For Your Viewing Pleasure from Fine Art to Florida History, Manuscripts to Marine Mammals, Museums along the First Coast Offer Something for Nearly Everyone's Cultural Fancy

By Weightman, Sharon | The Florida Times Union, April 4, 1997 | Go to article overview

For Your Viewing Pleasure from Fine Art to Florida History, Manuscripts to Marine Mammals, Museums along the First Coast Offer Something for Nearly Everyone's Cultural Fancy


Weightman, Sharon, The Florida Times Union


Up periscope!

A quick scan of the area's museum scene turns up everything

from submarine history in St. Marys to Tiffany glass in St.

Augustine.

Quirky or quiet, contemplative or cutting edge, there's a

museum for almost every taste.

At the major institutions, there are whales, dolphins,

manatees, an avant garde video, a new 19th century masterpiece

and more.

At the smaller attractions, visitors can ring the bell on the

Old No. 7 locomotive at Beaches Historical Museum, climb through

the little red caboose at the Clay County Historic Triangle, or,

yes, scan the marshes through the periscope at the St. Marys

Submarine Museum.

Not only that, at least half of the attractions have no

admission fee.

Here's a look at some nearby museums worth checking out.

Alexander Brest Museum

What: This small museum on the Jacksonville University

campus features a collection of antique ivories, Tiffany and

Steuben glass, porcelain from Boehm, Royal Copenhagen and others,

as well as pre-Columbian artifacts.

There are also temporary exhibitions, the current one by JU's

senior art students.

Where: Phillips Fine Arts Building at Jacksonville

University, 2800 University Blvd. N.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to

5 p.m. Saturday; closed school holidays.

Cost: Free.

Information: (904) 745-7371.

Amelia Island Museum of History

What: This Fernandina Beach museum describes itself as

"Florida's only spoken history museum." Twice a day, museum

docents tell the story of Amelia Island to visitors.

The museum also coordinates walking tours of the area's

historic district.

Where: 233 S. Third St., Fernandina Beach.

Hours: Tours of the museum at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday

through Friday; Centre Street stroll at 3 p.m. Thursday and

Friday, originating at the Chamber of Commerce, 102 Centre St.

Cost: Museum admission is $2.50 for adults; $1, students.

The stroll is $5 for adults; $2, students.

Information: (904) 261-7378.

Beaches Historic Museum

What: In Jacksonville Beach's Pablo Historical Park,

visitors can see four attractions: the Museum House, which once

belonged to a section foreman for the Florida East Coast

Railroad; the Mayport Depot, which used to stand near Monty's

Marina; an old Post Office building; and, best of all, Old No. 7.

Old No. 7 is a 28-ton steam locomotive from 1911 that was used

to haul cypress logs for the W.W. Cummer & Sons Lumber Co. It's

kept in a glass enclosure, but the museum attendant will unlock

it so viewers can climb aboard and ring the bell.

There's also a small gift shop and a pavilion for picnics.

Where: Pablo Historical Park, at Beach Boulevard and Second

Street in Jacksonville Beach.

Hours: Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through

Saturday; archive hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

Cost: Free.

Information: (904) 246-0093.

Clay County Historic Triangle

What: On the grounds of Clay County's historic old

courthouse are a six-room museum and a smaller railroad museum.

The historic museum has a country store, an old-fashioned kitchen

and lots of artifacts about Clay County history. The railroad

museum includes a red caboose with working signals.

Where: Between Walnut Street and Florida 16 in Green Cove

Springs.

Hours: Open 2-5 p.m. Sunday and by appointment for groups.

Cost: $2 donation for adults; $1 for children. …

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