inlet, FL.

 

Wakulla County San Maros de Apalache Historic State Park  

[Photo Gallery]   [History]

Through archaeological excavations and studies, it has been concluded that San Marcos de Apalache is the second oldest surviving Spanish fort in Florida.  The museum at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park features displays, programs and historical artifacts to educate visitors about the past of this important landmark fort.  Located off of State Road 363 on Old Fort Road in St. Marks, FL.

 

Museum Index for Other States

Florida Census Records

 

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