We opened in April of 2009, and since then, residents of the community have generously shared their pictures, genealogy, memories, household and work items to build our collection. Our first artifact was the medical bag of beloved midwife Tillie Miller, donated by Rita Brown Millender and John Brown. From then Carrabelle History Museum has grown to house thousands of items in its collections. Gratefully, we still receive wonderful local artifacts.
The museum is located in the Old Carrabelle City Hall, built by local mason Marvin Justiss in 1933 during the Depression as a work program to employ locals. The museum has exhibits rooms to display collections, a large entry hall for special displays, and a workroom/office for the volunteers to process the incoming artifacts. We have several displays that highlight Local Heroes; the Steamship Tarpon, which was key to building our community in the early 1900's; and Carrabelle's "First People", indigenous people who lived here thousands of years ago.
CARRABELLE MUSEUMS JOIN SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE’S MUSEUM DAY
Carrabelle’s three museums will open their doors free of charge on Saturday September 17, 2022 as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s 18th Annual Museum Day, a national celebration of boundless curiosity. This national celebration honors museums that follow the example of the Smithsonian with free admission. In honor of this day, Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, Carrabelle History Museum, and Crooked River Lighthouse Museum will have special activities and exhibits.
Museum Day goes beyond getting visitors through museum doors—it acts as a springboard to empower and help advance the hopes and ambitions of the public. It represents a national commitment to access, equity and inclusion. This year’s theme, The American Experience, shines a spotlight on wonderful arts, culture, sciences, innovation and history exhibits across the country.
In keeping with this theme, Carrabelle’s three history museums will celebrate The American Experience. Crooked River Lighthouse will feature their Country Market from 9 am-1 pm with local crafts, baked goods and produce followed by a nature walk starting at 1 pm. Local herbalist, Denise Williams, will take visitors for a guided medicinal plant walk around the grounds of the lighthouse during this 30 minute tour. The walk costs $5 and accepts a max of 10 people. Camp Gordon Johnston Museum will offer a scavenger hunt through their collection plus have their vintage military vehicles on display. Carrabelle History Museum will highlight the quirky objects and unique oddities from their collection, like the World’s Smallest Police Station and a 20,000 year old oyster shell.
For more information, please visit Smithsonianmag.com/MuseumDay.
INFORMATION ON THE MUSEUMS
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum
Honors the military men and women as well as civilian personnel who trained and worked in Carrabelle and Franklin County during 1942 through 1946. The museum houses numerous displays of military artifacts, photos and memorabilia of many types. Plus the Motor Pool building displays the museum’s military vehicles on site – WWII DUKW, German Lieferwagen, and WWII Jeep. Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is located at 1873 Highway 98 West, directly across from Carrabelle Beach where military troops practiced D-Day beach assaults. Saturday hours 11 am – 5 pm.
Carrabelle History Museum
Features local artifacts and exhibits including Carrabelle's Native American people, the Steamship “Tarpon”, the original “World’s Smallest Police Station”, Carrabelle industry and culture (seafood, lumber and more) and families from the pioneer days to the present. Carrabelle History Museum is located at 106 SE Avenue B, Carrabelle, FL. Saturday hours 10 am – 5 pm.
Crooked River Lighthouse
The history and the science of the lighthouse are displayed through interesting exhibits, including a historical setting of the early 1900’s, examples of various lighthouse beacons, the methods of constructing a skeletal tower lighthouse, plus the lighthouse’s original 1895 Fresnel lens from Paris, France! Also on display are the original Keeper’s House clock, a barometer, an antique glass fire grenade, and more. Visitors can also browse the Country Farmer’s Market at Lighthouse Park from 9 am – 1 pm. Crooked River Lighthouse is located at 1975 Hwy 98 West, Carrabelle. Saturday hours 9 am – 5 pm.
ADDRESS: 106 SE Ave B, Carrabelle, FL 32322
PHONE: (850) 697-2141
Wednesday & Sunday: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Visit us in the heart of downtown. The Museum is one block south of US 98. Turn south on Marine Street and left (east) at the first corner, 3rd building on your left. CHM is within walking distance to the Carrabelle Visitors Center.
DONATE TO THE MUSEUM