We like the unexpected, the odd and the fascinating, so when we visited St. Augustine, Florida last week, we had to go to the Lightner Museum. The story is that Mr. Lightner, a wealthy New Yorker, began collecting collections during the depression and after his death his entire collection of collections was put on display at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine.
I would love to prepare you for your trip to the Lightner Museum, but the simple fact is, this is a blog not a book. Imagine it’s 1935 the depression is in full swing and the word on the street is there is this chap that is buying collections. “What kind of collections?” you ask. “Well just about everything from marble statues to shrunken heads,” your informer answers with a smile. So the next day your down at Mr. Lightner’s house proudly showing him your Cigar Band collection.
I mention this because I imagine that is how many of Mr. Lightner’s collection purchases went. Just a sprinkling of the things we saw. There were collections of: Match boxes, liquor labels, cut glass, stain glass, stuffed animals, shells, shaving mugs, coins, stamps, fossils, buttons, music boxes, dolls, doll houses, African artifacts, china, toasters (this one was different), and or course decorations made from human hair.
In short a very large building tastefully exhibiting a little bit of everything to entice and amaze the curious visitor.
If you’re in the Lightner and get hungry just go to the swimming pool and have a nice lunch. I know, you thought, “how wonderful, lunch by the pool.” No this is the Lightner Museum, where odd, fascinating and fun are the watch words, lunch is served in the pool. It seems that back in the day the Museum was a very popular Hotel that sported the largest indoor swimming pool in America. The pool was emptied in the 1930’s so Charlene and I could enjoy their wonderful cheese plate, in the deep end, without getting our feet wet.
If, you find your way to the Lightner Museum around 11:00 AM you can be delighted by a display of the music boxes being played by one of the museum staff.
Charlene and I spent about 4 hours at the Museum and it was a rare treat. With every turn there is a new exhibit that is more amazing and unique then the last one. Charlene spent over an hour in the two rooms that were almost entirely devoted to cut crystal and stain glass and I got lost in the nature and industry section that had wonders like the stuffed white owl, native American relics, and a collection of miniature steam engines.
If you find yourself in St. Augustine, Florida be sure to spend the $10 for admittance and enjoy the wonders of Mr. Lightner’s collection of collections. I don’t know which collection of Mr. Lightner’s collections the tapestry on the right came from but I’m sure that the person who spent hundreds of hours doing the needle point made his or her point.
As we travel Charlene and I will not only try to share some of our fun finds but also try to make your travels as financially reasonable as possible. Please sign up below so you don’t miss any of our articles.
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