CORTEZ -- The Florida Maritime Museum launches its fall lecture series at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The museum dedicated to Florida maritime culture and history begins a four-lecture series with a focus on the Calusa, considered Florida's first commercial fishermen. The sold-out lecture is at the museum, 4415 119th St. W., Cortez.
However, there are still spaces left in the remaining lectures, which are all free but require reservations.
"We're wanting to head on a bunch of different maritime topics so that we can share this important heritage with a diversity of audiences," museum supervisor Amara Nash said Monday afternoon. "We have a rich history that's multilayered."
The lecture "Myths and Creatures of the Florida Backwaters" will be at 3 p.m. Oct. 8 at the museum.
"Food at Sea: Preservation and Preparation," at 3 p.m. Nov. 19, will focus on how food
was preserved and prepared in the 18th and early 19th centuries aboard ships.
"The galleys in most modern sailboats have enough convenience that it isn't too different from cooking at home, but a hundred years ago food aboard ship was very different," reads the November lecture description on the museum website. "It wasn't all bad, of course, but it wasn't all great either."
The lectures are mostly headed by John Beale, museum education and volunteer coordinator for two and a half years.
"There's lots of different segments of Florida history that make up the whole picture," Beale said.
Beale said he hopes the series creates more interest in state history, especially for people who hail from elsewhere.
"A lot of them don't realize just how much history Florida has," he said. "There's more than 500 years now of European history in Florida and then, of course, there's the Native American history that happens before European contact."
The last lecture, "An Introduction to Small Boats," takes place at 3 p.m. Dec. 17.
"John's been trying to match (the individual lectures) to the season, which is why right before Thanksgiving we have the lecture on food preparation," Nash said.
She said choosing topics to run with was exciting.
"We know that we have lots of opportunities to keep telling new stories. It's a matter of what do we tell now -- and what do we tell later?" she said. "We hope that (those who attend the lectures) learn somethiing they never knew before and they come back and tell friends to come."
RSVP: Call Halee Turner at 941-708-6120.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. You can follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.