Anna Maria Island Area Historical Sites

Gamble Plantation State Historic Site
3708 Patten Avenue
Ellenton, FL 34222

The mansion is the only surviving antebellum plantation house in south Florida

Historic Spanish Point
337 N. Tamiami Trail Osprey, FL 34229

Manatee Village Historical Park
604 15th St. E Bradenton, FL 34208

DeSoto National Memorial
7th St. Bradenton, FL 34209
Site of the 1539 landing of explorer Hernando DeSoto

South Florida Museum
201 10th St. W. Bradenton, FL 34205
Natural and cultural history exhibits include life-sized casts of Ice Age mammals and artifacts from archeological sites in Florida

Anna Maria Island History

The Island was explored around 1530 by Spanish adventurers.
The Timucuan Indians met the Spaniards. Today there is no trace of the Timucuan Indians on Anna Maria Island.
George Emerson Bean was the first permanent resident in 1892. The Old Anna Maria Jail still stands and the Anna Maria Island Museum can be visited next door. The historical Anna Maria City Pier is just a few blocks away. The City Pier belongs to the city of Anna Maria. Built around 1910 before any bridges connected the Island to the mainland, the pier served as the arrival/departure area for visitors and supplies. The Cortez Bridge was completed in 1921 connecting the mainland with the island for the first time. Later the Manatee Avenue Bridge was built giving visitors better access to the island.

Gulf of Mexico Historical Sites


History of the Everglades
11,000 years ago Two groups settled in south Florida: the Tequestas and the Calusas. These native peoples became known as the people of the Everglades. They established permanent villages at the mouths of rivers, on offshore islands and on hammocks (elevated areas of tropical forests).
The Everglades began to be known after the US and Seminole Wars of 1835-42.
The Everglades used to cover over four million acres of South Florida. This area has been reduced by more than 50 percent. The Florida Everglades is the largest remaining sub-tropical wilderness in the continental United States. The abundant wildlife includes rare and colorful birds, and is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side.


1 Castillo Drive South, Saint Augustine 32084; (

The centerpiece of Spanish colonialism in the oldest city in the United States, the massive fort built of coquina and stone is a wonderful place to explore. The fort served as a prison to American Revolutionary supporters and Seminole Indians. The exhibits are well designed.

FORT CLINCH (Fernandina Beach)

2601 Atlanta Avenue; 904-277-7274

Located at the top of Amelia Island facing the coastal marsh of Georgia, Fort Clinch is a wonderfully preseved 1850's fort located on a great swimming beach. There is a museum and guides dressed as 1860's Union troops tour you around the buildings.

FORT PICKENS (Pensacola Beach)

Fort Pickens Road, Pensacola Beach 32561

This huge fort was built to protect Pensacola Bay and the Naval Yard, but remained in Union hands in the Civil War after the second combat engagement of the War. Geronimo was a prisoner here in 1887. There is a museum, fishing facilities, and a good beach.


In Pensacola Naval Air Station on the southwest tip of Key West; 305-292-6713

This low lying fort was started in 1845 to protect the island port and is being renovated to its original neat brickwork and fortificatioons after years of neglect. The little beach by the fort is one of the few decent strips of island sand, although there are rough currents.

FORT CAROLINE (replica) (Jacksonville)

12713 Fort Caroline Road on the St. Johns River, Jacksonville 32225; 904-641-7155

ALthough this is a replica of a French colony set up in 1564 by Jean Ribault, it is a wonderful site to understand the origin of Florida's first settlement, which was French and Protestant, not Spanish and Catholic. A museum hugs a bluff above the fort to preserve the atmosphere. Unfortunately, in summer the flying bugs are often terrible.


Beauvoir, The Jefferson Davis Home & Presidential Library
2244 Beach Blvd; Biloxi, MS 39531
(800) 570-3818 | (228) 388-9074 | Fax (228) 388-7084
Beauvoir is the stunning home of the only President of the Confederate States of America and the place where he penned his memoirs. The 51 acre estate, fronting the Gulf of Mexico.

