(January 3, 2012: Osprey, FL) Historic Spanish Point, the first site in Sarasota County to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, will celebrate 30 years of museum operations in 2012. In 1980, the family of Mrs. Potter Palmer gifted this property to Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Inc., a not-for-profit organization. In April 1982, Historic Spanish Point opened to the public. Today, it is a museum accredited by the American Association of Museums. Its mission is to connect people of today with 5,000 years of human history in south west coastal Florida by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the objects and traditions significant to our region’s past.

Over the 30 years as a non-profit museum, Historic Spanish Point has undergone major restorations of the site’s pioneer buildings and Palmer gardens and created the most unique archaeological exhibition in the country, called, “A Window to the Past.” Each year more than 27,000 people visit, including up to 5,000 school children who tour as part of curriculum based educational field trips. Active membership, fundraisers, and grants provide essential support. A professional staff and volunteers work diligently to continue the mission.

“Historic Spanish Point is a great place for new residents to discover the rich cultural heritage of this part of Florida. Plus, the site is located right on Little Sarasota Bay. Boardwalks and shaded paths link gardens and pioneer buildings for a wonderful outdoor adventure,” commented Linda Mansperger, Executive Director.

During 2012, Historic Spanish Point will continue its rich assortment of educational programs, special events, and tours. An exciting renovation of the landscape and entrance of the Visitors Center will accompany the celebration. The annual fundraising luncheon in February has a theme of “Pearls and Palate Pleasers,” as pearls are the jewel recognizing a 30th anniversary. Visit throughout the anniversary year to see why Historic Spanish Point is the pearl of Sarasota history.