The Historical Society of Palm Beach County is a leading resource for Palm Beach County history, housing a permanent collection of millions of objects and images, that span over 12,000 years of Palm Beach County and Florida history.
The People Gallery is a tribute to more than 100 individuals and families who have contributed to the development of Palm Beach County. Exhibits include: A video display projecting images of people from all walks of Palm Beach County life. Kiosks and exhibits with artifacts to help tell the stories behind the colorful characters of the past, including Pre-Columbian inhabitants, Seminole Indians, early pioneers. In The Place Gallery, models and photographs explore Palm Beach County’s natural environment and the animals and ecology that make it unique. Here exhibits include a giant mosquito, banyan tree, snake, alligator, and a recreation of a “palmetto shack,” the frond-topped dwellings the first pioneers built for themselves.
In addition to its permanent People and Places galleries, the museum presents temporary exhibits on a wide variety of topics to appeal to a diverse audience. An in-depth Special Exhibit opens each fall at the museum. Short-term exhibits, on loan or created in-house, rotate year-round in the Courtroom Gallery on the 3rd floor of the 1916 Courthouse. Outdoor exhibits on the courthouse grounds have been introduced during the pandemic, as have virtual exhibits.
Formed in 1937, the Historical Society of Palm Beach County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to collect, preserve, and share the history of Palm Beach County. The HSPBC maintains a large archive on the history of Palm Beach County, Florida, and the Caribbean. Through its archives, which includes four million photographic images, plus maps, newspapers, journals, periodicals, architectural drawings, and research files, the Society maintains an active research facility and documents the people and events that have shaped Palm Beach County. In addition, the multiple education programs and initiatives of the Society in schools and communities are of primary importance to our vision of building an understanding and appreciation of local history in our children.
In 2008, the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum was created to allow the Society's collection to fully serve its critical purpose: to share and showcase the rich history of Palm Beach County and the larger context of Florida’s heritage dating back at least 12,000 years.
page information credit: Historical Society of Palm Beach County
photos from the sources listed above, as well as publicly posted online sites with thanks to the contributors