CONSTITUTION CONVENTION MUSEUM STATE PARK
The town of St. Joseph, which lasted only nine years, was a boomtown in 1835 and competed with Apalachicola as a Gulf Coast trading port. During its short life, the city was selected over Tallahassee to host Florida's first State Constitution Convention.
The museum, which sits on a portion of the park's 14 acres, commemorates the work of the 56 territorial delegates who drafted Florida's first constitution in 1838. This constitution became the Organic Law of Florida when the territory was admitted to the Union in 1845 as the 27th state.
Visitors can take a self-guided tour through displays and exhibits of the era. Artifacts from the original settlement in St. Joseph are displayed. A replicated convention hall takes visitors into the debate of delegates Robert Raymond Reid, William P. Duvall, David Y. Levy and Thomas L Baltzell. These life-size, audio-animated mannequins offer a realistic demonstration of the debate and process of drafting a state constitution.
$2 per person, Children under age of 5 no fee.
9 a.m. until 5 p.m. EST Thursday - Monday, closed from 12 to 1. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
More than 150 years ago, St. Joseph was selected over Tallahassee the territorial capital as the site of Florida's first Constitution Convention because of antagonism between East Florida and Middle Florida. The first of Florida's six constitutions was drafted by a convention that met on December 3, 1838.
By working diligently for 34 days, the elected delegates hammered out a framework for Florida's future and finished their work on January 11, 1839. The Territorial Legislative Council had called the convention without congressional authorization after a referendum election in 1837 showed a territory-wide majority in favor of statehood.
Constitution Convention Museum State Park was donated to the state of Florida by the city of Port St. Joe in 1950. The museum was dedicated in 1956 with Governor LeRoy Collins attending the ceremony. The museum was one of the first two museum buildings constructed by the Florida Park Service the John Gorrie Museum was the other one.
In January 1923, only 84 years after Florida's first constitution was drafted, citizens dedicated this monument in honor of the delegates who pioneered Florida's bid for statehood.
The monument and mall today provide the most striking feature of the park, with a vista that stretches to the edge of St. Joseph Bay.
Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at all park ranger stations and museums. If you require immediate use of your pass, this is the best option. Passes can be purchased during regular business hours 365 days a year. Please call the park in advance to ensure availability. Those who are eligible for discounted or free passes may use this method to receive their pass. Annual Entrance Passes may be purchased online by visiting the FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNUALENTRANCE PASSES