ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Cedar Key Museum State Park, Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Cedar Key Museum State Park, Florida
Cedar Key Museum State Park
A beautifully restored historic home is among the
interesting sights awaiting visitors to Florida's
Cedar Key Museum State Park.
Cedar Key Museum State Park
The main museum building
allows visitors to walk through
the past of the historic islands.
Confederate Cannon
An iron cannon thought to
have been used in the battery
on Seahorse Key during the
Civil War is one of two on the
museum grounds.
Life in early Cedar Key
The museum is a fascinating
place to learn more about the
history and many lives of
Cedar Key.
Cedar Key Museum State Park - Cedar Key, Florida
Telling the History of Cedar Key
Reminder of Early Industry
The use of cedar "shakes" or
shingles to roof and wall
homes during the late 19th
and early 20th century created
boom times for the cedar
covered islands of the Cedar
One of the best places to begin a visit to the
historic Florida city of
Cedar Key is the state
operated museum dedicated to preserve the
history of the Cedar Keys.

Established in 1962, Cedar Key Museum
State Park offers a fascinating collection of
exhibits and artifacts that date back to the
earliest days of human habitation on the
islands. From ancient Native American
artifacts to exhibits explaining the Civil War
and subsequent cedar industry of the keys,
the museum does an outstanding job of
introducing residents and visitors to the
unique history of this special place.

As the historical marker standing by the
walkway leading to the main museum
building notes, Cedar Key was the end point
of the famed walk from Kentucky to Florida of
noted naturalist John Muir. His historic
journey produced some of the finest
observations on Southern botany ever

Also along the walkway can be seen two iron
cannon dating from the Civil War era. It is
thought that these guns were the ones
placed in the battery on Seahorse Key by
Confederate troops in 1861.

Inside the main museum building, visitors
can explore a number of exhibits that talk
them on a walk through the history of Cedar
Key. From early Native Americans to the use
of the islands during the Second Seminole
and Civil Wars, the exhibits carry through to
the years when cedar trees were harvested
from the keys to make Cedar Key a famed
source for wooden pencils.

One of the exhibits features a diorama of the
Battle of Station Four, fought between Union
and Confederate forces in 1865. The fight
was led on the Southern side by the famed
"Swamp Fox" of Florida, Captain J.J. DIckison.

From the main building, a brick walkway
leads past outdoor exhibits that include an
iron kettle once used by Confederates to
extract salt from local waters. The path ends
at perhaps the most fascinating part of the
museum, the historic St. Clair Whitman

Restored to how it appeared in 1920, the
house is a beautiful and charming way to
step back in time and experience Cedar Key
of old. The home's former owner, Mr. St. Clair
Whitman, was an avid collector of shells and
other natural objects. Many of his unique
shells are on display in the house, which
appears much as it did when he lived there.
Mr. Whitman also collected prehistoric Indian
artifacts and other items of historical interest
and his collection formed the bulk of what the
museum had to offer when it first opened.

Cedar Key Museum State Park also offers a
short nature trail that offers visitors the
chance to experience the natural life of the
islands. It is a popular place for
birdwatchers, who can spot doves,
mockingbirds, woodpeckers and more.

Cedar Key Museum State Park is located at
12231 S.W. 166th Court in Cedar Key. Signs
guide visitors to the museum from the main
road leading onto the island. One note to
visitors: there are two Cedar Key Museums,
the state facility and a second one operated
by the local historical society. Be sure to see

The museum is open Thursday - Monday
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $2 per
person with children 5 and younger admitted
for free. Please visit the park's website for
Cedar Key Museum State Park
Copyright 2010 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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