The Brevard Museum Inc., also known as the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science, is conveniently located in Cocoa, Florida, bordering the Eastern Florida State College and the city’s original water supply, Clearlake. A not-for-profit corporation since 1969, the Brevard Museum sits on a 22 acre parcel of land that includes a 19.5 acre nature preserve encompassing three Florida ecosystems.
The Museum began with a group of local citizens called Friends of the Brevard Museum who saw a need to preserve both artifacts and specimens of the Indian river area of the east coast of Florida. In 1973, the Museum opened to the public using a portable classroom donated by the Brevard County School Board.
In 1978 a permanent facility was dedicated, with funding provided by the Grace and Albert Taylor trust. Mrs. Taylor, an early Brevard resident interested in preserving the history and natural beauty of the area, left a bequest specifically for the development of a museum to accomplish this purpose. The Museum also acquired Mrs. Taylor’s extensive collection of antiques and historic artifacts that she had meticulously documented since her arrival in the area in 1895.
As interest in the Museum continued to grow with many visitors, active volunteers and school groups, programs were developed to emphasize the history and ecology of the area and the importance of conserving our natural resources. Funds for further construction were secured from the state with a match provided through a community fund drive of private donations to build a second wing with a connecting lobby and museum store. The Winchester Wing was dedicated in march of 1992 and is devoted to on-going exhibitions that tell the story of Brevard County’s history and natural environment.
The Taylor Wing exhibit hall is now home to the By-Gone Beasts exhibit featuring assembled skeletons of a mastodon, giant ground sloth and saber tooth cat as well as additional fossils. The wing also has a hands-on “Imagination Station” for the young and young at heart with a rocket simulation, tree house and cave as well as a hands-on ‘Archaeology’ room with pottery and fossils.
The entire Museum complex consists of a 14,750 square foot facility with parking for 75 cars, a pavilion with four picnic tables, an outside restroom facility, a tool storage area and workshop and a 19.5-acre nature preserve. Governed by a Board of Trustees, the day-to-day management of the museum is overseen by the Executive Director.