Museums You Don't Want To Miss In Jacksonville, Florida

What are some museums you don't want to miss in Jacksonville, Florida? What makes them unique?

Historians say Jacksonville is where Modern Florida

began. After the Civil war, Union officers returned with their families to this city, calling it "the Winter City in Summerland." By 1875, boats came from New York filled with 50,000 sun-starved vacations who were ready spend their money. Because of its rich history, you may want to stop by two important museums housed in the city.

Museum of Science and History: Just in 1998 a permanent history exhibit opened entitled "Currents of Time." The exhibit tracks 12,000 years of the rich diversity of the northeastern corner of Florida. Despite the lively music, sound effects and film footage, this history is told through letters, tableaus, pictures and maps. Highlights include the confessionario written in 1612 by a missionary. Its point was to help convert Indians. Set out in Spanish

and Timucuan, it is the oldest surviving text anywhere in a North American Indian language.

Ethnic minorities are also spotlighted in this museum. There is a lively look at the day to day life of the Timucuan Indians on the St. John's River. Also, there is a look at the history of the black community. There is a tribute to James Weldon Johnson who was the first African American admitted to the Florida bar. He also became the United States Consul in Puerto Rico in 1906.

Another permanent exhibit covers natural

history. "Atlantic Tails" concentrates on manatees, whales and dolphins. A display on the St.John's River emphasizes the importance of wetlands and marshes, the effect of pollution and the need to protect the Florida aquifer.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens: Is just across the river front the science and history museum. You will see well kept gardens one in the Italian tradition, the other in the English tradition. They were designed in the early 1900s. You'll be able to see European and 19th Century American paintings with strong examples of Flemish and Italian Renaissance works. One of the most popular paintings, "Ponce de Leon in Florida" by

Thomas Moran, was just purchased in 1996.

Finally, you will see the finest collection of porcelain in the United states. A local family donated their priceless

collection in 1965. This is the most rare and comprehensive collection in the country.

So enjoy everything from Indian to Spanish to

American art in all forms at these two Jacksonville

Museums.

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