The John Muir historic marker was placed on the museum grounds in 1983, commemorating the naturalist's 1867 visit to Cedar Key during his historic walk from Kentucky to Florida. About the visit he wrote: "For nineteen years my vision was bounded by forests, but today, emerging from a multitude of tropical plants, I beheld the Gulf of Mexico stretching away unbounded, except by the sky. What dreams and speculative matter for thought arose as I stood on the strand, gazing out on the burnished, treeless plain!"
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. On display are items collected by Saint Clair Whitman, a local resident who established the first museum in his home. His collection included many varieties of sea shells and locally discovered Indian artifacts. The museum displays these as well as dioramas depicting life around Cedar Key and contains a large collection of related historical information.
An important feature of the museum is the Saint Clair Whitman house, built in the 1880s and acquired by Whitman in the 1920s. The house has been restored to depict life in Cedar Key c. 1920 - 1930. It was moved to the museum site in 1991 and restored for public viewing. The Memory Walk, a brick trail, links the house to the museum.
A short nature trail gives visitors the opportunity to see wildlife and birds, as well as native vegetation. Small gray squirrels, gopher tortoises, mockingbirds, blue jays, woodpeckers, and green tree frogs can be seen on the museum grounds and along the walking trail.
VISIT THE PARK
12231 S.W. 166 Court, Cedar Key, FL 32625
PHONE: (352) 543-5350
HOURS: Thursday-Monday from 10:00am to 5:00pm
page information credit: Florida State Parks
photos from the sources listed above, as well as publicly posted online sites with thanks to the contributors