Floridian Nature

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Florida Nature: Tallahassee Museum
Old Florida Cracker house at the Tallahassee musuem in Tallahassee FloridaThe Tallahassee Museum is a privately funded, non-profit corporation in Tallahassee Florida. Tallahassee Museum’s exhibits explore the human and animal residents of the Big Bend region and reveal their relationships with their communities, with each other and with the area’s natural environment. The stated purpose of the Tallahassee Museum is "to educate the residents of and visitors to the Big Bend area about the region's natural and cultural history, from the nineteenth century until the present." "Big Bend" refers to that portion of Florida where the Florida panhandle meets the peninsular portion of the state. Tallahassee, Florida's capital city, is centrally located in that region.

Discussions in 1957 led to the formation of the "Tallahassee Junior Museum," a name which was eventually changed to "Tallahassee Museum," although the earlier name is still occasionally used. The museum was moved to its current 52-acre  location in 1962, lodged between Lakes Bradford and Hiawatha, in Leon County, Florida. A major strength of the museum lies in the diversity of its exhibits and the multiple utilization capabilities of its facilities.

A considerable portion of the grounds is devoted to the re-creation of rural life in north Florida in about 1880. Included in that effort are homes, gardens, farm buildings (with appropriate farm animals), a gristmill, and a turpentine commissary. Buildings of historical interest or importance comprise the Old Florida segment of the museum. The 19th century Bellevue Plantation was once the home of Catherine Murat, a relative of George Washington, and wife of Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew. The 1937 Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church was founded by Rev. James Page, a slave preacher, and the 1890s Concord schoolhouse serves as a reminder of early African-American educational facilities. The site also contains a 1920s caboose.


American Bald eagle seen at the Tallahassee museum in Tallahassee FloridaAnother major portion of the museum is devoted to Florida wildlife, with many animals in relatively large, well-vegetated areas, usually similar to native habitats. Of note are black bears, white-tailed deer, and bobcats, as well as several endangered species: red wolves and Florida panthers. There are also several aviaries, a snake exhibit, small mammals, and a "guest" animal habitat, which was introduced in 1988.

Twice a day, there are "Animal Encounters," during which a staff member shows and teaches about an animal. They may show birds of prey, snakes. a rabbit, or a skunk. Many of the animals used for education have been injured, especially birds of prey. Since these animals could not survive in the wild, in accordance with state laws, they must either be used for education or be put down. Take a closer look at the region’s underwater life in two freshwater aquaria while watching songbirds feeding through the glass window. Sit in the relaxing atmosphere of the “Bird Room” while enjoying displays of nature-related art.

The museum also has several nature trails, one of which includes a boardwalk over normally flooded cypress habitat, and a number of special-use facilities for indoor exhibits and workspaces.

The Phipps Gallery features changing exhibits with a range of topics including popular culture, collectibles, and art borrowed from other museums and organizations or designed around the Museum’s own collections.

The Discovery Center sparks the entire family's imagination. Stimulating programs, hands-on experiences, and a multitude of interactive resources highlight the natural and cultural history of North Florida. Drop by on every visit, you’ll always find something new to discover!

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The Tallahassee Museum is a privately funded, non-profit corporation in Tallahassee Florida. Tallahassee Museum’s exhibits explore the human and animal residents of the Big Bend region and reveal their relationships with their communities, with each other and with the area’s natural environment. The stated purpose of the Tallahassee Museum is "to educate the residents of and visitors to the Big Bend area about the region's natural and cultural history, from the nineteenth century until the present."
Anyone visiting Tallahassee or the area should take the time to visit the Tallahassee museum. A considerable portion of the grounds is devoted to the re-creation of rural life in north Florida in about 1880. Included in that effort are homes, gardens, farm buildings (with appropriate farm animals), a gristmill, and a turpentine commissary. Another major portion of the museum is devoted to Florida wildlife, with many animals in relatively large, well-vegetated areas, usually similar to native habitats. Of note are black bears, white-tailed deer, and bobcats, as well as several endangered species: red wolves and Florida panthers. There are also several aviaries, a snake exhibit, small mammals, and a "guest" animal habitat, which was introduced in 1988. The museum also has several nature trails, one of which includes a boardwalk over normally flooded cypress habitat. The Tallahassee Museum is definitely worth the time and you will be glad you came.
Tallahassee Museum
Date published: 10/23/2013
3 / 5 stars