Biloxi Historical Walking Tour
710 Beach Blvd; Biloxi, 39530
(228) 374-3105 | Fax (228) 435-6248 Self-guided walking tour begins at the Visitors Center and takes you strolling through historic Biloxi where you will see sites that date as far back as 1830.

Biloxi Lighthouse
P O Box 508, Highay 90 & Porter Ave; Biloxi, 39533
(228) 435-6308 | Fax (228) 435-6211
The Biloxi Lighthouse was erected in 1848.

Biloxi Visitors Center
710 Beach Blvd; Biloxi, 39530
(228) 374-3105 | Fax (228) 435-6248
Located in the historic Breilmaier house circa 1895. Hostesses can provide information, brochures and discounts on area attractions. Open Mon-Fri 8:00am to 4:30pm, Sat 9:00am to 4:30pm

Fort Massachusetts/Gulf Islands National Seashore
3500 Park Rd; Ocean Springs, 39564
(228) 875-9057 | Fax (228) 872-2954
Ship Island, one of the most popular island destinations for visitors, is approximately 12 miles offshore. It is host to Fort Massachusetts. Confederate soldiers occupied Fort Massachusetts

Gulfport Centennial Museum
1419 27th Ave, Train Station; Gulfport, MS 39502
(228) 868-5849 | Fax (228) 868-5800
Contains hundreds of photographs and artifacts detailing Gulfport's growth over the past 100 years.

WWII/USS Tullibee Memorial
370 Bienville Blvd; Ocean Springs, 39564
(228) 497-6559
Honoring 79 sumariners from the USS Tullibee who perished on March 26, 1944 with one lone survivor. One side of this Memorial lists the names of all who perished.


Houston Gulf Coast Railroad Museum
7390 Mesa Rd
Houston TX 77028-3520
Mission Statement:
To preserve, enjoy and share with the public the memory, history and experience of railroading, particularly Texas railroading, as it has been and as it is now.

Museum of the Gulf Coast
701 Fourth Street in Port Arthur, Texas
The Museum of the Gulf Coast combines conventional and an unconventional approach to tell the exciting story of the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast region. Traditional themes are utilized in interpreting the focus of Gulf Coast life before the arrival of man, the role of Native Americans, European contact, Hispanic legacy, the trauma of Civil War, economic and cultural growth, and the integration of the Gulf Coast region into the larger national and international community.


Fort Morgan
22 miles west of Gulf Shores on State Highway 180 West
Grounds and fort open 8-7 June through September; 8-5 October through February and 8-6 March through May. The museum is open weekdays 8-5, and Saturday and Sunday 9-5. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Cost: $5 adults, $3 children 6-12, free to younger children
Facilities: Picnic tables, seasonal concession stand, restrooms,
More: Living history program is conducted daily during the summer. Candlelight fort tours are Tuesday evenings in the summer. Civil War reenactments are staged every five years during the first weekend in August.
Information: 251-540-7125

Fort Gaines
Open 9-5 (9-6 during Daylight Savings Time). Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Cost: $3 adults, $1 children 5-12, free to younger children
Facilities: Picnic tables, snack shop, restrooms.
More: Reenactments are staged on various days October- May.
Information: 251-861-6992

Mobile Bay Ferry
Ferry typically departs every 90 minutes, but schedules vary. It’s best to call first. Dauphin Island’s first run is at 8:00 a.m. and runs until 6:30 p.m.; The ferry from Ft. Morgan runs 8:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Cost: walk-on, one-way: $2 per person; walk-on round-trip: $3 per person; car, one-way: $15; car, round-trip: $23; motor home, one-way: $25
Information: 251-540-7787

Gulf Shores Museum
Open Tuesday - Friday 10-noon and 1-5:00 p.m. and 10-2 on Saturdays
Cost: Free
More: Explore the coastal past of fishing and hurricanes as you enjoy a diversity of other attention-grabbing exhibits. Make time to take a stroll in the outdoor garden and enjoy the resident birds and butterflies.
Information: 251-967-4733

Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum
Open Tuesday – Friday 9-11:30, 12-4 p.m. and Saturday 9-2 p.m.
Cost: Free
More: This former church and school is now the home for numerous historic seagoing and Indian artifacts. Take pleasure as you learn from the visual portrait it paints of our coastal heritage.
Information: 251-981-8545

Louisania Historical Sites

Acadian Village
The grounds of this Acadian Village feature eight authentic Acadian houses dating back to 1800, as well as a replica of a historic general store.
Address: 200 Greenleaf Drive Lafayette LA USA 70506

Crystal Rice Plantation
Founded in 1890, this family owned and operated plantation offers agricultural tours describing the seeding, harvesting and processing of rice and crawfish. A collection of 21 automobiles and a Piper Cub airplane are also on display.
Address: 6428 Airport Road Crowley LA USA 70526

Cypress Manor and Mardi Gras Collection Museum
The Mardi Gras Collection Museum is housed inside Cypress Manor, a historic home built in 1907. A variety of Mardi Gras costumes and memorabilia are on display. Children under five years of age are admitted free.
Address: 715 Second St. Morgan City LA USA 70380

E.D. White Plantation Home - Louisiana State Museum
Located on the banks of Bayou Lafourche near Thibodaux, this historic plantation home dates anywhere from the late 18th century to the 1830s. Due to contrasting architectural features it is difficult to determine the exact age of the home. The house provides an example of the raised cottage design popular in southern Louisiana prior to the Civil war.
Address: 2295 LA. Hwy 1 Thibodeaux LA USA 70301

Grevemberg House Museum
This historic home, built in 1851, passed through a number of families before it was sold to the City of Franklin in 1948. The home features a number of historic items, including Civil War artefacts.
Address: 407 Sterling Rd Franklin LA USA 70538

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Six separate sites which highlight different features of Louisiana culture and natural resources, such as the Battle of New Orleans site, and the nature and culture of the swamp region. There are visitor centers at each location, and no admission fees.
Address: 365 Canal Street, Suite 2400 New Orleans LA 70130-1142

Location #2: Acadian Cultural Center, Lafayette Tel:318 232-0789
Location #3: Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, Eunice Tel:337 262-6862
Location #4: Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center, Thibodaux Tel:504 448-1375
Location #5: Barataria Preserve, Marrero Tel:504 589-2330
Location #6: Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery, Chalmette Tel:504 589-4430

Daytona Beach Historical Sites

Birthplace of Speed Park

S.R. A1A and Granada Blvd.
Ormond Beach
(386) 676-3216
This oceanfront park commemorates the first automobile race held on the adjacent beach in 1903. Picnic area. Restrooms. Dune walkover. Open daily runrise to sunset. Admission: free.

Bulow Plantation Ruins State Historic Site
Old Dixie Highway, north of Ormond Beach
(386) 517-2084
Founded in 1821, "Bulow Ville" plantation was destroyed in the Seminole Indian War. Ruins and open-air museum. Picnic facilities and canoe rentals. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.

The Casements
25 Riverside Drive
Ormond Beach
(386) 676-3216
Former winter home of John D. Rockefeller. Contains Rockefeller period room and other exhibits. Tours are offered 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Debary Hall Historic Site
210 Sunrise Blvd.
Debary, FL 32713
(386) 688-3840
Once the retreat of the rich and famous, this public site now offers a window on the history of the St. Johns River.

Dummett Sugar Mill Ruins
Bulow Creek State Park
Old Dixie Highway north of Ormond Beach
(386) 676-4050
Located on what was known as the Dummett Plantation, these ruins are of what is believed to be the first steam-powered sugar mill in Florida. Admission: free.

Fairchild Oak
Bulow Creek State Park
Old Dixie Hightway north of Ormond Beach
(386) 676-4050
This centuries-old tree is one of the largest Live Oaks in the southern U.S. Admission: free.

Freemanville Historic Site
3431 Ridgewood Ave.
Port Orange
(386) 756-5201
A state historic marker was unveiled in February 2003 recognizing this historic community settled by free slaves after the Civil War in 1867. Two of the community's original buildings remain.

