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Organizations



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Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

Nestled in the heart of the Everglades on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is home to more than 180,000 unique artifacts and archival items. Come and learn about the Seminole people and experience their rich cultural and historical ties to the Southeast and Florida, as they have made Big Cypress their home since creation.

Clewiston, FL
Region(s): Southwest
Type(s): History

Blanchard House Museum

The Blanchard House Museum is an open access, educational institution devoted to the procurement, preservation, study, and display of artifacts and materials related to the history, culture, and contributions of African Americans in the settlement and development of Charlotte County and Southwest Florida. The Blanchard House Museum, established in 2004, was the vision of Bernice Andrews Russell. Mrs. Russell was a humanitarian, social activist, and historian for the African American community. She felt it was important to document the history and contributions of African Americans in Charlotte County.

Punta Gorda, FL
Region(s): Southwest
Type(s): Other

Cape Coral Historical Society & Museum

Since its inception in 1987, the Cape Coral Historical Museum has sought to discover, preserve, and share the history of Cape Coral. Operated by the Cape Coral Historical Society, the Museum exhibits artifacts, documents and photographs pertaining to the history of Cape Coral and Southwest Florida.

Cape Coral, FL
Region(s): Southwest
Type(s): Gardens History

Collier Museum at Government Center

Stalk prehistoric mastodons with Florida’s first big-game hunters, or travel even further back in time, when colossal sharks cruised the warm tropical seas that once covered Southwest Florida. See ancient shell tools and ceremonial masks and dig up the facts about the Calusa Indian civilization that flourished here centuries before European explorers first set foot on the Gulf coast. Trace America’s little-known wars in South Florida, the heroic journey of the Seminole people, and the origins behind traditional crafts like patchwork, once laboriously stitched together on hand-cranked sewing machines. Experience the daily lives – and utter isolation – of the first settlers and their families as they arrived on this watery frontier a hundred years ago, and share in the vision of a self-made multi-millionaire who dreamed of taming a wilderness swampland the size of Delaware. Along the way, we’ll introduce you to the hardy and colorful folk – the cattlemen, clam diggers, trail blazers, plume hunters, hermits, loggers, railroaders, rum runners, Crackers and Indian traders – who wrote the pioneer history of Collier County. Nestled on five acres of native Florida landscaping, our flagship museum at the County Government center in Naples offers newly created exhibits and galleries that capture the full panorama of local history. Pack a picnic and linger a while in the museum’s shady backyard. Then do a little exploring on your own in our native gardens, restored Naples cottages, the archaeology lab, Seminole village or Calusa Indian camp. Enlarged twice, the museum’s main gallery offers over 10,000 square feet of displays, plus a traveling exhibit room, and lecture hall.

Naples, FL
Region(s): Southwest
Type(s): History

DeSoto County Historical Society

Founded during the centennial anniversary of Arcadia and DeSoto County, Florida, the DeSoto County Historical Society is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of DeSoto County for future generations. To fulfill this mission, the Society opens to the public the John Morgan Ingraham House Museum and the Howard and Velma Melton Historical Research Library in the Ingraham Seed House.

Arcadia, FL
Region(s): Southwest
Type(s): History

Historic Spanish Point

Discover a piece of old Florida where prehistoric middens, pioneer homesteads, and lush gardens await. One of the last remaining protected coastal properties open to the public, this expansive outdoor museum will take you back in time to the old charm that brought you to Sarasota in the first place. Come and explore our tranquil trails, breathtaking bay vistas, and over 5,000 years of history. Historic Spanish Point is and outdoor history museum and one of the largest intact, actively preserved archaeological sites of the prehistoric period on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Discover prehistoric shell mounds, explore how early pioneers established homesteads, and relax in the many formal gardens of the early 20th-century socialite, Bertha Palmer. Explore the expansive outdoor museum at your own leisure, or enjoy a docent-led walking, tram, or boat tours to immerse yourself in the rich history of the area. We invite you and your family to take a step back in time, soak in the lush landscapes, and savor a piece of Florida's past at Historic Spanish Point; where people have gathered for over 5,000 years. Historic Spanish Point was the first in Sarasota County to be designated as a historically significant location by the National Register of Historic Places; a program of The United States Department of Interior.

Osprey, FL
Region(s): Southwest
Type(s): Gardens History

Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch

Immokalee, Collier County’s largest inland community, has long been linked with sprawling cattle ranches and a thriving agricultural economy. First occupied by the Calusa Indians and later by the Seminole, the area has seen a colorful mix of hunters, trappers, cowmen, missionaries and Indian traders since it was first settled in 1872. Early pioneers renamed the town “Immokalee” in 1897 after a Seminole word meaning “my home” or “his home.” Originally home to cattleman Robert Roberts and his family, this 13-acre historic site and museum (the longest running ranch in South Florida) provides visitors with a rare opportunity to experience daily working life on a Southwest Florida pioneer homestead and citrus grove from the early 1900s. Exhibits, programs, and fifteen carefully preserved original buildings and features tell the story of the cow hunters, ranchers and pioneer-spirited families who struggled to tame this vast wilderness prairie on the edge of the Big Cypress Swamp. The Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located in downtown Immokalee, a scenic 44-mile drive east of Naples.

Immokalee, FL
Region(s): Southwest
Type(s): Historic Home History

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

The Ringling is the State Art Museum of Florida and is administered by Florida State University. It features an art museum, historic mansion, circus museum, historic theater, conservation laboratory, and research library, situated on sixty-six acres of spectacular bay front property in Sarasota. The Ringling is a place of art, architecture, and circus in an environment that inspires, educates, entertains, and honors the legacy of John & Mable Ringling.

Sarasota, FL
Region(s): Southwest
Type(s): Art Gardens Historic Home History

John Morgan Ingraham House (DeSoto County Historical Society)

Arcadia, FL
Region(s): Southwest
Type(s): History

Manatee Village Historical Park

Preserve Real Places, Tell Real Stories: Manatee Village Historical Park's buildings are furnished to display what life was like in early Florida. Our mission is to preserve and share the heritage of Manatee County’s founding period (1840-1918) through our museum and collection of historical artifacts and buildings.

Bradenton, FL
Region(s): Southwest
Type(s): Other

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