The Safety Harbor area has long been an ideal place to live. From the earliest peoples (20,000 B.C.E.) who hunted giant mammals on a peninsula twice the size of present day Florida, to our present city of dedicated preservationists, Safety Harbor has an impressive history.
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Permanent Exhibits
See fossils of mammals that used to live in Florida thousands of years ago. Explore our touch table where you can interact with fossils that you see in our exhibit.

Tocobaga Indians
The Tocobaga Indians were Tampa Bay’s first residents. They lived in the area from 900 C.E. to around 1500 C.E. Little is known about their culture, but through archaeological excavations and early Spanish records, we can piece together a picture of how they lived.

Odet Philippe
Odet Philippe is noted as the first non-native settler in Pinellas County. Learn about his unique history and what he brought to Florida.

Florida in the Civil War
Learn about Fort Brooke was a historical military post situated on the east bank of the Hillsborough River in present-day Tampa, Florida. Fort Brooke would serve as a major outpost in Florida during all three Seminole Wars and the Civil War. Learn how early settlers were involved in the Civil War.

Espiritu Santo Springs
Safety Harbor is the home of the historic Espiritu Santo Springs, or “Springs of the Holy Spirit,” a natural mineral spring. Learn about the development of the Safety Harbor Sanatorium and the Spa that was eventually built over the springs.

Early Safety Harbor
Learn about the development of the City of Safety Harbor from schools to the Safety Harbor Herald. Also, check out the replica post office and learn how unique Safety Harbor’s postal system was.
Past Exhibits
Civil War
Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Displays of weapons and equipment used during the war. There was a large diorama of the Battle of Olustee Station.
The Exhibiting Society of Artists
In the Museum gallery from February 24th to April 7th the Museum will host several paintings from artists of TESA (The Exhibiting Society of Artists), a professional organization whose purpose is to promote original, contempory art and artists of the Tampa Bay community. The theme of the show is Florida History, in conjunction with Florida Heritage Month for the month of March.
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Stuart Dwork, "Art on the Half Shell"

By the age of 7 , Stuart Dwork was an artist. After graduating from New York City's Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, he served in the United States Army. This experience resulted in a painting of 2 soldiers that is on display at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. After a career of creating art for magazines throughout the world, he began painting on sea shells, while living in Cedar Key in North Florida. He began with shells from that area, but now paints on shells from all over the world. Each finished shell is lacquered to protect its painting and bring out the color. Stuart, who lives in Clearwater, is president of The Exhibiting Society of Artists (TESA) (as seen in Tampa Bay Magazine, May/June 2011).

East Meets West | November-December 2015

In 2012, Noriko organized the East Meets West exhibition at the Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center. Now, in its 3rd year, she is again bringing Asian culture and art to Pinellas County by way of Japanese artists Koki Sugita and Keisuke Teshima.

Koki Sugita excels in Japanese Calligraphy painting on traditional Japanese rice paper and tatami mats. According to Sugita’s Facebook page, Japanese calligraphy, “sho”, is constantly changing and has been since its beginnings, which date back approximately 1700 years. His art weaves the values of Japan’s ancient times with his own modern inspirations.

Keisuke Teshima is a master in the ancient art of the one stroke dragon. This technique is difficult since there is no breakage in the stroke. He paints the body of a dragon with 1 brush stroke, which is considered a good omen. His bio states that “Since ancient times, the dragon has been considered the incarnation of a deity and worshiped as a sign of good fortune around the world. From early on, Europeans and Indians believed dragons brought wealth and good luck to homes. This is especially so in Japan as it is said that Japan itself is the dragon. Owners of single stroke dragons are protected by and are given prayers for good health and realization of great ambitions” (written by Laura Kepner, taken from Articulate Creative Pinellas).
Girls, Boys & Their Toys | July - August 2014
The “Florida Girls and Boys and Their Toys” exhibit was on loan from the Museum of Florida History’s Traveling Exhibit (TREX) program on the history of toys. The exhibit contains 30 sepia-toned photographs of Florida pioneer children and their toys that date from 1881-1971.
Visitors were encouraged to enjoy the exhibit through hands-on interaction that included an area for children and adults to try reproductions of various toys such as a puppet theater, LEGO bricks, and Lincoln Logs.

In addition to the material on loan from the Museum of Florida History, other toys that were loaned by the Safety Harbor community were on display. The exhibit gave children an opportunity to see toys they may have never seen before and parents and grandparents the chance to relive their childhood memories.