New Smyrna Timeline

The Museum had a grand opening on November 11, 2006, and was completely redesigned from the ground up with a new exhibit on the Andrew Turnbull Settlement.

A chronological overview of New Smyrna History
Starting with Pre-History, with excellent examples of St. John's Period pottery, the gallery continues with tapestries created by local seamstresses of the Works Progress Administration ( W.P.A) and signage that delineate the various periods of our history. Notable objects in this gallery include:

  • A dugout canoe

  • Turn of the century printing press

  • Civil War artifacts

  • Exceptional collections of maps and photographs from the late 1800's to the present

The New Smyrna Settlement Exhibit

A bit further into the exhibit, a vide describes how settlers were gathered from Greece, Italy and Minorca. They risked everything to begin an adventure in the New World.

A group of Miinorcan, Greeks and Italians who were recruited by Dr. Andrew Turnbull to start an agricultural enterprise that would produce indigo, corn, rice and other products for the British Mecantile economy.

It was Dr. Turnbull's plan to offer those colonists land for their labors. The settlers were contracted to work for a certain number of settlers making the dangerous voyage to Florida. The increased numbers resulted in the shortage of supplies that were never successfully eliminated.

The settlers suffered shocking deprivation and other hardships caused by weather; insects, illness and overwork. Dr. Turnbull was forced to seek financial help from his partners as well as the English government. Each was increasingly reluctant to commit more resources to the project.
This is the story of men, women and children who risked everything to begin a new life in this untamed tropical paradise.

Learn about the ships that sailed to New Smyrna

See a representation of the ships as they arrive in New Smyrna in 1768.

Explore their cargo, navigation methods and diseases

Read about the explorers adventures and downfalls. Find out about the navigation techniques the explorers used and the diseases that fell upon them during their quest.

Educational Videos

Watch a fourteen minute video presented on a 42" screen with synchronized lights on a 14 foot, three-dimensional map of the original site.

The Zelia Wilson Sweet Exhibit

Take a look at our wonderful collection of arrowheads, pottery, projectile points, and other artifacts collected by this local historian.