Education

At the Museum

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Lectures

The HSPBC offers two lecture series.

The Distinguished Lecture Series primarily features authors who speak on historical books or events aligned with our mission: sharing the history of Palm Beach County, Florida, and the Caribbean. Presentations are followed by a light reception, and a book signing when appropriate. Authors’ books are available for sale in the Museum Store. The Museum is kept open to visit before lectures and during receptions.

The Third Thursday @ 3 Series was initiated to provide a daytime option for those who want to learn more Palm Beach County history.  Attendees often visit the admission-free Johnson History Museum on the 2nd floor before or after the lectures.

Click Here for more information.

Standard History Tour

The Museum is designed to be self-guided, but to schedule a tour for adults or children, contact Rhonda Gordon, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, at 561-832-4164 ext. 110 or here.

Our docent-led private tours introduce visitors to the history of Palm Beach County, the architectural elements of the neo-classical, revival-style courthouse, and the elements of government. The tour explores the Museum’s permanent People and Place galleries, the annual special exhibit, and the Historic Courtroom.

Scheduled tours are available during our hours of operation, Monday – Saturday. Tours last about one and one-half hours.

 When you call to schedule, please provide the cell number for the day of the tour, email address, two choices of dates in possible, and (for schools) the number of students/teachers/chaperones.

All tours are FREE. Donations are appreciated.
Schools:  

The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum is an approved SDPBC Field Experience Site meeting these state standards: 

SS.5.C.2.3, SS.6.C.2.1, SS.7.C.2.1, SS.7.C.2.2, SS.7.C.2.3, SS.7.C.2.4,

SS.7.C.2.5, SS.7.C.2.6, SS.7.C.2.7, SS.7.C.2.8, SS.7.C.2.9, SS.7.C.2.10,

SS.7.C.2.11,  SS.7.C.2.12, SS.7.C.2.13, SS.7.C.2.14, SS.8.C.1.1,

SS.8.C.1.5, SS.8.C.1.6, SS.912.C.2.1, SS.912.C.2.2, SS.912.C.2.3,

SS.912.C.2.4, SS.912.C.2.5, SS.912.C.2.7, SS.912.C.2.8, SS.912.C.2.9,

SS.912.C.2.11, SS.912.C.2.13, SS.912.C.2.14, SS.912.C.2.15 

Mock Trial and Tour

This tour is for middle- and high-school students and combines a shortened tour of the galleries with a first-hand civics lesson that challenges students in advocacy, critical thinking, and working through life problems using inquiry-based learning. Participants receive a script ahead of time for a case relevant to their world. This experience is exciting for students as they role-play as trial attorneys, witnesses, clerks, and bailiffs, while gaining a better understanding of law, court procedures, and our criminal and civil justice system. Advance preparation by students is required.

For our Adult Mock Trial, see the EVENTS page.

To schedule a tour, contact Rhonda Gordon, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, at 561-832-4164 ext. 110 or email.

Schools: 

The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum is an approved SDPBC Field Experience Site meeting these state standards: 

SS.5.C.2.3, SS.6.C.2.1, SS.7.C.2.1, SS.7.C.2.2, SS.7.C.2.3, SS.7.C.2.4,

SS.7.C.2.5, SS.7.C.2.6, SS.7.C.2.7, SS.7.C.2.8, SS.7.C.2.9, SS.7.C.2.10,

SS.7.C.2.11,  SS.7.C.2.12, SS.7.C.2.13, SS.7.C.2.14, SS.8.C.1.1,

SS.8.C.1.5, SS.8.C.1.6, SS.912.C.2.1, SS.912.C.2.2, SS.912.C.2.3,

SS.912.C.2.4, SS.912.C.2.5, SS.912.C.2.7, SS.912.C.2.8, SS.912.C.2.9,

SS.912.C.2.11, SS.912.C.2.13, SS.912.C.2.14, SS.912.C.2.15

Tours for Summer Camps

During the summer months, we add fun elements and new information to our Standard Tour to engage children who visit with a summer camp and may have already experienced the Museum during the school year. 

To schedule a tour, contact Rhonda Gordon, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, at 561.832.4164 ext. 110 or email.