Howard Thurman Home
614 Whitehall Street
Daytona Beach
(386) 258-7514
Childhood home of Dr. Howard Thurman, mentor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Included on the Florida Black Heritage Trail.

Jackie Robinson Ballpark and Statue
105 E. Orange Ave.
Daytona Beach
(386) 257-3172
This active Class A affiliate ballpark remains much the same as it was on March 17, 1946 when Jackie Robinson played in the first integrated Major League Baseball spring training game.

Mary McLeod Bethune Home & Gravesite
Bethune-Cookman College, Bethune Foundation
640 Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd., Daytona Beach
(386) 481-2200
Former home of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, civil rights leader, educator, and founder of Bethune-Cookman College. National Historic Landmark. Hours: 9 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday. Weekend tours by appointment. Admission: free.

Daytona Ghost Walk
Main Street & Peninsula Drive
Daytona Beach
(386) 253.6034
An entertaining journey blending history, scientific data and haunting tales.
Tours begin at 7:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $8. Children
under 6 are free. Reservations required.

"New Deal" Permanent Exhibit
Bethune-Cookman College, Carl S. Swisher Library
640 Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd., Daytona Beach
(386) 481-2200
Established by Smithsonian Institute. Showcases contributions of FDR's "Black Cabinet." Hours are subject to the academic calendar, including holidays, and semester breaks.

Old Daytona
Beach Street and surrounding area
Daytona Beach
Sleepy tree-lined streets where the town began in the early 1870s. Downtown Halifax Historic Museum. Live Oak Inn. Riverfront park contains Burgoyne and Brownie the town dog memorials.

Ormond Tomb Park
3268 Old Dixie Hwy, Ormond Beach
(386) 257-6000, ext. 5953
13 acres with nature trails and historic markers. Picnic Area. Playground. Restrooms. Volleyball. Open daily sunrise to sunset. Admission: free.

Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts
Two blocks west of the intersection of U.S. Highway 17 and State Road 40
(386) 749-2959
Ten-acre area contains exhibits depicting lifestyle of early settlers. Folk crafts. Open Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Adult admission: $2.50. Children 5 - 12: $1.50

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
4931 S. Peninsula Drive
Ponce Inlet
(386) 761-1821
More than 100 years old, the 175-foot lighthouse is the second tallest lighthouse in the United States. Museum displays. Rare Fresnel Lens exhibit. Gift shop. 203-step climb to the top. Open daily 10 am - 5 p.m. (fall/winer), 10am-9pm (Memorial Day till Labor Day). Adult admission: $5. Children: $1.50

Rosewood Exhibit
Bethune-Cookman College, Carl S. Swisher Library
640 Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd., Daytona Beach
(386) 255-1401, ext. 321
Depicts life in the community of Rosewood, Florida from 1845 to the infamous Rosewood Massacre of January 1, 1923. Open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Speeding Through Time
Daytona Beach Boardwalk, Daytona Beach
Granite blocks built into the boardwalk chronicle the history of racing in the Daytona Beach area up to 1959 when the Daytona International Speedway opened.

Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens
950 Old Sugar Mill Road
Port Orange
(386) 767-1735
English sugar mill ruin. Botanical gardens. Life-size concrete dinosaur statues. Human sundial. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission: free.

Tomoka Mounds and Middens
Tomoka State Park
2099 N. Beach St.
Ormond Beach
(386) 676-4050
This archaelological site is a large complex of burial mounds and shell middens that comprise one of the earliest Native American settlements on the Central East Coast of Florida. Admission.

New Smyrna History

New Smyrna is the second oldest settled city in Florida offering visitors several historical sites and museums.You can visit the Eldora House, New Smyrna Museum of History, Sugar Mill Ruins, Turnbull Ruins and the Turtle Mounds .

Long before Juan Ponce de Leon sailed Florida's east coast in 1513 searching for a "Fountain of Youth," Timucuan Indians lived in the New Smyrna Beach area. Nomadic hunters and gatherers, they inhabited this area 10,000 year ago. But Timucuans disappeared within 200 years of Ponce de Leon's landing, victims of European infections and slavery. Only their shell mounds survived. Dr. Amos W. Butler, an Indian archaeologist, identified 22 mounds between Port Orange and Oak Hill in his "Observations on Some Shell Mounds on the Eastern Coast of Florida," published in 1917. Nearly all 22 were destroyed for use as road material.

