The museum at Crowley depicts the time between 1850-1920 and is laid out like an early Florida homestead. The site contains a one-room “Homesteader” cabin typical of those built by pioneers when they first arrived to an unsettled area and contains furnishings and utensils that early pioneers would have used. Circa 1889-1892, William H. Tatum built the two-story Tatum House with the help of his two stepsons. Over the years, the house was expanded to accommodate the couple’s 13 children.
You will also see a sugar mill with a cane grinder and kettle for boiling syrup. In The Sugar Cane Mill and Kettle, sugar cane was pressed in a mill and boiled in a kettle to create cane syrup and then dried to make crystalized sugar or cooked down further to molasses, which could then be used to make taffy.
John Crowley, the original pioneer settler on this land, was a blacksmith and veterinarian, ran a general store, and was a farmer. There is a working blacksmithing shop and a pioneer museum set up like a general store. The museum exhibits a variety of historic objects, mostly from the Crowley family and the Old Miakka area. The Crowley Farm contains a herd of certified Florida “Cracker” cows, cracker ponies, a mule, pigs, chickens, an organic vineyard, an orchard, a kitchen garden and more.
Open Thursday – Sunday 10 am until Sundown Crowley contains 185 acres of beautiful and sensitive lands along the Myakka River. Enjoy the 3/8 mile long Children’s Discovery Path with five discovery stations where a child can stop and learn about animals, birds, and insects that are native to southwest Florida.
ADMISSION Adults: $6.50 Seniors (62+) and Students: $4.50 Kids, 5 to 12 years old: $2.00 Under 5: Free ADDRESS 16405 Myakka Road, Sarasota, FL 34240 View Map HOURS Thursday – Sunday 10 am until Sundown CLOSED Easter Thanksgiving Day Christmas Day Crowley contains 185 acres of sensitive lands along the Myakka River. We are open four days per week, and close the park three days per week in order to allow the animals opportunity to express natural behaviors. This practice also reduces the impacts on our natural landscapes and improves...read more
The 1889 Tatum-Rawls House at Crowley Natural & Cultural History Center is one of the oldest examples of pioneer Florida architecture still standing in Sarasota County. The building is a record of southwest Florida’s rural history. The Center’s volunteers have helped restore [...]read more
THE MUSEUM Our pioneer museum exhibits a variety of historic objects, mostly from the Crowley family and the Old Miakka area. The museum is partially arranged like a general store, such as the one John Crowley and his son Jim had kept. A cowboy photography exhibit by well-known area photographer Jimmy Peters is also in the museum. Click here to visit Jimmy’s website and see more amazing photos… THE PIONEER CABIN The one room cabin is typical of those built by pioneers when they first arrived to an unsettled area and contains...read more
NATURE TRAILS The self-guided nature trail winds through the Crowley property from high and dry pine flatwoods, through the shady oak hammock, over the Maple Branch swamp, and out to the edge of the expansive Tatum Sawgrass Marsh along the Myakka River. The wide trails offer easy and pleasant walking conditions that are enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Visitors are provided with a booklet for the self-guided trail that details much of the native flora and fauna that might be seen. Below are the main parts of the trail that...read more
At Crowley we respect and admire all animals, wild and domestic. Considering that our site is just under 200 acres we have wonderful diversity of wildlife and plants. Much of our property is wetlands adjacent to the river and Crowley Creek. This creates a sanctuary and breeding ground for many elusive and rare species. The park is closed three days out of the week to allow the animals to express natural behavior and this makes it more likely to observe them on the days we are open. Also, the Crowley Farm surrounding the museum area includes...read more
William Jasper Crowley & Edina Truchot Crowley Museum and Nature Center is a 501(c)3 community organization founded by Jasper Crowley (1900-1976) and Edina Truchot (1899-1976) in 1974. John Crowley, Jasper’s grandfather, was an Irish immigrant who came to this area from Pennsylvania. He was a farmer and a blacksmith, a sawmill owner and his wife Sylvia was a teacher. He moved to Florida hoping to improve the health of his wife and daughter. In 1884, John applied for a homestead on 160 acres near Bayshore in what was then Manatee...read more
Our Vision: To be the best steward of southwest Florida natural and cultural history. Our Mission: To facilitate the enjoyment and understanding of Southwest Florida nature and history, to foster responsible stewardship, and to promote environmental awareness. Our Core Values: Environmental stewardship, conservation, and preservation Cultural heritage preservation Furtherance of sustainable agriculture practices Service to our community Service with integrity and honesty Education through experiential learning Synergistic opportunities with...read more
“This article brought back many memories. I graduated from SHS in 1955. I had 4 years of Ag classes with W.J.Crowley. He had a cabin in the woods and many times he would take boys from class to spend the night in the cabin. Mr. Crawley would cook over a fire and made wonderful biscuits and pies in a Dutch oven. He was an excellent teacher and we have no idea what an impact he made in the lives of many students. I hope to visit the museum the next time I’m in Sarasota. I now live in central Mo. Thanks for the article.” ...read more
Learn about the sensitivity and importance of the wetlands to our watershed,read more