Historical education and captivating old sites are what you’ll find when you visit the Anna Maria Island Historical Society. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, take the time to learn more about the community you have come to love.
See some authentic parts of Old Florida right here on the island. The Anna Maria Island Historical Society is one of the richest historical experiences you can have on the west side of Florida.
This historical site is actually four experiences in one – the history museum is just the first one – so be sure to leave an entire morning to enjoy the site.
The first is the main gallery and museum. It features art and artifacts from the area that has been collected since the first settlements. The cozy exhibit begins with photographs and notes from the first settlers of Anna Maria Island. You can also browse some fascinating archives kept from 20th-century life on the island, including newspaper clippings, articles, flyers, and more.
The museum has an extensive collection on the fishing and baseball history of Anna Maria, both of which have been essential components of the island’s culture.
The building itself is a museum artifact. It was originally a small icehouse from the early ’20s. It was then converted into an automotive garage and, later, a sea turtle hatchery. All of these little pieces of island history can be revisited by spending some time in the museum and checking out the archives, photos, and buildings.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.
The Grounds Attractions
The grounds are also complemented by three additional historical attractions.
Belle Haven Cottage has a tumultuous history. The cottage was built in 1920, but fell into the bay just six years later. Fascinatingly, the cottage was retrieved from the waters and, after 50 years, moved from its original home to the museum grounds.
It was restored in 2006, maintained as a memory of the 20th-century Anna Maria Island life. It is furnished with antique furniture and period décor.
After taking a look at the cottage, you can make your way to the Old City Jail. This peculiar little structure was built in 1927 to contain the rowdier town locals after a long night at the bar. It caught fire in the 1940s, and was soon after turned into an intriguing tourist attraction.
Finally, you can explore the museum grounds through its mangrove walking trails. The Mangrove Walk leads to one of the island’s original fresh water wells. It currently features eco-friendly landscaping, and houses some lovely and protected local flora.
The Anna Maria Island Historical Society maintains all these areas, keeping them pristine and welcoming for the guests that come from all over the world to vacation on the island. The best part? The museum and its many attractions can be visited at no cost. Offering free admission is Anna Maria Island’s way of drawing visitors in to educate them on the region’s rich history.
The history museum is located at 402 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria, FL, and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you need specific information pertaining to the museum, call the desk directly at 941-778-0492.
Here you can ask about private tours and upcoming events. The historical society frequently hosts community and seasonal events in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce. Nonprofits, arts groups, and educators also hold events in the museum space.
You can also learn more about the historic sites on Anna Maria Island by contacting us by phone and by visiting our website. Our site is a resource for the many Anna Maria historical attractions, things to do, and beachfront accommodations. Don’t just wing it this vacation – let us help you explore the options prior to your arrival and book the perfect Anna Maria coastal cottage.