Palmdale, Florida: Gaskins' Cypress Knee Museum (Gone)

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Directions:
Hwy 27 where it curves. Museum was on the west side and Tom's swamp walk was on the east side.
Hours:
Closed since 2000.
Status:
Gone
Gaskins' Cypress Knee Museum

Cypress Knee Museum, birthplace of the Tom Gaskins' Cypress Knee industry and central Florida must-see for over 50 years. Tom Sr. died in 1998; Tom Jr. put the knees in storage in 2000 after a break-in and theft.

Roadsideamerica.com Report...
Cypress Knee Museum Founder Goes to Big Swamp in the Sky

Swamp showman Tom Gaskins (1909-1998) trumpeted the merits and art of Florida cypress knees for sixty years.

Roadsideamerica.com Report...

Visitor Tips and News About Gaskins' Cypress Knee Museum

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Mural inside old museum building.

Cypress Kneeland - Gone

Drove From Boca Raton to Sebring via Rt. 27 and expected to see the remains of Tom Gaskins "Cypress Kneeland," which was still standing 2 years ago. Now nothing but bulldozers and trucks! I wonder if his son has any intention to display the remaining knees.

[Rocky, 08/27/2008]
Gaskins Cypress Knee Museum

I worked in the area in the autumn of 2000, during the time of the break-in. Tom Jr., who's on the Glades County school board, was being forced by the state to move the museum. The old house and museum at the bend in the road south of Palmdale was in sad shape at the time, a consequence of health problems in the family that were putting a strain on operating the museum and keeping Tom out of town a lot. Tom Jr. had property up in Venus, about fifteen miles up US 441 and a few miles west, where he was planning to move the museum to. Don't know whether he's done it or not, but when I left in November of that year the house and museum were both vacant. Tom Jr. hadn't lived on site in some time. Tom's a good guy and I'm sure he'll find a way to keep it open -- but I wish he had property in Moore Haven or Clewiston instead of Venus. No one goes to Venus.

[Matthew, 10/18/2002]

Sign.

Cypress Knee Museum - Fading Fast?

I was down near Palmdale, Florida a few months ago and went by the Cypress Knee Museum. Unfortunately, it had fallen on hard times. The museum was in horrible condition. The glass cases were very dirty, and it was apparent that the exhibits were not being maintained at all. A woman came out of the house immediately adjacent to the museum and introduced herself as the daughter-in-law of the old guy who built the place and died a few years ago, Tom Gaskins. She said that they were having trouble keeping the place open for monetary reasons.

It looked to me like the place was on its last legs. If you want to see it again, I'd say you'd better get there fast. Too bad, it really was amazing, just like you said in the book.

[Joseph E. Foster, 02/24/2001]

We are really sad to see this one losing it. Tom and the museum were one of the Seven Wonders of Roadside America in our first book. Here is a photo of one of Tom's classic hand-carved tree signs enticing visitors to pull over.


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