Brevard Museum of History and Natural Sciences shines a light on the region’s unique past – From Ice Age to Space Age

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Opened in 1973 in a portable classroom donated by the Brevard County School Board

FLORIDA CRACKERS are cattle breeders with techniques specific to Florida pine forests and scrub. With the cracking of a whip, they round up the cattle while sitting on “cracker horses”, solid bread to equines for cattle work. Learn about a unique way of life that has lasted from the first Spanish settlers to the present day at the museum. (Cow cracker hunt, Casper McCloud)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Brevard History and Natural Science Museum, located at 2201 Michigan Avenue in Cocoa, is tucked away in a fairly residential neighborhood and features two indoor exhibit wings.

The entire museum complex consists of a 14,750 square foot facility with parking for 75 cars, a pavilion with four picnic tables and a magnificent 22-acre nature reserve that supports the planetarium of Eastern Florida State College.

Through the curation and exhibit, museum visitors can explore Brevard County’s unique history – from Ice Age fossils to the Space Age Hubble Telescope, there’s something for everyone.

The Brevard Museum is now also home to the Archaeological Institute of the Florida Historical Society whose mission, in conjunction with the museum, is to educate the public about the archeology of Florida through research, publication and awareness.

Museum housing an extensive collection of antiques and historical artifacts

In the late 1960s, a group of local citizens felt the need to preserve the unique history and prehistory of Brevard County on Florida’s east coast.

Forming an organization of the Friends of the Brevard Museum, their efforts and dedication led to the creation of the museum, which opened to the public in 1973 in a portable classroom donated by the Brevard County School Board.

A permanent facility was dedicated in 1978 with funding provided by the Grace and Albert Taylor Trust.

Settled in the east-central Florida region in 1895, Grace and Albert made significant contributions to the development of Brevard County. Grace in particular was interested in preserving the history and natural beauty of the area.

When she died in 1945, she left a bequest specifically for the development of a museum to preserve these early ways of life.

GRACE AND ALBERT TAYLOR were one of the first families in Cocoa Village in the 1880s. It is through the Taylor Trust and their donations that the Brevard Museum was established to preserve the legacy of Brevard County history for future generations. (images Brevard History and Natural Sciences Museum)

Today, in addition to many milestones and moments in Brevard County’s history, the museum houses an extensive collection of its antiques and historical artifacts.

Interest in the museum continued to grow and funds for new construction were secured through a partnership between the state and the local community, allowing the construction of a second wing with a connecting hall in 1992.

The original Taylor Wing is now home to the museum’s Ice Age exhibit featuring fully articulated skeletons of a mastodon, a giant sloth and a saber-toothed cat.

This wing also features a handy ‘fantasy station’ for young and old, with a simulated rocket capsule, treehouse, and cave.

Explore Florida’s past with exhibits at the Brevard Museum

The Brevard Museum features two exhibition wings representing the rich and diverse history of Brevard County. Click on the links below for a ‘preview’ of some of the images that will make you want to stop and learn the rest of Brevard’s exciting story.

Lesson plans are being developed for many of the museum’s exhibits, call 321-632-1830 for more information.

Through the curation and exhibit, museum visitors can explore Brevard County’s unique history – from Ice Age fossils to the Space Age Hubble Telescope, there’s something for everyone. (Image from the Brevard History and Natural Sciences Museum)

The new chapter in the museum’s history began in September 2014 when the Florida Historical Society, located at 435 Brevard Avenue in Cocoa Village, became the museum’s parent organization.

Many changes have happened and will continue to happen under this new umbrella. If you haven’t seen the Brevard Museum in the past year, you haven’t seen the Brevard Museum.

Make sure to go out and see these great exhibits:

■ The Ice Age

■ Windover archaeological site

■ Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and 150th Anniversary Special Exhibition

■ Pioneer farm

■ Citrus industry

■ Florida cookie culture

■ Florida East Coast Railroad

■ Grace and Albert Taylor

■ Hubble Space Telescope: an eye on the universe

■ Butterfly garden

■ Imaginary Station

■ Past exhibition: Paintings of nostalgic Florida: the original artists of the road bandits April 7, 2018 – April 28, 2018

■ Past exhibition: Time to Shine: Mismatched items from our collection From February 23 to March 31

■ The journey of Apollo: Birth of the space coast

For more information, log on to myfloridahistory.org/brevardmuseum


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