CEDAR KEY MUSEUM STATE PARK
Picturesque Cedar Key, on Florida's Gulf Coast, was a thriving port city and railroad connection during the 19th century. The museum contains exhibits that depict its colorful history during that era. Part of the collection has sea shells and Indian artifacts collected by Saint Clair Whitman, the founder of the first museum in Cedar Key. Whitman's house is located at the park and has been restored to reflect life in the 1920s. A short nature trail gives visitors the opportunity to see wildlife and birds, as well as native vegetation. Small gray squirrels, doves, mockingbirds, blue jays, woodpeckers, and green tree frogs can be seen on the museum grounds and along the walking trail. The museum is open Thursday-Monday from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and is closed on Christmas. Located off State Road 24 on Museum Drive.
The museum and exhibits are wheelchair accessible. The museum is open Thursday through Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Christmas.
HISTORY OF THE AREA
Cedar Key was settled in the early 1840?s by Augustus Steel and was flourishing by 1861. With the completion of the Cross Florida Railroad constructed by Mr. David Yulee, the bustling port of Cedar Key was connected to the Florida east coast in Fernandina. The railroad carried lumber, turpentine, cotton, seafood products and passengers.
Salt was an important commodity in the 1800?s. During the War Between the States, salt was obtained for the Confederacy from the evaporation of sea water in kettles and boilers around Cedar Key. In 1862 a Federal force attacked by sea and captured the city. The forces destroyed the kettles and boilers hoping to further deprive the Confederates of much needed supplies. Museum exhibits include the fishing and lumber industry, the Civil War period and information on the history of Cedar Key.
A short nature trail gives visitors the opportunity to see wildlife and birds, as well as native vegetation. Small gray squirrels, doves, mockingbirds, blue jays, woodpeckers, and green tree frogs can be seen on the museum grounds and along the walking trail.
Take S.R. 24 west into Cedar Key. Once in town, follow the official signs to locate the museum at 12231 SW 166th Court.