It’s a bit of a drive from the Daytona Beach peninsula, approximately 115 miles, but well worth a road trip to visit the Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum in Sebastian, Florida. The museum is housed in a little unassuming building lying between the Indian River and US-1. It’s an interesting stop along the rather boring commercialized strip of US-1 roadway.
Fisher’s Treasure Museum features a short film presentation dealing with Fisher’s early adult life and the steps that led up to his fame as one of the world’s premiere treasure recovery and salvage experts. The film is a bit choppy but does give you an idea of what motivated the man and his family.
From chicken farmer to treasure hunter, Fisher’s life is documented. Along with his wife Dolores (Deo), Fisher opened the first scuba diving shop on the west coast of the US in Redondo Beach, California. The couple had very successful careers promoting diving. Fisher and Deo sold their shops and moved to Florida in the early 1960s to pursue treasure hunting full time. It was a move that later resulted in great personal tragedy with the loss of their son Dirk, daughter-in-law Angel and a member of their crew, Rick Gage when one of their salvage boats capsized and they drowned.
Dogged persistence eventually paid off for the Fishers and the wreck of the Senora Nuestra de Atocha was discovered. Pieces of eight, gold chains, emeralds, crucifixes and other religious accouterments, were located over a period of time. The Atocha site is still a work in progress and more artifacts are gleaned from the seabed. It’s of interest that the Fishers and their partners have been instrumental in designing new and efficient treasure salvage equipment over the years.
The Mel Fisher Treasure Museum has numerous displays of gold chains, eye-popping jewelry, religious artifacts, dining implements and sundry other items. Whether you are a local of if you’re playing tourist for a day, you can peruse the gift shop section in the museum. Dig deep in you wallet in order to purchase actual cataloged and certified items that were pulled from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean of the from the Atocha wreck site.
The Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum is an educational, family friendly museum. However, the displays are probably better suited for adults and children over the age of 6 due to the extensive wording. The museum is located at 1322 US Highway 1, Sebastian, FLA 32958. The phone number is (772) 589-9875. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday from 10am-5pm. Sundays the museum is open from noon-5pm. During the month of September, the museum is closed. For a bargain on ticket prices look for a $5 off coupon under the store location section of the museum’s official website.