Welcome to the Crowley Museum & Nature Center

Florida Pioneer Life school fieldtrips
Supporting Crowley – All Donations From $5-$500 MATCHED 100%

Supporting Crowley – All Donations MATCHED From $5-$500  100% CMNC offers unique and immersive educational experiences in Florida’s natural and cultural history to students of all ages! Florida Pioneer Life school fieldtrips, Old Miakka Adult Day trips and living history demonstrations! Education is what we do! Help us achieve our mission! CMNC offers a unique Title 1 and special needs scholarship program. NO STUDENT should be denied our educational services based on an inability to pay or for needing different accommodations. Help us meet the high demand for our programs for ALL learners! HOW CAN YOU HELP? If you donate through The Louis and…
2021 SW FL Heritage Festival
2021 SW FL Heritage Festival

Join us for the 2021 SW FL Heritage Festival! March 6-7! Exhibitors  Wanted!    
Wildlife Wednesday – Capybara

In today’s installment of Wildlife Wednesday we will discuss the unique capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris). Originally from South America, the capybara is considered an exotic species here in Florida. A giant cavy rodent, the capybara is the largest of the rodent species in the world. Adults can grow up to 4.4 feet long and 2 feet tall weighing up to 146 pounds, though the average is closer to 110. In this species, females are larger than males, with the largest recorded female weighing 201lbs and the largest male weighing 162. Because they are semi aquatic, their feet are webbed which aids…
Wildlife Wednesday – Bobcat

In today’s installment of Wildlife Wednesday we will discuss one of our favorite residents, the Florida bobcat (Felidae rufus Floridanus). This interesting creature is the smaller of two large predatory cat species that inhabit Florida. It is also one of 12 subspecies of the bobcat (Lynx rufus). The Florida bobcat is approximately twice the size of the average domestic house cat. Body length can range from 2-4 feet with weight from 15-25 lbs. Often, males of this species are larger than their female counterparts. The name bobcat comes from the fact that unlike many large cats, these have a short…
Cowboy By Don Seiler
Cowboy by Don Seiler Donated to Crowley Museum & Nature Center

Exciting news! The family of the late artist Don Seiler donated the sculpture “Cowboy” to CMNC to be displayed in front of our museum. Today he made the move from his former home in Ona. Come out and meet Cowboy! Watch the video of his arrival to CMNC at Many thanks to Helm Vault Service for transporting and set up.
Indian Fields
Miccosukee Village at CMNC Groundbreaking

The first chickee in our historic Miccosukee village replica was built today by Huggins & Osceola Enterprises. A private donor requested a Miccosukee saying instead of a sign in honor of their donation. This chickee is named; Che-hun-tamo which is a traditional greeting in Elaponke, the language of the Miccosukee. As was custom, this chickee, the cooking chickee, was built first. It is a 10×14’ heart of cypress and sabal palm structure. Construction was fascinating to watch. The building crew and their boss, Michael Osceola, were extremely professional and efficient. They are also extremely strong and coordinated. Seeing men lift those…
live eagle cam
Live Eagle Cam Meet Victoria and Nicholas

Two Eagles, Two Storms and Two Choices Victoria and Nicholas, two American bald eagles, have a story of hope in the midst of life’s storms, literally! These two eagles, whose nest has been in our family’s back pasture for over 16 years, have felt the fury of life’s storms, twice! The first storm was Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm with winds topping 185 mph in some areas, left a wake of destruction in its path. Homes were destroyed by the hundreds and millions were left without power. Nicholas and Victoria also felt the wrath of Irma as the storm…
Tatum House
The Tatum Rawls House

by Missy Brewer, who gratefully acknowledges Spessard Stone’s contribution of data on the life of Laura Fredonia Redd. The c.1889 Tatum-Rawls House at Crowley 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 the house so that it may interpret history for future generations. Donations of period artifacts will make the house a home – typical of the period and region – once again. Laura Fredonia Redd, born July 10, 1859, grew up on the expanding American frontier in Florida.…
Jasper Crowley
Jasper Crowley – An Introduction

Crowley, Jasper (William Jasper), 1900-1976  Jasper Crowley, grandson of pioneer settler John Crowley, donated Crowley lands to the community in 1974. Jasper was a teacher at the Old Miakka one-room Schoolhouse from 1931-1943. In those days, people lived on enough land to keep a garden and some chickens, and the children had chores to help run the farms. Jasper believed that if children worked in the garden and took care of farm animals, they learned to understand and respect nature’s cycles and to be self-sufficient. Oral histories from some of the young men that worked with Jasper are testament to the notion that bringing kids to the farm and…
Miakka or Myakka?

Which spelling is correct? The answer is not simple. Background: According to 16th century Spanish Mission reports, an indigenous hunter/gatherers tribe along the St.Johns River called themselves the Mayaca. Since they had no written language, there was no specific spelling of that name. The name “Mayaca” referred to both the principal village and the chief of this tribe. Little documentation on the history of this tribe exists so the mystery of the origins of the name has persisted over the years. A letter written in 1940 by Secretary  W. Stanley Hanson of the Seminole Indian Association to Project Superintendent Claude E.…