106 SE Avenue B
Carrabelle, FL 32322
|Thursday - Saturday||10 AM - 5 PM|
|Sunday, Wednesday||12 PM - 5 PM|
We gladly open any other day by appointment except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. Just call 850-697-2141 or 850-524-1153 to arrange a tour.
Free. Donations Accepted.
The Carrabelle History Museum shares the history and culture of Carrabelle from the viewpoint of its long term residents. Exhibit items include Native American pottery shards and artifacts, marine fossils, the original “World’s Smallest Police Station”, artifacts and stories from the shipwreck of the SS Tarpon, personal memorabilia of famous local citizens, newspapers, and photographs, plus city arrest records…and an endless supply of fascinating stories.
The Mission of the Carrabelle History Museum is to preserve the history and culture of Carrabelle as a record of where we have been, how we got here and to serve as an inspiration for the future.
The museum is located in the Old Carrabelle City Hall built in 1933 as project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) by local mason Marvin Justiss. An anchor historical building in the heart of our historical downtown. The City conducted its business here for 75 years. It was named in honor of the local brick mason who created each block and brick with hand-crafted local materials. It was built in 1933 as project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
The Carrabelle History Museum is a project of the local non-profit organization, Carrabelle CARES. It is sponsored by the Carrabelle History Society and the City of Carrabelle with support from the Franklin County Tourist Development Council with a community partnership from the Franklin County Public Library. It opened in April of 2009. It is staffed by volunteers and funded through donations, memberships and grants.
Native Heritage Artifacts --
There is a growing collection of artifacts from Carrabelle’s “first people” who lived here over two thousand years ago. The Apalachee tribes were a prehistoric people who had many villages along the shore of St. George Sound and all the local rivers in those times. Their Council House and Temple Mound was located in the Tallahassee area near Lake Jackson. Over 40,000 members of the tribal family lived between the Apalachicola and Aucilla Rivers. Archaeologists have found evidence of villages, middens (garbage piles) and burial grounds within the city limits of Carrabelle and several others in the area. Carrabelle is thought by some to have been an important trade port during that time and as it was after the Civil War because of its natural deep water port at the confluence of three rivers.
The next room as you tour the museum is the "Work Life Room" filled with artifacts and photos of various industries such as seafood, logging, naval stores, mechanics and gas stations that have supported the economy of Carrabelle through the years.
Highlights in that room include a shrimp net with a turtle excluder, oyster tongs, hand made nets and oars. Interesting equipment from Jackson's Standard Station, Ganders Hardware and Bragdon's Garage each have a story.
Milton Cox's cat face cutter was used to get the rosin out of pine trees to make naval stores such as turpentine, tar and pitch.
"Family Life Room" is next featuring many photos of Carrabelle families and artifacts actually used by “Miss Ruth” Garner, “Miss Janie” Brown and other local treasures. One of the highlights of this room is the photos of families from the pioneer days to the present. The Witherspoon Family Rocking Chair holds photos and a scrapbook about the Judge's family. A butter churn, cast iron stove and an old wash board are reminiscent of earlier times when home life was hard without modern inventions. This room also holds old photos, books, scrapbooks and newspapers about Carrabelle. Carrabelle High School memorabilia highlighting the award winning bands and sports teams throughout the decades are a special attraction. High School Year Books from the 1940's to present are a very popular spot where everybody likes to look up their own photos or check out their grandparents.
The Carrabelle "Treasures Room" is filled with items and photographs of the people, places and events important to the residents of Carrabelle. We have items such as the medical bag of the beloved midwife "Miss Tillie" Miller and the actual surveying equipment use to produce the 1957 map of the City. Learn about our local heroes. Don’t miss the diorama of the local skirmish during the Civil War created by one of our talented artists, Fred Aman. We have a collection of the oldest City records available.
"The Entrance Hall" currently houses a special exhibit on the SS Tarpon. This exhibit is a detailed account of the steamship Tarpon that served Carrabelle weekly from 1902 to 1937 before it went down at sea off the port of St. Andrews. The exhibit focuses on the local residents who were part of the crew. This is thought to be one of the most complete accounts of this ship in the country.
The Carrabelle History Museum presents several educational programs throughout the year. Speaker's Series, Carrabelle Culture Crawl in March, History & Culture Expo at the Carrabelle riverfront Festival and more.
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