Graves Museum of Archaeology & Natural History - Dania Beach, FL

History:

The Broward County Archaeological Society was founded in 1959 by a group of advocational archaeologist who recognized a need for organized systematic investigations of the Archaeological sites in Broward County.

From 1959 till 1971 the results of those investigations were stored in the homes of the members of the society. At that time Mrs. Gypsy Graves acknowledged that this was not the proper way to store the societies collations. She came up with the idea to open a museum not just to store the collation but to create a place were the public could come to learn about the archaeology of Broward County. A place were school children could be taught the correct history of Florida. The museums was first named The Museum of Archaeology and located in the Clayton L.Nance building, which was leased from the school board of Broward County. The next home of the museum was in what is now Las Olas Riverfront. When that was due to be built the city told the society it would have to move the museum. So we come to our current home.

The museum is located in the 50,000 sq. former warehouse you see today. In 1992 the members of the society set out to transform the warehouse into a museum. This major project was accomplished by the hard work and dedication of the members of the society. Walls were put up, cases were built, and exhibits were put in place. In the early years the museum was run entirely with a volunteer staff. The move to a larger museum necessitated that the museum have a full time paid staff. The running of the museum was in 1996 turned over to a Board of Governors who we felt could better serve the needs of a growing museum. As with any rapidly growing institution there were growing pains. As of July of 2002 the society is back in control of the day to day running of the museum.

The Museum now offers programs that include our monthly Family Day. On the last Sunday of every month the public can come in and take part in thematic activities for the whole family. Our most popular programs are the sleepovers for the kids. The most popular is the Halloween sleepover, this provides a safe place for the children to come and trick or treat and spend the night in the spooky museum. We have plans to add a sleepover on New Years Eve. The Education Department offers a verity of tours, workshops, and outreaches. We also have the Satellite school were children come to the museum and have school in the museum for the day.

The exhibits include Geology, Florida Pre- History, Paleontology, Hominid Evolution, Pre- Columbian, The Hamilton Forman Native American Gallery, and The Silks to Samurai Exhibit, Egyptian Gallery, and the African Gallery.

The museum is ready to move in to the next phase of its life. Partnerships with Florida Atlantic University, The Broward County School Board, The Institute of Maya Studies, and others will enable the museum to grow even larger and become a major research and educational center for South Florida. This growth will allow us to add the professional science staff that will be needed to direct the museum thru the coming years.

We are excited about the future of the Graves Museum of Archaeology And Natural History. You can be a part of that future; we have many volunteer opportunities for the public. Become a member of the Broward County Archaeological Society, or the Florida Institute of Paleontology, or one of the other groups in the museum. Come and watch us grow.

Education Department:

Continuing school programs are provided for students K-12. Tours and hands-on workshops, conducted by professional teachers, provide ongoing scientific and cultural enrichment for a broad base of children and adults. After-school programs, university internship programs and summer activities are just a few of the educational enrichment opportunities offered.

Directions:

1.5 miles South of the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport, on South Federal Highway (US-1) between Stirling Road & Sheridan Street.

From the North I-95: Exit I-95 at Stirling Road and then left to US-1. Turn right on US-1 to SE 4th Terrace. Turn left onto SE 4th terrace.

From the North Turnpike: Exit turnpike at Griffin Road and turn left. Take Griffin to US-1. Turn right onto US-1. Turn left onto SE 4th terrace.

From the South I-95: Exit I-95 at Sheridan Street and turn right to US-1. Go left on US-1. Turn right on SE 4th Terrace.

From the South Turnpike: Exit on Hollywood Blvd. and turn right. Take Hollywood blvd. to US-1 and go left. Turn right on SE 4th Terrace.

Graves Museum of Archaeology & Natural History
481 South Federal Highway
Dania Beach, FL 33004

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