The National Museum is the country's only museum, located on historic Front Street, Cockburn Town, Grand Turk.
The Museum was established in 1991 in the Guinep House, which is one of the oldest buildings standing on Grand Turk. The museum was created with the extreme generosity of Mrs Grethe Seim, a Norwegian national who felt that enough wasn't being done to preserve the history and culture of the islands.
The primary exhibit is centered on the Molasses Reef Wreck, the oldest European shipwreck excavated in the western hemisphere. This very early 1500s caravel (probably built in Spain or Portugal) wrecked on the barrier reef edging the Caicos Banks south of Providenciales. Another major exhibit is an authentic Lucayan duho (lounger-seat).
Other cultural artefacts, such as Spanish coins from the 1600s, exhibits on postage stamps, an area dedicated to the splashdown of John Glenn in 1962 are also at the museum.
The Museum Shop is one of the best gift shops on Grand Turk and is highly recommended if you're looking for souvenirs. It's the official outlet for the Middle Caicos Co-op, a cooperation selling locally made baskets and other kinck-knacks. There's also a selection of books (history and children’s titles) by local authors.
Admission is $10 per person, but's only $5 for cruise visitors.
The Museum is entirely independent of the Government and self-supporting. It is a non-profit institution (with a 501c (3) affiliate 'Friends of the Turks and Caicos National Museum' in the US for tax-free donations). Memberships can be purchased starting at $50.
There's discussion about opening a branch on Providenciales in the Grace Bay area. Certain exhibits, such as the Molasses Reef Wreck, would be moved to Proidenciales to make space for a new exhibit on the HMS Endyminoun in Grand Turk. The HMS Endminoun wrecked on reefs approximately 20 miles south of Grand Turk.
Unfortunately, it has proven difficult to raise the necessary support required to make this happen, but it is still a goal of the museum.
Found off the central west coast on the island of Grand Turk, Cockburn Town is the oldest still established settlement in the country and the capital of the Turks and Caicos. Many old British-Bermudian colonial architecture buildings are still in use today.