Historic Big Bend Farm
A collection of 19th century
structures provided a glimpse
into Florida's past.
The Red Caboose
Florida's railroad history is
represented by the museum's
Red Caboose, popular with
kids of all ages.
Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science - Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Tallahassee Museum of History, Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Tallahassee Museum of History, Florida
Home of a Florida Princess
The beautiful Belleview home of Princess Murat is
among the displays at the Tallahassee Museum.
History of Florida's Big Bend
One of the most unique museums in the
South, the Tallahassee Museum of History
and Natural Science offers a remarkable
display of the cultural and natural heritage of
Florida's Big Bend region.

The Tallahassee Museum is itself a historic
landmark. Celebrating its 50th anniversary of
operation in 2008, the museum provides
solid proof that small beginnings and big
dreams can combine to create wonderful

Originally chartered as the Tallahassee
Junior Museum in 1957, the museum
opened in a single structure in downtown
Tallahassee in 1958. It  served thousands of
visitors, particularly children, with displays at
that location for years, but the dream that led
to the founding of the museum soon outgrew
its original location.  It relocated to a tract
bordering Tallahassee's Lake Bradford and
has since grown into a complex covering 52
acres and filling dozens of structures.

The Tallahassee Museum of History and
Natural Science now preserves a variety of
historic structures and also maintains a live
collection of unique Florida animals. Visitors
can explore the home of a princess, see a
live Florida panther, learn about life on a
century-old Big Bend farm and even visit the
restored commissary or "company store" of a
Florida turpentine still.

Belleview, the home of the Princess Murat, is
beautifully preserved and can be seen in the
museum's "Old Florida" area, which also
includes a historic church, school, caboose
and reconstructed slave cabin.

A second group of historic structures can be
found in the museum's "Big Bend Farm"
area. This section features buildings from
19th century farms in the region as well as a
gristmill building and commissary from a
turpentine still. The farm is stocked with
animals that would have been typical on a
small farm from the 19th century.

The museum also features a large outdoor
area with animals common to Florida.
Ranging from Florida panthers and alligators
to wild turkeys and even American Bald
Eagles, the animals present a spectrum as
diverse as the state itself. All can be safely
viewed as they roam in habitats similar to
those they would enjoy in the wild.
The museum also offers a variety of other
displays and areas including playgrounds,
nature trails, changing exhibits, a museum
store and the Trail Break Cafe.

The Tallahassee Museum of History and
Natural Science is located at 3945 Museum
Drive in Tallahassee. To reach the complex
from I-10, take Exit 196 onto Capital Circle
NW. Follow it to the intersection with CR
371(West Orange), turn left and Museum
Drive will be just ahead on your right.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Saturday and from 12:30
p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The admission
price is $9.00 for adults, $8.50 for seniors
over age 65 and college students with ID,
$6.00 for children ages 4-15. Children 3 and
under are admitted free.
Please click here to
visit the museum's website for more
Florida Panther
Rare Florida Panthers are
among the unique animals at
the Tallahassee Museum.
Turpentine Commissary
The restored commissary is a
relic of the days of Florida
turpentine stills.
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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