The Heritage Museum is located at the heart of Tarpon Springs, in shady Craig Park overlooking Spring Bayou. The serene waters of the Bayou attracted the town’s very first settlers, and many wealthy northerners of the late 19th century later built their winter homes on this “Golden Crescent.” Still very much a town landmark, the bayou is the site of the annual Greek Orthodox Epiphany Celebration and cross-diving ceremony, and the winter home of numerous manatees.
This beautifully renovated facility, formerly a library, has two separate wings. The History Wing contains an exhibit about the Greek community of Tarpon Springs, as well as a display of historical and modern photographs tracing the development of Tarpon Springs, a collection of Native American archaeological artifacts from local excavations, and an exhibit detailing the history of Tarpon Springs’ Women’s Club. Visitors also can view a 16-minute documentary about the local sponge industry.
A permanent interactive exhibit, “The Greek Community of Tarpon Springs” explores the history and culture of the Greek community, including domestic traditions, foodways, religion, and celebrations. It also includes a special focus on the sponge industry and other maritime traditions, as well as music and dance. A Greek Arts Kiosk features examples of music, video and photos of local and Greek traditions and festivals. The exhibit was created in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Tour groups will enjoy exploring the exhibit and talks by local experts can be arranged in advance.
The ecology wing features the large-scale murals of Tarpon Springs artist Christopher Still. The murals are fine giclee reproductions of the series that hangs in the chambers of Florida House of Representatives, and tell the story of the state’s vivid history. Each of the murals contains many symbolic elements that introduce the people and events that shaped Florida’s history from 16th century European discovery to modern times.
Hours and Admission: The Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum is open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. Children are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Adult Admission is $3.00 per person. Tarpon Arts members at the Bronze, Silver or Gold levels get unlimited FREE admission. Click here to become a Tarpon Arts member!
**Schools and other groups are entitled to group rates (school children $1, other groups of 10 or more $2). Chaperones are admitted free with 10 paying guests.
Parking: Parking is free at the Heritage Museum. There is both street parking and a parking lot behind the building. The main entrance is ADA accessible.
Directions: From U.S. 19, go west on Tarpon Avenue to the end of the street at Spring Boulevard. Make a left and an immediate right around Craig Park. The Museum is the first building on the right.