The Republican Museum

7050 Winkler Road, Suite 103, Fort Myers, FL.

To schedule a tour, call 907-321-0419


 On July 6, 1854, just after the anniversary of the nation, an anti-slavery state convention was held in Jackson, Michigan. The hot day forced the large crowd outside to a nearby oak grove. At this “Under the Oaks Convention” the first statewide candidates were selected for what would become the Republican Party.

United by desire to abolish slavery, it was in Jackson that the Platform of the Under the Oaks Convention read: “…we will cooperate and be known as REPUBLICANS…” Prior to July, smaller groups had gathered in intimate settings like the schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin. However, the meeting in Jackson would be the first ever mass gathering of the Republican Party.

The name “Republican” was chosen, alluding to Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party and conveying a commitment to the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


 Museum Curator

Kerri Tonkin is a very devoted Republican who is totally concerned about educating people about the history of the Republican Party.  Kerri is also the 2019 President of Lee Republican Women Federated. She would love to have you schedule a tour with your group. Just give her a call at  907-321-0419.