Do you remember Floridaland? Whether you do or not, here is your chance to learn the story behind the famed “everything under the sun” roadside attraction that was located between Venice and Sarasota. The amusement park, which operated from 1964-1971, left area children, adults, and out-of-state tourists with countless cherished memories. Remember the deer park, can-can dancers, western shootouts, train rides, boat tours, or the renowned porpoise shows?
Venice Museum’s 2023/2024 Seasonal Exhibit, Rediscover Floridaland, features photos, artifacts, and stories behind Floridaland. Come join the fun and rediscover what made Floridaland so special to so many people during the pre-Disney era of roadside attractions!
The photo exhibit features the work of one of Venice’s most well-known news writer, radio personality and photographer, who kept Floridians informed for decades, the legendary Woody Thayer. The photographs selected for the exhibit cover a variety of topics – from police finding loot, to a man getting his hand stuck in a mail chute. The city has more than 3,000 photos and articles from Thayer, but only a select few are included in the exhibit.
The exhibit will run throughout the year until Jan. 17, 2024, and highlight some of Woody’s greatest news stories. Come by the museum to see what life was like when Woody reported the news in 1950s Venice!
Venice’s Inhabitants: The Unique Cultural Heritage of the Land on the Gulf
As the title suggests, Venice’s Inhabitants: The Unique Cultural Heritage of the Land on the Gulf, focuses on the diverse and rich historic heritage of the Venice region. The exhibit will go from prehistoric Venice when woolly mammoths roamed the area, to its descendant, the elephant, being spotted crossing a local Venice bridge in the latter half of the 20th century. The displays put special focus on the human inhabitants including early Native American tribes, early settlers of the area, the first land developers, investors, planners, and the military men who occupied the town. Come see the development of Venice throughout the decades and learn of the men and women who had a significant impact on its unique cultural heritage.
The exhibit is the featured permanent display in the VMA’s Main Gallery focusing on the development of Venice, Florida. The exhibit answers the questions: What gives Venice its unique character? How was the Venice area developed? What were the challenges and triumphs that gives Venice its unique historical character visible here now in the present day? Come discover these answers for yourself!
The Story of the Historic Triangle Inn
Explore the story of the historic structure that houses the Venice Museum & Archives, the Triangle Inn. Here, enjoy information and archival photos while you listen to former VMA Director, Dorothy Korwek point out interesting facts about the historic building’s design.
Fossils: Venice’s Land Before Time
Over 365 fossils collected from Sarasota and Charlotte counties are on display. They include specimens of creatures from land and sea such as mammoths, mastodons, giant sloths, camels, horses, rhinoceros, bison, turtles, alligators, and sharks. This is a great exhibit for kids of all ages.
Dr. Fred H. Albee: A New Beginning for Nokomis and Venice
The life and contributions of world-renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Fred Albee (1876-1945) and his wife Louella Albee are highlighted in this interactive exhibit, which includes a short video, oral history stories, and hands-on displays. Unique objects on exhibit include a model skeleton used by Albee for teaching and a special orthopedic table he invented in the early 1900s.