Our Story

The Folk School at Florida Maritime Museum launched in January 2017 to teach heritage skills classes, the skills that were passed down from generation to generation before the conveniences of modern society.

About The Folk School

The folk skills and heritage crafts of Cortez Fishing Village, and early communities throughout Florida, are at risk. As geographic distance between families continue to grow, new ways of passing on information need to emerge.

The mission of the Florida Maritime Museum (FMM) is to collect, preserve and share traditional knowledge, cultural artifacts and personal stories specific to Florida’s maritime heritage. The Folk School enables FMM to take this mission a step further with hands-on classes formulated to not only learn and preserve classic skills, but to share stories, build community and grow appreciation for the history of Cortez and the greater surrounding area.

With a focus on providing a supportive environment, the Folk School provides a place where anyone can come to learn skills that instill in our community a sense of pride in our local culture.


The Burton Store was the first commercial building within the Cortez Fishing Village.

The Historic Burton/Bratton Store Building

Currently folk school classes are being held in the auditorium and on the grounds of the museum. This historic building, the original general store for the commercial fishing village of Cortez, will be the home of The Folk School at Florida Maritime Museum pending completion of key interior renovations. The building will provide additional classroom space as well as a research library and collection storage.