Palm Harbor Museum

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Wednesday - Saturday

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.


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Event:

A Staging of:

The Islander

We would like to invite you to attend a staging of 'The Islander' where you can learn about the history of Myrtle Betz and Caladesi Island. Written by local playwright Elizabeth Brincklow; the play centers around Myrtle Betz who was born and grew up on Caladesi Island.  Myrtle’s life illustrates the wonders, discomforts, challenges, and joys of pioneer life on a barrier island in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Florida really was a tropical paradise.  ‘The Islander’ focuses in on a very important time in Myrtle’s life when her daughter has just reached school age and Myrtle needs to decide if she should remain living on Caladesi Island or move to the mainland.  Myrtles granddaughter Terry Fortner will be available after the reading to answer any questions and light refreshments will be served. 

Admission is free

Center of Palm Harbor on April 28th at 6:30pm

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

Our Sponsors



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.

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. 

Bluegrass at the Museum

Bluegrass at the Museum, 4th Saturday pm Series, 1 to 3 pm

The Bluegrass Band, “Stump Hollow Bluegrass Band“, will host  Bluegrass Concerts followed by an open jam on Fourth Saturdays, through April 23, 2016, from 1 - 3 PM, on the back lawn of the Palm Harbor Museum, located at 2043 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor, Florida. You are invited to bring lawn chairs and join in the musical fun. Our next concert is on April 23rd 2016. If it rains the event will be moved inside the museum.  


November 12, 2016, 11 am to 5 pm, Chesnut Park, 2200 East Lake S, Palm Harbor, FL 34685

The Palm Harbor Museum will host the 2nd Annual Bluegrass Festival on November 12, 2016 from 11 am to 5 pm in Pinellas County’s John Chesnut Senior Park, 2200 East Lake S, Palm Harbor, FL 34685.  This is an annual fundraiser for the Museum and will feature continuous traditional bluegrass music by several local and well known bluegrass bands. Put this date on your calendar and plan for some finger picking good music!   See our website for developing details.


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