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The Mystery of History

The St Pete Beach area is home to sand, surf, culture and history. Examples of the latter can be seen at any of the many museums just a short car ride from the coast. These places that venerate and care for our history can be move and inspire as well as teach us. Few things are as important as looking at the past to get a feel for where we are going in the future. Museums evoke nostalgia and anger, they provoke thought and insight. There is something inherently wonderful about glancing back in time and seeing how far we have come and considering where we will go. Save a few days to seek out these hallowed halls and take in a little history.

Gulf Beaches Museum-115 10th Ave, St Pete Beach

Photo Courtesy of Genevivie Maples

One of your first stops should be the Gulf Beaches Museum which was originally the first church of the local barrier islands. It remained a church from 1917 when it was built until 1959 when growing church membership created a need for a new church to be built on 16th Ave. It was slated to be torn down but was saved by a socialite and preservationist who moved to the community 7 years earlier. Her love of the area spurred her to sell another local property and make the church her home. Following her death, the church was willed to Pinellas County for an island museum. Much has been refurbished yet inside you can take a glimpse as far back as the 1500's. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. Call for information and hours: 727-552-1610.

Photo Courtesy of Genevive Maples

St Petersburg Museum of History-335 2nd Ave NE, St Petersburg

Photo Courtesy of SPMOH

Founded in 1921, this is Pinellas County's oldest museum and it also houses St Petersburg's oldest resident (see photo above!). This museum documents and shares the founding fo St Petersburg from the Orange Belt Railroad to current events happening today. A sneak peek into this interesting city's origins is entertaining and enlightening. The exhibits change, you may not see the same museum twice. The museum offers guided tours on two feet and also around town on Segways! The building is near the recently deconstructed pier on the same site as the aquarium that initially housed the museum. Call for information on admission and hours: 727-894-1052.

The Florida Holocaust Museum-55 5th St S, St Petersburg

Photo Courtesy of Florida Holocaust Museum

Few museum visits can be as poignant as this one. This museum is dedicated to honoring those who lost their lives in the most horrific conflict of the last century. It is also meant to teach and educate everyone about the importance all cultures and races in order to prevent such atrocities from happening again. This is one of the largest Holocaust museums in the country and it was the result of the vision of St Petersburg businessman and phlianthropist Walter P. Loebenberg, himself a Survivor. This thought provoking museum played a very important role in making sure that the holocaust education is taught in every school. Call for admission and hours: 727-820-0100.

Photo Courtesy of Florida Holocaust Museum

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