Located on 21 acres of beautiful wooded land in the St. Petersburg and Clearwater area is the Heritage Village! The Heritage Village is known as a living museum, and has a large array of restored homes and buildings, demonstrations, and more! Taking a visit to the Heritage Village is like truly stepping back in time in the Pinellas County area.
Heritage Village is open from Wednesday – Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, and from 1 pm to 4 pm on Sundays. The best part? There is no admission fee, but donations are welcomed to help keep these historic buildings restored to their past glory.
Heritage Village Nature Trail & Sensory Garden
After spending some time learning about Florida’s history at the Visitor Center, take a walk through beautiful, natural Florida in the great outdoors. The nature trails at the Heritage Village weave through pine Flatwoods and amongst the same plants used by the early settlers of Pinellas County. You may even see some Florida wildlife along your walk!
Shirley McPherson herself was an integral part of Pinellas County, a supporter of the Heritage Village, and was even a member of the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. The trail was named after her in her memory to achieve what she loved – education and native plants of the Pinellas area.
The Sensory Garden was added to Heritage Village in 1983 and is a garden that allows people with sight impairments to be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens of the village. The garden is surrounded by what is called the “Circle of the Senses” – ten aromatic plants and herbs, all with captions in braille.
Historic Buildings of the Heritage Village
The Heritage Village features numerous historic and authentic buildings, many of which were donated to the village by families. While the Heritage Village is full of important historic buildings, below is just a sampling of what you’ll be able to see when you visit.
- Boyer Cottage – This Gulf Coast-style honeymoon cottage was built in 1878 along the Anclote River and was the oldest surviving structure in Tarpon Springs
- Harris School – This 1912 schoolhouse was originally located on Haines Road in St. Pete and was in use until 1923. This replica of that original schoolhouse has been a part of the Heritage Village since 1987.
- H.C. Smith General Store – This store was originally located on the corner of 6th Avenue and 5th Street in St. Petersburg and served the community as a grocery and meat market since 1915. In 1988, the City of St. Petersburg donated the building to the Heritage Village
- McKay Creek Boat Shop – This replica boat shop was designed to highlight the coastal living of Pinellas County and how important boating is to the area. You’ll be able to see vintage boats as well as marine artifacts at this iconic boat shop, which was opened during the annual Country Jubilee in 2015. (This location is currently unavailable to visitors, but will be opening to the public soon!)
- McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin – This cabin is actually the oldest structure in all of Pinellas County! Built in 1852 by Captain James Parramore McMullen in Clearwater, this cabin is a great example of a typical Florida Cracker log home of that time.
- Sponge Warehouse – In the 1930s, a man named Drosos Alahuzos opened a sponge business from this wood warehouse. In 1955, another sponge dealer, George Kousaleos from “sponge divers’ island” in Greece (Kalymnos) purchased the warehouse and sold sponges from the building as well. (This location is currently unavailable to visitors due to repairs on the pathways at the south-end of the property).
- Union Academy – Originally located in Tarpon Springs, this building was one of the first African-American schools in Pinellas County. It is still believed to be one of the earliest examples of a portable classroom that is still surviving to this day!
link to GMB