In Schools

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Traveling Trunks

 

Traveling Educational Trunk Program

The HSPBC’s Traveling Trunks offer exciting classroom resources that meet Florida Sunshine State Standards. Trunks are based on specific themes and contain information, activities, and reproductions of artifacts to enhance students’ understanding of Palm Beach County and Florida history. Teacher Guides are also provided. Most of the trunks are designed for Grade 4 but can be adapted for other levels. The trunks are loaned to teachers for three-week periods on a first come, first served basis. There is no charge or deposit for their use. 

To reserve a trunk call 561.832.4164 ext. 112 or email.

 

 

The Seminole and Miccosukee

Students learn about these native tribes of Florida through the items they created. The trunk contains photos, objects, activities, a student handout, and a Teacher’s Guide

 

Ancient People of South Florida: The Calusa, Tequesta, and Jeaga

Students will explore how these early people lived prior to and just after the arrival of Europeans in Florida. The trunk includes a teacher’s guide, photographs, prints by Florida artist Theodore Morris, reproduction artifacts, a map, books, a video, suggestions for activities, a student handout, and a Teacher’s Guide.

 

Pioneer Trunk Program

Students will learn how settlers lived pre-Flagler during Palm Beach County’s pioneer era (1860-1893). The trunk includes a Teacher’s Guide, photos, a large map of Lake Worth showing where the settlers lived, reproduction 19th century artifacts, books, replica fruits and vegetables, deerskin, pioneer girls’ clothing, part of a Barefoot Mailman outfit, and a student handout. 

 

This trunk is designed as a supplement when teaching about the Holocaust and is aligned to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and Common Core Standards. The trunk includes books, a classroom set of Jacob’s Rescue, photos of Jewish life from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, posters, DVDs, a map, and a guide to teaching the Holocaust with other lessons.

 

Students have the opportunity to learn about the Europeans who claimed and explored La Florida, from 1513 when Juan Ponce de Léon claimed Florida for Spain, to the founding of St. Augustine in 1565 by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Students will also learn how the explorers navigated the oceans through lessons and hands-on navigation tools that sailors used. Pictures, maps, clothing, a teacher’s guide (peek inside HERE), are included.

 

 edu_trunk_CW

This trunk immerses students in the period of 1861-1877 in Florida, during the American Civil War and Reconstruction, with a peek into everyday life, military camp life, and the obstacles and challenges people had to overcome to survive. Included are a Teacher’s Guide, photos, a large map of battles fought in Florida, reproduction 19th century artifacts, pioneer girl’s clothing, and books. 

 

This trunk brings to life the science and development of one of the most foundational parts of our county’s history: agriculture. Teach the agricultural heritage of Palm Beach County and even how to create your own classroom or school garden. Included are a Teacher’s Guide, historical photos, large maps of the agriculture district, replica vegetables and fruits, and books.

History Tabloids - Grades 4 and 7

4th Grade Florida History Program

 The Historical Society of Palm Beach County and the School District of Palm Beach County partner to provide this tabloid-format Florida History supplement to curriculum for Grade 4.  The tabloid is delivered to the School District for distribution to Palm Beach County elementary schools. The HSPBC also makes it available to private and home schools on request.

A teacher’s guide is available below.

Teacher's Guide

 

 

  Edu_7th_Civics

The HSPBC, the School District of Palm Beach County, and other historical organizations partner to provide a tabloid-format supplement to the Civics and Social Studies curriculum for Grade 7, above.  A teacher’s guide is available below.

Teacher's Guide

 

Presenters & Reenactors

HSPBC reenactors visit schools and engage with students as historic characters. Call Rhonda Gordon 561.832.4164 ext. 110 or email.

In the Community

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Speakers Bureau

Bring the richness of Palm Beach County history to your workplace or community group.  HSPBC Speakers open a window to our county’s past through lectures enhanced by PowerPoint presentations. We offer two categories:

Lectures by our Academic Team

… offer a choice from a variety of history topics ($150):

  • Coconuts, Beaches, Mosquitoes, and Panthers: The Pioneer Era of Palm Beach County 1860-1893 
  • Ancient People of South Florida: A Trail of Palm Beach County Heritage 
  • Paradise in Peril: World War II in Palm Beach County

Lectures by our Volunteer Docents

… introduce the HSPBC and Johnson History Museum with a touch of county history. (Donation suggested).

