10 April 2015
The Museum of Southern History (Review)
On my drive home to Orlando, Florida for Easter I decided to take a detour through Jacksonville, Florida to visit The Museum of Southern History, one of Florida’s few true American History museums. It features artifacts and information from many of the events discussed in our class, with a slight focus on the Civil War. Although the building where the museum is located is rather modest in size, the inside has no shortage of interesting exhibits and rare artifacts. One particularly impressive pieces I saw during my visit was the actual 34 star American flag that adorned President Lincoln’s casket as his body was toured through several northern cities.
An advantage this museum has from being smaller in size is the very helpful staff that is eager to teach you more about the events and artifacts featured in the exhibits. The staff also guides tours personally tailored to the touring groups age and interests.
Much of the museum is dedicated to the events of the Civil War. It included something particularly interesting to me, a focus on Florida’s contribution to the war, something often overlooked. They highlight the road to Florida deciding to leave the Union and join the confederation, as well as important figures and battles of the Sunshine State. On display are maps, diagrams explaining the storyline of the war, weapons, and other artifacts.
When searching for American history museums, I read that the operating hours and days seem to change all the time, so before I made the detour, I called to ensure they would be open when I made it to Jacksonville. Luckily, they were and I had the opportunity to visit a great collection of American History with a focus on my home state of Florida from a national perspective.