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Marco Island Historical Museum now open to public

Experience a fascinating trip through time

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The Marco Island Historical Museum, Marco Island.

The Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) announced Tuesday that the Marco Island Historical Museum is open and welcoming visitors to experience a range of intriguing indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Permanent exhibits span more than 10,000 years of Southwest Florida history, and temporary exhibits provide insight to the many fascinating facets of Marco Island and Southwest Florida.  

Take an open-air stroll though “Windows & Doors to History,” a unique outdoor gallery that features faux windows and doors that frame vivid scenes from Marco Island’s rich history from the Pleistocene period to modern Marco. Or stop at the colorful outdoor selfie station that depicts the region’s fascinating and diverse wildlife. The 115-square-foot mural by artist Jarrett Stinchcomb captures the essence of the unique and beautiful natural history of Marco Island and Southwest Florida and provides a vibrant backdrop for visitors to record their Museum visit.

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“Paradise Found: 6,000 Years of People on Marco Island” illustrates the story of Marco Island’s ancient civilizations, and currently showcases the world-famous Key Marco Cat and other rare Pre-Columbian artifacts discovered on Marco Island in 1896. The artifacts are on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The Key Marco Cat has been described as one of the finest pieces of Pre-Columbian Native American art ever discovered in North America.   

The “Marc Harris Wildlife Exhibition,” open now through Sept. 12.

“Pioneer Marco: A Tale of Two Villages” provides an immersive encounter with early Marco, chronicling the evolution of Marco Island’s pioneer villages during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Learn about the people, the industries and lifestyles through rare photographs and objects that are brought to life in dynamic and engaging displays and animations. Modern Marco Island spans the transformative period beginning in 1962 when the Mackle Brothers, developers and founders of the Deltona Corporation, first visited Marco Island and envisioned its potential for large-scale community development.

Marco Island quickly became known not only as a place to vacation but also a place to live for year-round fun in the sun, boating and golf. An early promotional film plays on a vintage television and a scale model of a Marco Island Airways airliner “soars” across the gallery.

The Calusa village at the Marco Island Historical Museum.

Current and coming exhibits include the “Marc Harris Wildlife Exhibition,” open now through Sept. 12. Harris has been described as Florida’s voice for wildlife. His breathtaking images tell the wider story of wildlife, remote locations and natural woodlands throughout Southwest Florida and the Everglades that are endangered because of the effects of habitat loss and negative impacts on sustainable water resources.

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“Never No More: Storter’s Southwest Florida,” opens Sept. 15 and continues through Dec. 5. This exhibit features original drawings, paintings and sculptures by fisherman and folk artist Robert Lee Storter. Born in 1896 in the Everglades, now Everglades City, Storter’s lifetime spanned an era of incredible change in Southwest Florida from frontier land to millionaire’s playground. His artwork documents these monumental changes, focusing on their effects on the land and wildlife.

The Marco Island Historical Museum is located at 180 S. Heathwood Drive. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, and the site is handicapped accessible. Face coverings are required for entry, and social distancing and sanitizing practices are being followed.

For general information visit www.themihs.org or call 239-642-1440.