Treasures in storage while pirate museum is created

St Augustine museum

From First Coast News

Out the outside, it looks like a generic warehouse. Inside this as-yet-undisclosed location in St. Augustine, pirate museum props are overflowing the shelves and peeking out of boxes. 

Pat Croce opened a squeaky door at the warehouse and said, "This is our secret bunker." He smiled a wry smile.

"I had to rent 6,000 feet to put all this paraphernalia and items we shipped up from Key West. Where was I going to put it ? The museum's not ready for it"

Shelves are lined with trunks, real and fake swords, and rusty lanterns. An unfinished mural of a pirate ship stretches across one wall of the warehouse. 

The museum's creative director creates clouds and waves with every stroke of a paint brush. Another man cleaned a cannon on the floor. 

Croce bounced around the warehouse showing off the items inside and explaining how they will be used in his museum.

He plopped himself down in an elaborately carved chair and said, "We're going to have a pirate sitting here holding a blunderbuss with all kinds of treasure and artifacts around him!"

Croce has collected pirate artifacts throughout the years. He's chosen to move his Pirate Soul museum in Key West to St. Augustine and call it St. Augustine's Pirate and Treasure Museum. It will be similar, but, as Croce said, "It will be what was in Key West... on steroids !" 

There will be more interactive components for visitors as well as a new Hollywood Pirates exhibit.

With excitement in his voice, Croce said, "We'll have stuff from 'Captain Kidd,' 'The Goonies,' and 'Hook.' I got the hook from Peter Pan ! Oh yeah. It's great!"

It's not all props. There will be a large assortment of authentic artifacts on display as well. The museum will have a real pirate treasure chest with real pirate booty. 

Also, Croce landed a deal with the Florida Department of State and the Historic Resources Department to display some of their items that have been under lock and key for years.


St Augustine pirate museum Pat Croce Key West Florida Department of State Historic Resources Department