The Smithsonian Affiliate exhibits at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum share maritime stories beginning with Ponce de Leon’s first sighting of Florida in 1513 to the worldwide shrimping industry that began in northeast Florida in the early 20th century. The 140-foot view from the top of the Lighthouse gives you a wide angle on today and the 219-step climb features history exhibits and hands-on examples of what it’s like to be a lighthouse keeper! Exhibits are housed in the Keepers’ House and Lighthouse, Historic Site and Grounds, the Maritime Center, and World War II-era Structures. Visit us to learn about the region’s rich maritime heritage through our Nation’s Oldest Port® exhibits.
Oil Room, Keepers’ Office and Tower
See lighthouse keepers’ tools of the trade and how they did their job on a daily basis in the Keepers’ Office at the base of the Lighthouse tower. Find out how oil was stored and if you could carry a bucket of oil up 219 steps! Continue up the staircase and stop on several of the eight landings to learn more fun facts and stories about the St. Augustine Lighthouse.
At Home with the Harns in a Post Civil War Household
At Home with the Harns highlights the life of a lighthouse keeper’s family in late 1880s St. Augustine and tells the story of the family of William Harn, the first long-term lighthouse keeper (1875 – 1889) at the current St. Augustine Light Station. In the setting of an 1880s lighthouse keeper’s home, the interactive exhibit allows you to participate in school activities and games from the late 1800s, choose your character from history, and more! This is exhibit was funded by a generous donation from the Lazzara Family Foundation in honor of Judith Johnsen, a lover of all things Victorian. Ver el folleto de la exposición para hispanohablantes. (View exhibition booklet for Spanish speakers.)
WRECKED!: The Story of a Revolutionary War Shipwreck in St. Augustine
Discover St. Augustine’s ties to the American Revolutionary War in this interactive exhibition. See artifacts from a 1782 British loyalist shipwreck found right here in St. Augustine and learn how underwater archaeologists locate historic shipwrecks on the ocean floor.
Northeast Florida Shrimping: Foundations of a Global Enterprise
Find out about the modern global shrimping industry that has its roots right here in the Nation’s Oldest Port. Hear stories from the enterprising families and people that made St. Augustine the shrimping capital of the world in the mid-20th century.
Come see small wooden watercraft built by the Museum’s volunteer boatwrights using a combination of old world and new techniques. Then, while you are here, purchase a ticket for our annual Heritage Boatworks Drawing for a chance to win your own one-of-a-kind handmade boat while supporting this historic maritime tradition.
Heritage Boatworks is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts & Culture.
Eliza & Crackers Club Outdoor Exploration
Fun for everyone, especially if you’re under 44 inches!
Butterfly Garden – See a variety of plants that attract butterflies.
Sailing Shipyard Play Area – Be captain of your own vessel as you sail the high seas!
Pulleys & Knot Tying – Be a 19th-century sailor and try your hand on knot tying and using pulleys to lift heavy objects.
Maritime Hammock Nature Trails
Take a Quest (located at trail entry points) through the natural area of the historic site to find plant and animal species and learn how keepers’ families used them in their daily lives.
St. Augustine Light Station
Explore the grounds of the St. Augustine Light Station with your visitor’s guide to discover more stories of the Light Station and how the historic site has changed over time.
Legends of the Light
Experience stories about lighthouses, 1737 to 1955, including a “View from the Top” for those unable to climb, a puppet theater and hands-on activities for kids and a ship model display.
PGA Artifact Conservation Lab Viewing Hallway
View shipwreck artifacts and other items being conserved in the Museum Artifact Conservation Lab.
1940s US Coast Guard Coastal Lookout Dwelling
Learn about St. Augustine’s role in World War II and the threat of German submarines off the coast. The exhibit features artifacts and videos along with stories drawn from interviews with those who lived here during the war.
Home Front St. Augustine in the WWII-era Garage
This exhibition is located in a structure originally built as the keepers’ garage in 1936 and was converted to a jeep maintenance garage for U.S. Coast Guard jeeps that conducted beach patrols as part of the coastal response to the outbreak of WWII. The exhibit features images and memorabilia from daily life in St. Augustine during World War II. The WWII-themed eatery, Tin Pickle, Local Gedunk, is also located in this historic building.
WORLD WAR II UNITED STATES COAST GUARD
View historic photos of St. Augustine when it was a US Coast Guard station during World War II (1941-1945).
ANASTASIA ISLAND HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS
View historic photographs on Anastasia Island from the late-19th through the late-20th centuries.