Palm Harbor Museum


Wednesday - Sunday

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Closed on Holidays

Mission Statement

To collect, preserve, interpret and share the heritage of the Palm Harbor area, within the context of Pinellas County and Florida history.


Palm Harbor Video History Project

       Camera and Tripod

The Palm Harbor Historical Society is currently in the process of fulfilling a grant from the Pinellas Community Foundation to record video memories of Palm Harbor residents who were instrumental in the early growth of Palm Harbor.  If you think you may be one of those people, please call the museum at (727) 724-3054. 

The Way We Worked

In conjunction with The Way We Worked exhibit, the Museum will host a series of presentations by noted authorities during the exhibit's time at the museum.  Please check the Calendar of Events tab (above) for programs and times.

Pictures from Palm Harbor's past

Florida Avenue - 1904
Florida Avenue - 1904
Hotel Ozona - 1925
Ozona Waterfront - 1920s
Bay Street in Ozona - 1920s
Sutherland - 1920s
Southerland Railroad Station - 1917

New Exhibit


With their hands and minds hard at work and sweat on their brows, American workers perform a diverse array of jobs to power our society. Whether we work for professional satisfaction and personal growth or to ensure the well-being of ourselves and our families, work is a part of nearly every American's life.

Office workers, factory workers, homemakers, truckers, soldiers and the millions more who keep the nation going through their work make great contributions not only to industry, but also to American culture.  

The Palm Harbor Museum explores the professions and the people that sustain American society when it hosts The Way We Worked, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition from November 1, 2014 thru December 13, 2014.

The Way We Worked exhibition focuses on why we work and the needs that our jobs fulfill. Our work takes place everywhere – on the land, on the streets of our communities, in offices and factories, in our homes, and even in space. An exploration of the tools and technologies that enabled and assisted workers also reveals how workers sometimes found themselves with better tools, but also with faster, more complex and often more stressful work environments.

The diversity of the American workforce is one of its strengths, providing an opportunity to explore how people of all races and ethnicities identified commonalities and worked to knock down barriers in the professional world. And, finally, the exhibition shows how we identify with work – as individuals and as communities. Whether you live in “Steel Town, USA” or wear a uniform each day, work assigns cultural meanings and puts us and our communities in a larger context. 

The exhibition offers multiple interpretive opportunities for visitors through large graphics, along with relevant objects and work clothing. Through audio components, hear workers’ own stories about changes in their industries and confronting workplace challenges. Follow workers into their workplaces through films of various industries. Interactive components introduce visitors to the experiences of multiple generations of families involved in the same work.

The Way We Worked is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and is adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Florida Humanities Council is partnering with SITES for their Museum on Main Street initiative to host this exhibition across Florida and has asked the Palm Harbor Museum to host the exhibit. Museums on Main Street (MOMs) is a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to communities across the nation. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. The Palm Harbor Museum is working with the Florida Humanities Council to bring this exhibit to the state of Florida. 



 Click Here To Learn More About This Exhibit

History of the Museum

The Palm Harbor Historical Society incorporated on January 22, 1983, the result of decades of work and planning by many Palm Harbor residents, some who were born here along with others who embraced Palm Harbor as their own after moving here from elsewhere. These citizens had, after watching the rapid economic and social change all around them, concluded that the Palm Harbor area had a rich history that should be preserved, shared and revealed for the benefit of current and future residents and visitors. These founders of our society firmly believed in the old Platonic theory that “you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you've been.”

This group of citizens began collecting everything from the past that they could lay their hands on. These items, including pictures, artifacts, furnishings, journals, records and genealogies, were stored, and sometimes displayed, at various locations in Palm Harbor as residents and businesses donated space for the collection.

In 1996, the historic Hartley House (built 1914-1919 with concrete block construction made on site) was acquired by Pinellas County and by happy agreement was given into the care of the Palm Harbor Historical Society. The house was rehabilitated and on November 7, 1998, was opened as a museum, now called the Palm Harbor Museum.

Heritage Village is our county liaison, but our Palm Harbor Historical Society is required by agreement to maintain the house and grounds. Our museum is entirely dependent upon our society membership for upkeep as we receive no funding through any governmental channels. The restored Hartley House now provides a permanent home for the collection of the Palm Harbor Museum, the ongoing result of an active effort by many caring residents of Palm Harbor.

Where is Palm Harbor?

Palm Harbor FL

The story of Palm Harbor, using old maps, photographs and documents to show how our communities have developed over the years will be online here in 2014.  Contact Tom Rose, PhD @ (727) 772-1097 to talk about how you can help or donate funds to the project.  Thanks to all the student volunteers from Countryside High School for their assistance in this project.

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