Gulfport History 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.


Tuesdays • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Saturdays • 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

*** The Gulfport History Museum will close Aug. 1 as it resets its exhibit in anticipation of Read All About It: 50 Years of Hyper-Local News from The Gabber Newspaper. We will re-open with a members-only VIP reception on Aug. 16; the grand opening and reception for the exhibit is Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.***

On some weeks we open additional days; please check our Facebook page or the vintage shuffleboard sign at the museum for a weekly listing of additional hours.

Other hours by appointment. Please 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

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

(The above three positions comprise the executive board)

Volunteers: Susan Ray

Membership: Mary Hanrahan

Events: Karean Dorn
Board members at large: Rob Burkhart & Amanda Hagood

The board meets at the Gulfport History Museum (5301 28th Ave. S., Gulfport, Florida) on the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. We make our meetings open to the public, and we allow 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 two annual meetings: one every April, at the end of our fiscal year, and one every October, when we hold elections. Anyone who wants to know more about any of the Society’s activities can attend 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. Currently, she is the Arts + Entertainment editor for Creative Loafing Tampa.

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 Susan (Volunteer coordinator): Susan has a background in teaching and school administration. Susan earned her bachelors and masters degrees in teaching from Florida State University, a masters in Educational Administration from The College of New Rochelle (NY), and her doctorate in Educational Leadership from St. John’s University (NY). She was born in West Virginia and has lived in North Carolina, New York and Africa, ultimately retiring to Gulfport where she stays busy volunteering, reading and writing, biking and taking care of her fur-baby Chase.

Mary Hanrahan (Membership) Mary was born in England, near London, apart from a brief spell when her family emigrated to Australia and then moved back to the UK, she grew up in rural Kent on the Thames Estuary. Mary went to college at the University of London where she earned a B.Sc in Computer Science with Statistics. After working in the computer software industry, Mary and her husband moved to Texas in 1980, for a two-year spell. 35 years and three American children later she “retired” to Gulfport. While in Texas, Mary worked as a consultant in the Oil and Gas Industry on software for refineries and petrochemical plants, traveling the world to visit the plants — some in delightful spots, others not so!

Karean Dorn (Events) Karen moved to Gulfport in 2009 from Ohio. She has four daughters and three grandchildren. She’s a retired radiology technician, member of the Moran Art center in St. Pete, and a docent at the Dale Chihuly Glass Collection (also in St. Pete). She belongs to the Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center, and volunteers for the Center’s reassurance program and fitness center. She’s also a member of the Senior Advisory Board for the city of Gulfport. As you can tell, she’s a tireless volunteer.

“I came out of retirement to run my own house cleaning service for the past four years,” Karean says. “I have also volunteered for Gulfport Neighbors. I am happy to now serve on the board of the Gulfport History Museum.”

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.