The permanent exhibits trace the history and development of the greater Fort Lauderdale area from pre-historic First Nation People to the first contact by Europeans through the present day. These exhibits are laid out in four galleries on the second floor of the New River Inn. Visitors will experience life-like displays, hear the voices of Fort Lauderdale pioneers, and step back in time with the help of numerous artifacts and images from the museums’ collections.

Museum Media Presentation
A seven-minute film presenting an overview of Fort Lauderdale’s history is available for visitors in the museum’s media room. The film includes Major Lauderdale’s mission and fort building, Seminole Wars, the New River, Economic and Real Estate development, World War II, the post-war land boom, and present day development in the Huizenga Business History exhibit.

History Fort Lauderdale Collections

Florida East Coast Railway Exhibit
This permanent exhibit presents the development of Henry Flagler’s railway from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale in 1896. It reflects the important role that rail service had in the growth and economic development of the region. The New River Inn was the original railroad hotel and its operator, Philemon Bryan, was sent by Henry Flagler to complete the railbed from Pompano Beach to the New River.n.

NEW EXHIBIT Juliette Lange – 1900 – 1920 Fashion & Musical Theatre
Fort Lauderdale resident Juliette Lange left an indelible mark on the 20th century social scene as a dancer, operetta singer and arts advocate. Photos, reviews, and jewelry provide an intimate glimpse into the glitz and glamor of Ms. Lange’s life as a child of Russian and Dutch immigrant parents and a pioneer woman in professional performance art

Digging the Past-Hyde Park Market/Stranahan Camp Exhibit
An important New River archaeological site which once provided prehistoric Native Americans with a place to gather, eat, and live. Seminoles camped on and around that same parcel for years prior to the Seminole Wars. In the 1890s, one of Fort Lauderdale’s earliest pioneers, Frank Stranahan, established a trading post and tourist camp on the same spot. Digging the Past is an archaeological survey of one of Fort Lauderdale’s most historically important sites. Visitors to the History Museum see a sampling of the archaeological materials unearthed in 2006.

Fort Lauderdale High School: Then and Now
Fort Lauderdale High School Then and Now takes a reminiscent look back at the old Fort Lauderdale High School through pictures, stories, and items salvaged from the old buildings.

Huizenga Business History
A legend in business development, Wayne Huizenga left business and sports memorabilia to our museums. View his Miami Dolphin’s Superbowl trophy and awards and accolades from his many business endeavors.Fort Lauderdale History Museum exhibits floor plan