Secrets await at the
A tour, which lasts one to 1 1/2 hours, is perfect for all ages and can be done at any pace with the help of the audio tour guide and tour wand (included in the admission price).
The museum, at
In 1982, the dilapidated building was saved and converted into the museum to tell the story of
The museum also houses artifacts from
An authentic replica of a one-room pioneer "cracker" house and a 1929 private Pullman rail car sit outside the museum as the perfect ode to Old Florida history.
At first glance, the museum looked small. When I walked in, I paid a friendly woman at the cash register. I chose an audio tour guide, which consisted of a device that looked like a television remote.
After a quick demonstration from one of the museum's employees, I walked up a sloping wooden mini-boardwalk to learn about the land of giants. The audio tour sign told me to press "No. 2" on my remote-control-looking device. After holding it up to my ear like a cellphone, a male's monotone voice told me about the giant sharks that ruled the depths of the
After walking by the giant shark's skeletal teeth, I entered the room of the Paleo-Indians.
The dimly lit room featured large skeletal remains of land giants from the Pleistocene era, 10,000-12,000 years ago -- mammoths, saber-tooth tigers and bison -- lying in soft
"I like how the museum shows the past and what went on," Koston said.
Seven thousand years ago, the first Floridians lived close to water where fish and marine life were abundant. They relied on the water so much; they were laid to rest in it as well.
A couple of days after death, the body of the deceased were covered in animal skins and sent to rest in shallow pond graves where their bodies would stay perfectly preserved for thousands of years by thick, gooey muck.
One thousands years later, the
Next up was the Seminole Indians, for whom
To defend against the Indians, a series of forts were constructed along the coastline. In 1850, Gen.
The museum has a replica of the original fort (pre-burning) on display in a glass case.
The 1910-30 room had a shoeshine station, old switchboard, radio and cash register.
This room led to another with a more nautical theme. But before museum-goers got to learn about
Early 20th century photographs of
Bruce Longhlin from
"It's something we don't have anymore," Longhlin said. "I like seeing how people lived back then."
The Pullman car cost
The Pullman car had a musty smell to it and the floor sloped slightly, but I will always remember how it felt to stand in a piece of preserved history.
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