The Florida Pioneer Museum reopened for the 2016-17 season on Saturday, Nov. 12, with an exciting new Everglades exhibit. Museum hours are 1-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Admission is free to the public.
The special exhibit celebrates the centennial of the creation of Royal Palm State Park in 1916. On display are maps and photos tracing the history of the area and its evolution from Paradise Key to Royal Palm State Park to Everglades National Park.
The park was a project of the Women’s Clubs of Florida. The Homestead Woman’s Club was founded in 1914 to aid in this effort. Redland, Princeton and Longview clubs also played important roles. The club women were the first Florida environmentalists and at a time when they could not even vote.
The women’s clubs owned and managed Florida’s first state park until 1947 when it became part of Everglades National Park. They also were responsible for establishing free lending libraries around Florida, including the Lily Lawrence Bow Library in Homestead. The museum also displays some of the early books from this library.
The Florida Pioneer Museum is a joint venture of the City of Florida City and the Florida Pioneer Museum Association. Tours can be arranged by calling Bob Jensen at 305-248-0976 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.