The Florida Keys History & Discovery Center opened in January 2014 with a blank canvas of blue walls.
Through a series of traveling exhibits and the sharing of personal collections, the center began work on permanent exhibits, starting with Legends of the Line, a historical perspective on the beginnings of fishing in the Upper Keys and the resulting industry of tourism.
Fast-forward to August 2016. An aggressive development plan has resulted in additional permanent exhibits, including First People/Indians of the Keys, Pirates/Wreckers/Salvagers and the Spanish Treasure Fleets, and a model replica of Indian Key circa 1840.
This month, we are opening the most extensive of permanent exhibits yet featuring stories of the Upper Keys, the history of the areas of Rock Harbor-Key Largo, Planter-Tavernier and Matecumbe-Islamorada.
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Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation, which operates the History & Discovery Center, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization formed in February 2013 by a group of residents who wanted to preserve and share the unique history of the community.
The mission of the organization is “to develop and maintain a world-class history and discovery center that will accurately reflect the history of our Florida Keys community in a multi-faceted and interactive environment.”
As a young not-for-profit, we are still in a position of need for general operating costs, as well as projects such as additional permanent exhibits, cost of traveling exhibits and scanning and cataloging artifacts such as book manuscripts, newspapers and letters.
We hope you will support the foundation as the Keys History & Discovery Center continues to grow and expand.
Jill Miranda Baker, executive director, Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation, Islamorada