Programs run between 20 and 60 minutes and can be tailored to fit your interests by making arrangements in advance. 

Please schedule lectures at least three weeks in advance.  Note: A $75 non-refundable deposit is required to secure a date and prepare a lecture. Email Rhonda Gordon, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, or call 561.832.4164 ext. 110.

History Walking Tours

Take a step back in time with our History Walking Tours! The HSPBC’s tours of Downtown West Palm Beach are led by architect and historian Rick Gonzalez of REG Architects.  The 90-minute guided tours showcase the evolution of the city’s buildings and landmarks, including a historical overview of urban design, through recent development.  Tickets are limited; walk-ups are welcome but not guaranteed inclusion in the tour unless space allows.

The fee is $10 per person with reservations required. Tours are rain or shine. Click here for tickets. 

Friday Walking Tours 2019-2020 Season

Dates: December 6, January 3, February 7, March 6, and April 3
Time
: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Start: 300 N. Dixie Highway; Main entrance to the historic 1916 Courthouse and Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum. Arrive early and enjoy the Museum!
End:  At the Banyan tree near the West Palm Beach Waterfront Visitor Center, 100 N. Clematis Street

Fridays: Click here for tickets, or call 561.832.4164 ext. 2.

Saturday Walking Tours 2019-2020 Season

Dates: November 16, December 21, January 18, February 15, March 21 (tentative), and April 18 (the last GreenMarket)
Time
: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Start: West Palm Beach GreenMarket, between the huge Banyan tree and the Visitor Information Center (100 N. Clematis Street). IF you cannot find us, ask at the Visitor Center.
End:  Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, 300 N. Dixie Highway

Saturday History Walking Tours are sponsored by REG Architects and the City of West Palm Beach. Proceeds benefit the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

Saturdays: Click here for tickets, or call 561.832.4164 ext. 2.

Awards by HSPBC

Judge James R. Knott Award

Established in 1989, the prestigious Judge James R. Knott Historical Contribution Award annually recognizes the achievements of an individual or organization that has contributed to the preservation, promotion, or enrichment of Palm Beach County history. This contribution should enrich Palm Beach County residents for generations to come.

The award honors and is named for the late Honorable Judge James R. Knott, who served as President of the Society from 1957 to 1969. Judge Knott is fondly remembered as a dedicated historian, and author of the “Brown Wrapper” newspaper series as well as three books on our area’s history. This award is presented at the Society’s Annual Meeting held in April each year. Deadline for nominations is March 1 of the year of the award.

Who is eligible for nominations? 
The goal of the Judge James R. Knott Historical Contribution Award is to recognize individuals or organizations for their contributions to the history of Palm Beach County, those who have worked to preserve, promote, or enrich our history for future generations. Individuals must live in Palm Beach County, and organizations must serve Palm Beach County.

Past Honorees

1989   Bessie Wilson Dubois
1990   Barbara Hoffstot
1991   Ambassador Earl E.T. Smith
1992   Mary C. Linehan
1993   Donald W. Curl, Ph.D.
1994   Antonette Dennison, Ph.D.
1995   James A. Ponce
1996   Katharine Dickenson
1997   Frances Bourque
1998   American Methodist Episcopal Church
– – – – Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea
– – – – St. Edwards Catholic Church
– – – – Royal Poinciana Chapel
– – – – St. Paul’s AME Church
– – – – First Presbyterian Church
1999   The Garden Club of Palm Beach
2000   Richard J. Procyk
2001   Eliot Kleinberg
2002   Donald J. Trump
2003   Judge Marvin Mounts
2004   The Palm Beach Post 
2005   Flagler Museum
2006   Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds
2007   Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners
2008   Flagler System, Inc.
2009   Harvey Oyer III
2010   Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum
2011   Robert Hudson Neff
2012   Dr. Reginald Stambaugh
2013   Ineria E. Hadley-Hudnell
2014   L.J. Parker
2015   Palm Beach Centennial Committee
2016   Lake Worth Pioneers’ Association, Inc.
2017   Rick Gonzalez, AIA

To submit a nomination, please download an application and submit it directly to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

Fannie James Pioneer Achievement Award

Established in 2003, this award recognizes the achievements of individuals or organizations that have significantly contributed to preserving and sharing the history of Palm Beach County’s pioneering days. The award is named for the late Fannie James, an African American who served as the first postmistress of the Jewell (now Lake Worth) Post Office, which was open from 1889 until 1903. The winner will be selected from the nominations received, judged for the historical impact, relevance, and significance of the contribution, and announced in late April of each year at the Society’s Annual Meeting. Deadline for applications is March 1 of the year of the award.

