Key West Shipwreck Museum

Key West, United States

Key West Shipwreck Museum

The Key West Shipwreck Museum (formerly Shipwreck Historeum) is located in Key West, Florida, United States. It combines actors, films and actual artifacts to tell the story of 400 years of shipwreck salvage in the Florida Keys. The museum itself is a re-creation of a 19th-century warehouse built by wrecker tycoon Asa Tift. Many of the artifacts on display are from the 1985 rediscovery of the wrecked vessel Isaac Allerton, which sank in 1856 on the Florida Keys reef and turned out to be one the richest shipwrecks in Key West's history, having resulted in the Federal Wrecking Court's largest monetary award for the salvage of a single vessel. Also included are relics from Spanish galleons, including a silver bar salvaged from the Nuestra Senora de las Maravillas that guests are encouraged to try to lift.

The museum guide portraying Tift tells the story from his point of view as he explains how this unusual industry provided for the livelihood for the entire island of Key West at a time when it had the largest population in the state.

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