Street Address
300 North Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Mailing Address
PO Box 4364
West Palm Beach, FL 33402
phone: 561-832-4164
fax: 561-832-7965
e-mail: info@hspbc.org
web: www.hspbc.org
Hours
Monday - Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 10am-4pm
Admissions
Free
Museum Type(s)
Services
Gift Shop
Group Tours
Staff
Jeremy Johnson, President and CEO
phone: 561-832-4164 x102
Sharon Poss, Office Administrator
phone: 561-832-4164 x100
Debi Murray, Curator of the Museum
phone: 561-832-4164 x105
Jillian Markwith, Director of Marketing & Special Events
phone: 561-832-4164 x103
Nick Golubov, Research Director
phone: 561-832-4164 x112
Rose Gualtieri, Education Coordinator
Lise M. Steinhauer, Membership Associate
Rhonda Gordon, Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator

Description

The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, located in the Historic 1916 Courthouse in Downtown West Palm Beach, is maintained and operated by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County was established in 1937 to further an understanding and appreciation of Palm Beach County history by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting cultural resources for the enrichment of current and future generations.

Mission

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to collect, preserve and share the rich history and cultural heritage of Palm Beach County.

The Society meets our mission through three historically-focused program initiatives: our archival collection, the Richard & Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, and our community and educational programming.

Our large archival collection includes over two million photographs, maps, periodicals, and more. Through this collection, we maintain an active research facility and document influential people and events. The Johnson History Museum, the county-wide history museum we operate, enriches the lives of our students, residents, and visitors by making local history accessible and interesting. The Museum opened in 2008 within the Historic 1916 Courthouse in Downtown West Palm Beach. Finally, the Society shares local history through multiple educational and community initiatives, including events like Scarecrow Festival, programs in schools like Florida History tabloids and Traveling Trunks, and www.pbchistoryonline.org.

History

The HSPBC engages 35,000+ students/visitors annually in meaningful educational programming at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum and in public elementary/middle schools. The museum offers dynamic exhibits chronicling the people/places that are uniquely PBC and provide research/reading resources to the public. They offer free access to a sample of the collection and attract diverse audiences with their variety.

After moving from home to home for decades, in 2008, the Society opened the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum to showcase our extraordinary collection to the public. Visitors to the Museum discover more about the people and events that have shaped this exciting County, including notable figures such as Henry Morrison Flagler, Addison Mizner, the Barefoot Mailmen and their accomplishments.

Permanent Exhibitions

The People Gallery – A tribute to approximately 100 individuals and families who have contributed to the growth of Palm Beach County. The Place Gallery – Models and photographs exploring Palm Beach County’s natural environment and the animals and ecology that make the area unique.

Research Collections

Archives

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County has an extensive archives and artifact collection. With over one million photographs, hundreds of postcards, architectural drawings, manuscripts, diaries, and maps available for study, the Historical Society is a valuable source of primary and secondary sources for anyone interested in Palm Beach County’s history. The images can also be reproduced for private, business or educational use. Conducting research at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County is coordinated through Debi Murray, Chief Curator. Requests must be arranged in advance, and are by appointment only. The research department also fields requests via phone, fax, letter, and email. The staff will make every effort to respond to your request within 72 hours, but please be patient.

Educational Programs

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County reaches around 30,000 school-aged children each year with programming. Here are just a few of our offerings:

  • Classroom Presentations: talks presented to students in all types of schools throughout Palm Beach County and beyond; topics include the Ancient People of South Florida, Seminoles and Miccosukees, the Pioneer Era, World War II, and others
  • Traveling Educational Trunks: loaned themed educational resources for 4th and 5th grade classrooms throughout Palm Beach County and beyond, reaching over 16,500 students since 2005; topics include Ancient People Trunk, Pioneer Trunk, Holocaust Studies Trunk, and more
  • Palm Beach County History Online (www.pbchistoryonline.org or www.pbchistory.org): website that provides a Wikipedia-style, free histories of notable people, events, and places of Palm Beach County
  • Distinguished Lecture Series: an evening lecture hosted in the Museum’s Historic Courtroom presents celebrated authors, curators, and storytellers discussing topics relevant to the history of Palm Beach County

Facilities

The Historic Courtroom, located on the third floor of the Historic 1916 Courthouse, is used for lectures and multimedia presentations.

Lecture Halls

Governance

2016-2017 Board of Directors

Officers: J. Grier Pressly III, Chairman; Robert W. Ganger, First Vice Chairman; Mark Stevens, Second Vice Chairman; Third Vice Chairman, Thomas M. Kirchoff; Richard S. Johnson Jr., Secretary; Carey O’Donnell, Deputy Secretary; David J. Thomas III, CPA Treasurer; Mariano Garcia, General Council; and Past Chairman, Mark B. ElhilowCPA/PFS. Board of Governors: James Beasley, Jr.; Margaret Cheryl Burkhardt; Ann Margo Cannon; Joseph Chase; Kevin Clark; George Ford III; Mary Freitas; Bradley Harper; Joette Keen; Russell P. Kelley III; George Mavlios; Ross W. W. Meltzer; Sharon Merchant; Penny Murphy; Peter Nicoletti; Lisa McDermott Perez; Jeffrey P. Phipps Sr.; Karen Swanson and Kimberly Walkes. Board of Advisors: Cressman D. Bronson; Katharine Dickenson; George T. Elmore; Pamela and William M.B. Fleming, Dennis Grady; William Graham; Dale R. Hedrick; Pat Seaton Johnson; The Honorable Karen Marcus; Danial Martell; William A. Meyer; Harvey E. Oyer, III; Jorge Pesquera; Sidney Stubbs, Jr.; RADM Philip A. Whitacre (Ret); Ex-Officio Board Members: Marcia Andrews, School Board of Palm Beach County; Danielle H. Moore, Town of Palm Beach Council Member and Priscilla Taylor, Palm Beach County Commissioner

Library

The Reading Room located with the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum is open to the public by appointment. This facility can be used for research purposes.

Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members

Appointment required: Yes

Publications

The Historical Society publishes The Tustenegee journal bi-annually. It is mailed to high-level members and posted online at www.pbchistoryonline.org for the public to utilize.

    ADA

    Wheelchair Accessible

    Parking

    Restrooms

    Services

    Civic groups and school groups are welcome at the Museum any time for a private tour. Tours are always free and led by trained museum docents. Please contact Tony Marconi to schedule a group tour.

    Gift Shop

    Group Tours