A tall statue of a cat creature stands out front of Florida’s Marco Island Historical Museum, a fascinating replica of a mysterious local artifact.
In 1896 a Smithsonian expedition to Marco Island began to excavate a muck-filled pond, known as the “Court of the Pile Dwellers.” In it they found, deep in the preserving muck below, the Key Marco Cat, a 6-inch wooden carving of a kneeling man-cat/cat-man, likely carved by the native Calusa people.
Currently, the world-famous Key Marco Cat is on display at the Marco Island Historical Museum on an extended loan from the Smithsonian Institution. Along with the fascinating cat-human statuette, you may see various Key Marco Artifacts uncovered from that same excavation, on loan from the Penn Museum.
You can also bask in the aura, history, and mystery of the cat, by visiting a giant replica of the artifact in the courtyard of the Marco Island Historical Museum.
Know Before You Go
The statue is in the courtyard of the Marco Island Historical Museum. Take Route 92/San Marco Road east from the main drag of Collier Blvd. and turn south onto Heathwood Drive; the museum will be on your right. The cat sits in front of the museum, you do not have to pay to view.
The Marco Island Historical Museum is co-operated by the Marco Island Historical Society and Collier County Museums. This museum is free to visit and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.