The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is the only accredited maritime museum in the Florida Keys. The museum is named after legendary dreamer and treasure hunter Mel Fisher. It was inspired by the treasure contained in the hulls of the Spanish galleons that sank in 1622 during a hurricane in Key West, Florida.
The museum is located in downtown Key West on the corner of Greene and Whitehead Street. It offers the opportunity to learn,holding a great wealth of nautical research information and maritime archeology. The museum also offers invaluable historical information regarding America's history of the slave trade. Within a fenced beach front cemetery, you will discover the graves that hold the hidden stories of Key West’s participation in the global slave trade, something that is not found anywhere else in America.
What’s on Offer?
The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum offers nautical archeology with shipwrecks that contribute to the study of humankind and help gain an understanding of the past. Through archeological studies, the museum continues to work for the preservation of the world’s cultural and historical artifacts. As you learn more about the shipwrecks, you also gain more of an understanding about the real pirates of the Caribbean as well as New World Spanish coins.
While visiting, you will also learn more of the African stories, as told by the archeologists at the museum. It’s a place to meditate and reflect upon the souls buried here and the agony they underwent through the slave trade. There are also ceremonies that are frequently held to remember the departed souls, and members of the public are invited to participate and appreciate all cultural diversity exhibited while learning from the memorable stories, as told across the generations.
The museum plays a vital role in the conservation of materials, both organic and inorganic, amounting to roughly 100,000 artifacts. The artifacts on show form a collection of precious and semi-precious jewels, gold, silver, glassware, ceramics, and leather. The collection also consists of the different types of weaponry used over history, such as bows and arrows, cannons, and other unique and invaluable tools. You also get a chance to adopt an artifact and become a part of the museum's effort to preserve the rich history of America for generations to come.
Hours of Operation and Entry Fees
The museum is open throughout the year, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.00pm. They are also open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays and throughout the holidays from 9.30am to 5.00pm.
The lab is open Monday to Fridays from 11.30am to 2.00pm excluding the holidays. Tickets are $5 for children and $25 for a combo admission tour. There are reduced prices for groups of 16 people or more and it is advisable to make a reservation before visiting. There is ample parking for vehicles.
If you want to take a little something home with you, visit the store at the museum and buy a little piece of Key West. There are a variety of nautical and historical products on offer, which make for the ideal keepsake.
200 Greene Street, Key West, FL 33040, Phone: 305-294-2633
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