Gulfport Florida History Museum

Please note: On Labor Day, 2018, the Gulfport Historical Society had a fire at the Gulfport History Museum. Thankfully, no one was injured. However, we are closed until such time as the insurance company completes the repairs. We’re currently raising funds to preserve and digitize our records so that they’re safeguarded from future disasters, and also so that our newspaper archives, photographs and histories can be accessed from anywhere on the globe. Please consider making a donation to help us reach this goal. Subscribe to our newsletter to find out when we re-open the museum. 

The Gulfport Historical Society operates the Gulfport History Museum with generous financial and moral support from the City of Gulfport. As part of our agreement with the city, we do not charge an admission fee to view our collection. You’ll find us at 5301 28th Avenue South in Gulfport, Florida.

We’re currently undergoing renovations. To make an appointment please text or call 727-656-5420.

Things you can do at the museum include:

  • Research the history of your home
  • View our extensive photo collection
  • Research Gulfport families
  • View the current exhibit
  • Browse in the Square Mullet gift shop, which includes a micro-niche Florida bookstore. Current titles include books by Gary Mormino, Jack Davis, Arin Greenwood, Jon Kile, Cathy Salustri and Michael Taylor — as well as many others.
  • Enjoy a cup of coffee
  • Spend some time in our reading area

We have free wifi and water and encourage people to come and learn more about Gulfport’s history. We are also a gathering place for the community, and we welcome writers, readers, or people who would just like to chat with others. The Gulfport History Museum is your space; stop by and make the most of it!

We also welcome dogs and well-behaved children.

Want to volunteer with us?

Here and we’re not open? If we’re supposed to be open and no one is here, please text 727-656-5420 (or call and leave a voice mail).

Not open but you want to hang out on our porch or lawn? Please feel free. If we aren’t open and you’d like to use our wifi from our porch or lawn, please feel free to do so. We leave our porch light on 24/7.  Smokers, please take your butts with you.

Board of Directors

Executive Board

President: Cathy Salustri
Treasurer: Nicole Spence
Secretary: Bob Bates

Board members at large

Rob Burkhart • Amanda Hagood • Chrisan Herrod

The board meets at the Gulfport History Museum (5301 28th Ave. S., Gulfport, Florida) quarterly. Paid members in good standing to speak about items on the agenda after the board has discussed the agenda item, but before the meeting chair calls a board vote. The executive board may, from time to time, limit the time of such member discussion. Non-members may also speak during the “public discussion” portion of the meeting, and the board may also limit how long each person may speak. Please note: We do not adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order.

We have one annual membership meeting, every April, at the end of our fiscal year. Anyone who wants to know more about any of the Society’s activities can attend any of our meetings, come to our events or email us. You may also review our constitution and bylaws.

Learn more about your board

Cathy SalustriAbout Cathy (President): When she was seven, Cathy’s parents moved to Florida from New York and decided to bring her along. With the exception of college, Cathy has lived in Pinellas County ever since. She grew up in Clearwater and first moved to Gulfport in 2003. Since that time, she has also lived in St. Petersburg and on St. Pete Beach, but now lives in the northeast section of Gulfport. She worked for the local paper for 12 years, in which time she developed a deep attachment to Gulfport’s eclectic community.

In 2011, Cathy logged almost 5,000 miles in a camper as she retraced driving tours from the Works Progress Administration’s Federal One tour guide about Florida, Guide to the Southernmost State, in search of Florida’s overlooked culture, history and destinations. Her book about those travels, Backroads of Paradise, came out in October 2016 and was featured in the New York Times in January 2017. She is currently at work on a second book. Her areas of research include vintage Florida roadside attractions, the WPA’s work in Florida, and Gulfport. She has an MLA with a focus in Florida Studies from the University of South Florida St. Pete, where she studied Florida history and culture under Drs. Gary Mormino and Ray Arsenault. She also speaks about her research, the WPA work in Florida, historic driving tours and vintage roadside attractions, across the state.

About Nicole (Treasurer): Nicole has a B.A. in Art History from Emory University. She lives in Gulfport with her husband and daughter and their dog, Dougal, who sits at the table for dinner and has a penchant for sweaters.

About Bob (Secretary): Bob is a former dive captain and landscape expert who specialized in Florida’s natural landscape.

Rob Burkhart is a Seargeant with the Gulfport, Florida police department. His interest in history reaches back to his time in Pennsylvania, when he was active in his hometown’s historical society.

Amanda Hagood is Assistant Dean of Faculty at Eckerd College, where she also teaches courses in Environmental Humanities. She holds a PhD in American Literature from Vanderbilt University, but she has always been a history junkie. It runs in the family: she can count among her relatives several amateur historians, a couple of living history performers, and one Alabama History teacher. She has published scholarly work in Shenandoah, Environmental Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment. She is fascinated by Florida’s unique environmental history and has recently begun to explore her adopted home through creative projects including and essay published in Salt Creek Journal and “Wood Parade”, a poem honoring the work of St. Petersburg artist Earl Gresh.

Chrisan Herrod is a veteran of U.S. Air Force and received her Doctorate of Education from Northcentral University in July 2018. She’s helped companies plan, build, and run successful security programs. She developed and deployed information security policies, vulnerability assessments, penetration testing programs, risk assessments, incident response, auditing, control development, and other related programs including privacy and business continuity strategies. She is experienced with multiple compliance frameworks including HIPAA, SOX along with other federal regulations such as FERPA. Chrisan was featured in several trade publications and is a published author and adjunct professor.