Mel Fisher Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Girlphoenix on February 2, 2002

We had no idea who Mel Fisher was but figured we might learn something. Turns out Mel Fisher was quite a guy. He had a dive shop and enjoyed diving the wrecks in the Caribbean and South America. There are a number of wrecks in these areas because of the dangerous passage caused in part by the reefs. Spanish galleons, among others, would often sink in these parts, bringing unimaginable fortunes with them to the bottom of the sea. Mel was very interested in finding some of this treasure, and in the 1970's through the 1980's he and his team of divers found and salvaged the treasure and artifacts from the sunken Nuestra Se├▒ora de Atocha, a Spanish galleon sunk in the fifteenth century.

The museum displays gold and silver coins, magnificent jewelry, crucifixes, navigational instruments, the gold plate and the gold cup used to detect poisoned wine, and scores of emeralds.

Also on display here are artifacts salvaged from the English merchant slaver Henrietta Marie. One of the few slave shipwrecks ever discovered in this hemisphere, the display includes the shackles used to bind slaves during their nightmarish passage. This was the first time I'd ever seen authentic slave artifacts, and was chilled by their shameful history.

I recommend a visit to the Mel Fisher Museum for a shot of history and an eyeful of beautiful and rare objects.

Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum
200 Greene St
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 294-2633

┬ę LP 2000-2009