Your home for Art, History, and Technology on the Treasure Coast of Florida...the Elliott Museum in Stuart features a stunning collection of classic cars, trucks, boats, and even an aeroplane. Through interactive programs and exhibits throughout the year, the museum seeks to inspire creativity for all those who live in and visit the Treasure Coast.
Permanent Collections include:
Tribute to Genius & Generosity: Sterling and Harmon Elliott
Stuart, Florida, and the surrounding region have long been enriched by seasonal residents. Harmon Elliott, son of prolific inventor Sterling Elliott, was among those who have made a mark on this area. To celebrate his father’s work and bring an educational and cultural resource to the region, Harmon provided the principal funds for the original Elliott Museum. In this tribute to his inventive spirit, visitors can learn about how Sterling Elliott was a problem-solving inventor, risk taker, politician, publisher, and social activist.
Stuart Main Street
The Stuart Main Street gallery immerses visitors in historic Stuart and the vehicles that were then part of people’s lives, here and across the nation. Recreated facades of the historic Citizens Bank, the Walter Kitching Store, and Krueger buildings harken back to a time when Stuart was emerging as the thriving community it is today. Visitors will see not only the earliest pioneer motor vehicles that changed Martin County’s and the nation’s dependence upon the horse, but also will learn how Model T Fords eventually brought rural dwellers into town and how trucks changed domestic life by delivering goods and services to homes.
Wheels of Change
Visitors will learn how development of commercial and personal transportation had an impact on people’s lives and America’s culture in a dramatic fashion. These are “everyman” vehicles, once owned and cherished by small business owners and municipalities as they looked to create a more professional presence for themselves and expand their own reach.
Let Your Mind Soar
The Elliott Museum is a very organic building. Not only is it an award-winning “green” building, it was designed to blend in with the landscape, matching the colors and mimicking the textures of sand and local rock. On the northwest corner of the building, in front of the Studio at the Elliott, an installation of colorful beams of different lengths are carefully arranged and painted to take the viewer’s eye on an exhilarating ride. It is the work of artist Peter Freudenberg who had been creating this sculpture in his mind for many years, and who donated this signature work to the museum.
Hugh Willoughby & his Hydro-Aeroplane
Hugh Willoughby, a resident of Martin County, had a lifelong passion for aviation and owned 14 different patents for aircraft devices. Soaring overhead the Stuart Main Street gallery visitors can see a full scale replica of the Pelican Hydro-Aeroplane that Stuart resident Hugh Willougby designed in 1910. The replica was fabricated by Ken Kellett who also built the first airworthy replica of the Wright Brothers 1903 Flyer and also was the first person since the Wright Brothers to actually fly the aircraft.
The Elliott Museum has a comprehensive signed collection of baseball-related items including autographed baseball cards, baseballs, bats, and other artifacts. The collection of autographed baseballs now numbers more than 250. The collection sports signatures by players from the Major Leagues, the Negro Leagues, and the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Among the most famous players represented are: Ray Dandridge, the Negro League; Hank Aaron, the Negro and Major Leagues; June Peppas (AAGPBL); and Jackie Robinson, Nolan Ryan, Ted Williams, Derek Jeter, Bob Feller, Ralph Kiner, and Babe Ruth of the Major Leagues.
Our Stories: Treasure Coast History
Featuring items from the Elliott Museum’s General Store, Barber Shop, Dress Shop, to Frances Langford’s Gowns, this exhibit celebrates the life and times of Martin County from its early founding days through progress and innovation. With something for everyone, from Langford fans, to archeologists, the exhibit even lets visitors relive the November 2000 Presidential Election in an original Martin County voting booth. Through paintings by James Hutchinson and Curt Whiticar, the life of the Seminoles and early settlers are explored. While there is more work to be done to interpret and tell the many stories, come explore your favorite pieces of the Elliott Museum’s collection.
In 2013, The Elliott Museum merged with the Maritime & Classic Boat Museum – taking their permanent collection and incorporating it into the permanent collection of the Elliott. On display on our second floor, and throughout the museum, are key pieces from the Maritime & Classic Boat Museum collection. Including Cris Craft boats, boat models, Whiticar Boat Works artifacts, and more.
As part of the merger with the Maritime & Classic Boat Museum, the Elliott Museum obtained several Evinrude and Elto outboard motors—highlighting the story of Ole and Ralph Evinrude and their impact on Martin County and maritime history.
Frances Langford Outrigger Cafe
The Frances Langford Outrigger Café serves lunch, snacks, and the story of one of Stuart’s most famous and beloved residents. In this unique restaurant, leased to and under the management of Stuart’s popular Osceola Café, visitors can not only find a wonderful restaurant, but also have an opportunity to learn the story of singer, actress, and Stuart resident and philanthropist Frances Langford (1913– 2005).
Library & Archives
The research library and archives of the Historical Society of Martin County contain more than 30,000 items. These references and rare books, newspaper clippings, maps, photographs, and historic documents range from the early 1900s to the present and tell the history of Martin County and its surrounding areas. Volunteers are working hard on organizing the Thurlow Library and Archives to eventually allow more than half of this content—some 15,000 to 20,000 documents—to be easily and readily available to the general public by appointment.