Friday, February 15, 2013

Grand Opening set for June 29

We’ve set the date for the museum reopening: Saturday, June 29.  It’s timed to coincide with the anniversary of the city’s founding in June 1955.  Of course there will be a big party to celebrate the unveiling of the great new displays.
Tiki Gardens returns!

It has been a long wait, with the construction project taking longer than expected because of the need to elevate the old cottage portion of the museum.

We’re now focused on totally renovating the displays.  We are looking for a “wow” factor, with the selective use of oversize photos to bring history to life.  Enhanced presentation of our artifacts will give visitors a fun and informative experience.

We hope to stretch our $30,000 budget for the exhibits with help from the community in the form of services and donations.  If you want to be a part of this exciting time, please call the museum at 593-3861 or email


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Museum construction project almost complete

At long last, the museum construction project (which includes a new addition and repairs to the old building) is nearly complete.  The museum’s grand reopening celebration will be early next year, after a complete renovation of our displays.

Our exhibits team is looking forward to getting into the building to begin the huge task of re-creating our presentations to better tell the story of Indian Rocks Beach.  And we are fortunate to have some new artifacts to add to our already great collection, so we think you will find the “new and improved” museum worth the wait.

The Indian Rocks Historical Museum will continue to be a place where many will be reminded of the “old days” in our little community, and everyone can learn something new about our fascinating past.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Museum expansion is underway

The museum expansion is finally underway!  The first step, which is happening in October, is to elevate the existing building to comply with FEMA requirements.  While work is being done under the building, it is boosted above the planned permanent height. 

The new addition will start taking shape in back of the existing building, and is scheduled to be complete by the end of March 2012.  The last step will be to upgrade our exhibits to feature some new artifacts and better display the many great photos and historical items we are fortunate to have in our collection.
We anticipate reopening the museum in January or February while work continues on the addition.  The critical factor that determines when we can open is having a handicap ramp available to visitors.  Check back for updated information.

"Save Our Cottages" 2012 calendar, historical books available

The Plein Aire Cottage Artists have once again created a beautiful calendar featuring the charming cottages of IRB.  The artists generously donate calendars to the historical society so that proceeds from sales can benefit the museum. 
This year, since the museum will be closed in November and December, we have made arrangements to have the calendars available for sale at City Hall. 
Our popular IRB pictorial history books are available at the Beach Welcome Center on Walsingham Road.  Stop by to get the complete history, Indian Rocks As It Was, or our newest book, Indian Rocks Beach (Arcadia Publishing), to give as gifts or for your own enjoyment.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Museum to close temporarily for construction

It will be necessary to close the museum for at least the month of September 2011 as construction of our new addition gets underway.  The project begins with raising the elevation of the existing building to meet FEMA requirements.  That work will include redoing the front steps and the side ramp to match the new height.

Tentative plans are to close the museum in September but keep it open as much as possible while the addition is being constructed through the end of the year.  Updated information will be posted to our website and on our phone message (727-593-3861).

Museum featured on Bay News 9 segment

Bay News 9 came out to the museum in July to film a story about our planned expansion.  Click here to take a look!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Local shipwreck artifacts donated to the museum

The Indian Rocks Historical Museum recently received some very unusual artifacts that literally came “out of the blue” – the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Jim Leatherwood, a retired school teacher, enjoys going to the beach with his metal detector.  Some of his finds over the past seven years have led him to believe that there is an as-yet-undiscovered shipwreck off our shores.
His finds include large keel pins, used in building wooden ships.  He found a heavy pin that is bent, evidence it has been under stress.  “That tells you it has been in a wreck,” he says.
The artifacts Jim has been collecting are not pricey jewels or coins, but they are rare finds that tell a story.  A piece of shell/coral conglomerate contains the remnant of a dinner plate, with a design still discernable.  Several nails in the cluster suggest that the plate was in a nailed box.
Numerous clues, such as the blacksmithing marks and nail head style, suggest that many of the items he has found date from the mid-1800s.
Most of the items were found after storms, along the shore in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores.
“I found these things at Indian Rocks Beach and they belong to the community,” Jim says.  He was delighted to donate them to the museum, and we feel fortunate to receive them.
A few of the items are on display now, as a preview to the permanent shipwreck exhibit we are planning for the museum addition.