The Silver River Museum is a partnership program between Marion County Public Schools and the Florida State Park system. The museum is a school board facility and museum staff are employees of Marion County Public Schools.
The Silver River Museum is open to the public each Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm. We are also open for special events like Ocali Country Days and the Silver River Knap-In throughout the year.
Marion County Public School students visit the museum on weekdays for class fieldtrips in science and history. The museum grounds are closed to the public while students are present so that we can offer the best experience possible to our students. We encourage you to visit the museum each Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 10:00 and 4:00 pm.
Yes. Museum admission is $2.00 per person with children five and younger free. Please note that state park admission fees to enter the park also apply.
The museum is located within the Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, Florida. The address is 1445 NE 58th Avenue in Ocala 34470. The entrance to the state park is off NE 58th Avenue (which is also called Baseline Road or County Road 35).
Museum exhibits highlight the natural and cultural history of North Central Florida. Exhibits feature fossils, prehistoric artifacts, taxidermy mounts (stuffed animals), antiques, Spanish colonial objects, historic memorabilia from Silver Springs, Seminole Indian art and Native American dugout canoes. Our Dugout Canoes exhibit hall also includes canoe-related artwork and tools from Alaska to the Amazon.
We are sorry but the museum is not available for rental. However, the state park does have three large outdoor pavilions and a beautiful ballroom that are all available for rental. Contact the Silver Springs State Park for more information at (352) 236-7148 or visit them on the web at https://www.floridastateparks.org/silversprings.
Visitors are welcome to use the Felburn Research Library by appointment. The library is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. The collections are for reference only and we do not check out books. Please call the museum at (352) 236-5401 to schedule a visit with as much advance notice as possible.
The pioneer village is a collection of both authentic and replica buildings that depict life on the Florida frontier during the 1800s. The village includes cabins, barns, a blacksmith shop, a one-room school, a smokehouse, cane syrup making equipment and a wood-fired pottery kiln.
Guided tours of the pioneer village are offered on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month at 11:00 am. Tours are free and open to the public but state park admission fees apply. Contact the Silver Springs State Park at (352) 236-7148 or visit them on the web at https://www.floridastateparks.org/silversprings.
The kiln is fired five to six weekends each year as a teaching kiln to make historically themed stoneware wares such as bowls, jugs, mugs, etc. The kiln is a “manabigama” design and is fired to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit. An average firing lasts about ten hours. Pottery from our kiln can be purchased in the museum gift shop.
The Ocali Country Days festival is held on the second weekend of November each year. The event typically falls very close to Veteran’s Day.
The Silver River Knap-In and Prehistoric Arts festival is held on the third weekend in February each year.
Knapping is the ancient craft of breaking flint in a controlled way to make stone tools like spear points, arrow heads and knives. A “knap-in” is a gathering of artists who create replica stone tools and works of art from rock. The Silver River Knap-In and Prehistoric Arts festival features other skills like pottery making, hide tanning, dugout canoe carving, bone and shell carving and more. The knap-in held at the Silver River Museum each February is one of the largest in the Southeast.
For information about the Silver Springs State Park call (352) 236-7148 or visit them on the web at https://www.floridastateparks.org/silversprings.