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History, Education, Community

About Us

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The Florida Maritime Museum is sponsored by Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Courts, and is situated on almost 4 acres of land in the historic fishing village of Cortez. The museum itself is housed in the old Cortez schoolhouse, built in 1912.

Our mission is to preserve and share Florida's maritime heritage.

Founded on the importance of the regional, commercial fishing industry, FMM tells a number stories pertinent to all aspects of Florida's maritime history. Exhibits include historic photographs, boat models, tools, instruments, and other historically significant material relevant to Florida's maritime culture and history.

The museum also houses a research library that includes a variety of books, plans, logs, diaries, periodicals, letters, records and related archival material whose content is relevant to research concerning maritime subjects with special emphases on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Cortez Villagers have survived hurricanes, economic depressions and threats to their livelihood from a reduction in fishing grounds and regulations on the fishing industry. The residents of this community are passionate about preserving the past and ensuring that current and future residents and visitors to Manatee County understand the significance of Cortez Village and the broader maritime history of the area.