Long before Jamestown, Spaniards, free and enslaved Africans and Native Americans crafted our country’s first enduring European settlement – St. Augustine, in 1565. Discover the First Colony through archaeology, history and the stories of people who lived there in this hands-on, interactive exhibition. These first colonial immigrants created our nation’s original “melting pot” – a colorful, multicultural society that was new then, and might seem familiar today.

For more information contact Tom Kyne, Traveling Exhibits Coordinator, 352-273-2077 or kyne@flmnh.ufl.edu

3,000-4,000 square feet

Venue Period
12-14 weeks

Moderate to high

Rental Fee
Please inquire

One-way inbound, paid by host venue

Adults, families, school groups

All exhibit elements in English and Spanish

Exhibit technician oversees installation and take-down. Promotional and educational material available

Tom Kyne, (352) 273-2077, kyne@flmnh.ufl.edu

Introductory Voyage – Walk through the interior of a Spanish ship and learn why colonists would risk their lives traveling 4,000 miles to La Florida. Experience life aboard – hear the sounds of arrival; feel the weight of colonial cannonballs; see real colonial gold and silver.

Life in the New Colony – Meet actual residents of the First Colony and view precious artifacts that reveal daily life and relationships with the native Timucua. Fly into the settlement, recreated in 3D, to interact with the residents and learn about their personal experiences. Sit down at the First Thanksgiving table to find out who attended and what was served.

How Do We Know? – Explore the science of archaeology and discover the First Colony through numerous artifacts unearthed by archaeologists. Become an archaeologist by using the hands-on multimedia centerpiece to excavate a site, discover and collect artifacts, and reveal the history they disclose. 

Convergence of Cultures – Put your “street smarts” to the test! Learn about town planning and build your own town in an interactive game based on Spanish law. Stroll through a colonial streetscape and explore households and daily activities, from religious practices to work lives to leisure. See how the military defined the settlement and how life on its frontiers evolved. Find out why we don’t speak Spanish today!

Where Are We Now? – Globalize your world view with stories of cultural blending today. Plot your family origins on an interactive map; create a multimedia collage that reflects your own cultural background; see how the life of a modern American woman mirrors that of a woman from the First Colony. Our lives may be more similar than you think.

First Colony Floorplan
Download First Colony Floor Plan