Come aboard as we undertake a voyage in time and tradition. Our port of call is somewhere in the past, but the harbor is a modern museum facility housed in a historic 1912 Schoolhouse and surrounded by the park-like grounds of the Cortez Nature Preserve. Here you will find, displayed for your delight, pieces of the almost forgotten past.

The Florida Maritime Museum is a function of the Historical Resources Department of the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller's Office of Ms. Angelina Colonneso with support from the Manatee County Board of County Commission. The museum is situated on almost 4 acres of land in the historic fishing village of Cortez. This land is a Florida Communities Trust Property, known as the Cortez Nature Preserve


Cortez Villagers have survived hurricanes, economic depressions and threats to their livelihood from a reduction in fishing grounds and regulations on the fishing industry. The residents of this community are passionate about sharing the significance of Cortez Village and the broader maritime history of the area.


Founded on the importance of this regional, commercial fishing industry, FMM tells a number of stories pertaining to all aspects of Florida’s maritime history. Exhibits include historic photographs, boat models, tools, instruments, and other historically significant material relevant to Florida’s maritime culture and history. The museum is also home to a folk school that teaches traditional Florida skills and a research library that includes a variety of books, plans, logs, diaries, periodicals, letters, records and related archival material concerning maritime subjects with special emphases on Florida’s Gulf Coast.


Kristin Sweeting
Email: Kristin.Sweeting@ManateeClerk.com

Jennifer LaForge

Registrar & Collections Specialist
Email: Jennifer.LaForge@ManateeClerk.com


a part of Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Historical Resources Department


Florida Maritime Museum is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilities. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and applying the relevant accessibility standards.

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Florida Maritime Museum, ​​Historical Resources Department for the Office of Ms. Angelina Colonneso, 
Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller