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The folk skills and heritage crafts of Cortez Fishing Village, and early communities throughout Florida, are at risk. As geographic distance between families continue to grow, new ways of passing on information need to emerge.


The mission of the Florida Maritime Museum (FMM) is to collect, preserve and share traditional knowledge, cultural artifacts and personal stories specific to Florida’s maritime heritage. The Folk School, which began in January 2017, enables FMM to take this mission a step further with hands-on classes formulated to not only learn and preserve classic skills, but to share stories, build community and grow appreciation for the history of Cortez and the greater surrounding area.

About The Folk School

Bratton/Burton Store on FMM grounds

*While awaiting construction on the museum, staff offices have been moved into the downstairs of the Burton Store building and will reopen to the public once construction is complete.

Bratton/Burton Store on FMM grounds before restoration and reconstruction

The Burton Store was the first commercial building within the Cortez Fishing Village. The Burton Store, built in 1890, expanded into the Albion Inn that was originally located on the waterfront of Cortez where the Coastguard Station now resides.

In 1991, the Albion Inn was demolished but the community of Cortez was able to save the original 1890’s portion of the building which they then moved to a location across the street from the museum where it stayed for 15 years awaiting funds to be renovated.


In 2006, it was moved to its current home and is now a part of the Florida Maritime Museum campus, which also includes the 1912 schoolhouse, Pillsbury Boatshop, and a Chickee Hut. After 11 years the Burton Store opened its doors in February 2018 as the home of The Folk School at Florida Maritime Museum. The downstairs is used primarily for Folk School events and classes while the upstairs is used for collection storage and a research library.*


The Historic Burton/Bratton Store Building

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