Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science Highlights Area’s Unique Past – From the Ice Age to the Space Age

By  //  January 17, 2021

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Opened in 1973 in a Portable Classroom Donated by the Brevard County School Board

FLORIDA CRACKERS are cattle ranchers with techniques specific to the Florida pine and scrub lands. By cracking a whip they herd cattle while seated on “Cracker horses,” sturdy equines bread for cattle work. Learn more about a unique lifeway that has endured from early Spanish settlers to the present day at the museum. (Cracker Cow Hunt, Casper McCloud)

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

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 beautiful 22-acre nature preserve that backs up to the Eastern Florida State College Planetarium.

Through curation and display, visitors to the museum can explore the unique history of Brevard County – from Ice Age fossils to the Space Age Hubble telescope, it have something for everyone.

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

Museum Home to Extensive Collection of Antiques, Historic Artifacts

In the late 1960s a group of local citizens saw the need to preserve the unique history and pre-history of Brevard County located on Florida’s east coast.

Forming a Friends of the Brevard Museum organization, their efforts and dedication led to the establishment 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.

Settling in the east central Florida area in 1895, Grace and Albert contributed greatly to the development of Brevard County. Grace in particular was interested in preserving the history and natural beauty of the area.

When she passed away in 1945 she left a bequest specifically for the development of a museum to to preserve these early lifeways.

GRACE AND ALBERT TAYLOR were one of Cocoa Village’s first families in 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. (Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science images)

Today, in addition to many milestones and moments in Brevard County history, the museum is home to an extensive collection of her antiques and historic artifacts.

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

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

This wing also has a hands-on “Imagination Station” for the young and young at heart, with a simulated rocket capsule, tree house and cave.

Explore Florida’s Past with the Brevard Museum’s Exhibits

The Brevard Museum features two wings of exhibits representing Brevard County’s rich and diverse history. Click on the links below for a “sneak-peak” at some of the images that will whet your appetite to stop in to learn the rest of Brevard’s exciting story.

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

Through curation and display, visitors to the museum can explore the unique history of Brevard County – from Ice Age fossils to the Space Age Hubble telescope, it have something for everyone. (Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science image)

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

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

Be sure to come on out and see these great exhibits:

■ The Ice Age

■ Windover Archaeological Site

■ Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and special 150th anniversary exhibit

■ Pioneer Homestead

■ Citrus Industry

■ Florida Cracker Culture

■ Florida East Cost Railway

■ Grace & Albert Taylor

■ Hubble Space Telescope: Eye on the Universe

■ Butterfly Garden

■ Imagination Station

■ Past Exhibit: Paintings of Nostalgic Florida: The Original Highwaymen Artists April 7, 2018 – April 28, 2018

■ Past Exhibit: Time to Shine: Mismatched Items from our Collection Feb 23 – March 31

■ The Apollo Journey: Birth of the Space Coast

For more information log on to myfloridahistory.org/brevardmuseum

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