The Florida State Historical Society saved Turtle Mound in 1924, purchasing Canaveral National Seashore for $8,000. Today it is a designated State Historic Memorial. Visible seven miles out to sea, Turtle Mound has been a navigational aid since the 1500s.

Preparations had been made for about 500 colonists, not 1,200 plus. This made New Smyrna the largest British attempt at colonization in the New World, nearly three times larger than Jamestown, Virginia. As an economic enterprise, New Smyrna succeeded, perhaps the most lucrative of all New World colonies.

The rich history of Southeast Volusia, especially New Smyrna, makes it Florida's third most important historical area. The New Smyrna Beach area provides a union of history and nature. Visitors can explore a mix of historic ruins, waterways, a national park and landmarks serving as bridges to the past.



15,000 - 500 Pre-Columbian Period - first
evidence of man in the New
Smyrna area


1492 Columbus discovers the New

1513 Ponce de Leon discovers "La

1565 - 1763 First Spanish Period

1763 Timucuan Indian Period ends

1764 - 1783 British Colonial Period

1768 New Smyrna Founded

1776 The Revolutionary War begins

1777 Turnbull's New Smyrna colony

1784 - 1821 Second Spanish Period

1821 - 1845 Territorial Period

1835 - 1842 Seminole Indian War - New
Smyrna burned by Indians

1845 Florida becomes a state

1861 - 1865 The War Between the States


New Smyrna Museum of History
120 Sams Ave. New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 Local Phone: 386-478-0052 New Smyrna Beach the Museum's main exhibit features the Turnbull Colony with additional exhibits from the Pre-Columbian era, Spanish Periods, British Period, Seminole Wars, Civil War, Railroad Era and the 20th Century. Built in 1901, The Connor Library originally served as the area's local library and was donated to the city in 1924. Today, The Connor Library Museum, the oldest municipal building in New Smyrna Beach, serves as a museum of local history.

Turtle Mound
Dating back to 2000 BC, the Timucuan Indian civilization created Turtle Mound over a period of several hundred years. A kitchen midden made up of oyster and shellfish remains, Turtle Mound is seen seven miles out at sea and resembles the shape of a turtle. The highest point of elevation in the New Smyrna Beach area, Turtle Mound stands 50 feet tall and covers two acres. Located in Canaveral National Seashore Park, a trail to its peak leads to a spectacular panoramic view of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. Directions: Located south on A1A in Canaveral National Seashore.

Turnbull Ruins
This coquina block foundation represents the colonization by Dr. Andrew Turnbull from 1766-1777. It's believed that he attempted to build his personal mansion on these coquina remains. Although the origination of the ruins is unknown, it's theorized that they may be the remnants of a pre-colonial fort or a colonial church.

Sugar Mill Ruins
This once highly functional sugar mill was built during the uprisings of the Native Americans in the early 1800s. The mill, the sugar plantations and all the buildings in New Smyrna were destroyed during the war between the Seminole Indians and the United States.

Eldora House

In 1877 property was purchased for the creation of Eldora, a small community situated on the southern inland waterway. The exact population of early Eldora was not known, deeds and tax records indicate 50-75 people. The agricultural community thrived since travel along the waterway was faster and safer than the ocean. Their Eldora's decline began after three freezes during the late 1880's and 1890's destroying the citrus crops. After 1900 - After 1910, the Eldora "State" House, a large home on the water's edge was built. It has a Dutch Colonial design with plain, yet graceful features such as a gambrel roof and columns surrounding the front porch. The style is open and airy; they have full use of the attic and a widow's walk. Today, two buildings remain: the Eldora "State" House and a post office/citrus packinghouse. Directions: It is located in the North District of Canaveral National Seashore, south of New Smyrna Beach on A-1A. From the district's Parking #8, a short walk will take park visitors to the edge of Mosquito Lagoon and remains on the Eldora Community.

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