The inaugural Fannie James Award was presented to Laurita Collie Sharpp, granddaughter of one of West Palm Beach’s earliest black settlers, John Collie, and the daughter of one of West Palm Beach’s first black dentists, renowned community leader Dr. Warren Hale Collie. In 2002, Sharpp donated her treasured collection of photographs, diaries, and letters, chronicling over a century of her family’s history, to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. They include her grandmother’s diaries, old photographs depicting West Palm Beach life from the 1890s through the 1940s, and a letter from legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Her donation, the “Collie Collection,” has preserved an integral part of Palm Beach County’s history: a rarely-seen glimpse into the lives of black pioneers who helped shape the landscape of Palm Beach County beginning in the late 19th century.

Past Honorees

2003       Laurita Collie Sharpp
2004       Robert Hazard
2005       Roy Rood
2006       The Adolf Hofman Family
2007       Michael Bornstein
2008       Ethel Sterling Williams Family
2009       Royal Poinciana Chapel (Sea Gull Cottage)
2010       The Loxahatchee Guild
2011       Everee Jimerson Clarke
2012       Dr. Ginger Pedersen and Janet DeVries
2013       Ted Brownstein
2014       Marjorie Watts Nelson
2015       Helen Vogt Greene
2016       Robert W. Ganger
2017       Wells Fargo Private Bank
2018       Donald L. Kiselewski, P.E.
If you would like to submit a nomination, please download an application and submit it directly to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

Online

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PBC History Online

In 2009 the HSPBC celebrated the launch of Palm Beach County History Online as part of our mission to share the history. This website helps broaden the audience and reach of local history visits to the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum. The site is a one-stop shop for all your county history questions, including teaching materials for educators. An average 3.5 million people per year are learning from this resource!

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County is grateful to the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Foundation, Inc. and the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties for their foresight in funding the development of this site.

Visit PBC History Online – Click here

Teacher Resources

Johnson History Museum Guide
The guide for planning and scheduling a tour to the Richard and Pat Johnson History Museum. Included are a Grade 4 lesson on Florida history and the Barefoot Mailman, and a Grade 7 lesson to prepare for a Mock Trial tour. <–ADD LINK

The Last Calusa Teacher Guide
The guide for Harvey Oyer’s book The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Last Calusa was written by Patricia Kissel, Jupiter Farms Elementary School; Michelle Girardin, Palm Beach Gardens Elementary School; and Cheryl Burkhardt, retired Palm Beach County teacher.

The Last Egret Social Studies Teacher Guide

The Last Egret Reading Teacher Guide
The guide for Harvey Oyer’s book The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Last Egret  were written by the School District of Palm Beach County.

War in Florida’s Water 1942-1943 Teacher Guide 

This guide was written for the 2010 special exhibit in the Johnson History Museum by the same name.

Paradise in Peril: World War II in Palm Beach County Teacher Guide  
This guide was written for the 2012 special exhibit in the Johnson History Museum by the same name.

Architectural Tour of the 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse Teacher Guide

Storm of ’28 Teacher Guide 

Feather Wars: Surviving Fashion 1870-1920 Teacher Guide
This guide was written for the special exhibit in the Johnson History Museum by the same name.

Early Contact Teacher Guide
This guide was written for the special exhibit in the Johnson History Museum by the same name.

Love of the Game: Baseball in the Palm Beaches Teacher Guide
This guide was written for the 2016-2017 special exhibit at the Johnson History Museum by the same name.

Shipwreck: Discovering Lost Treasure Teacher Guide
This guide was written for the 2017-2018 special exhibit at the Johnson History Museum by the same name.

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