Historical Society
Special Events
Educate, Inspire, and Surprise!

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County and the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum host a number of events throughout the year, from family days at the Museum and Young Friend get-togethers to ticketed dinner dances.  Many special events are fundraisers for the Society and Museum, and invitations and announcements are mailed to Historical Society members.  Our list of events is growing and changing all the time, so make sure you do not miss out!  Please accept this invitation: become a Member and keep your membership current.  We look forward to seeing you!

Download our Season Guide here to stay up-to-date on all of upcoming events.

Click here to view our Calendar of Events


Signature Events

Archival Evening 2016

Archival Evening is the premier annual benefit for the Historical Society. The evening pays tribute to individuals whose achievements have substantially contributed to the area’s unique character.  Guests are the who’s who from Palm Beach’s social scene. This year we honor Richard and Pat Johnson for their patronage of the Historical Society’s important mission over the years and their leadership in the capital campaign that made our county history museum a reality.

Archival Evening 2016 Honorees, Pat and Richard Johnson

Archival Evening 2016 Honorees, Pat and Richard Johnson

Richard and Pat Johnson: An Historic Legacy
Fifteenth Annual Archival Evening Dinner Dance
December 13, 2016 | 7:00 PM | Sailfish Club, Palm Beach
By Invitation Only  |  561.832.4164 ext. 106

Helene and Keith Austin
Cathy and Jack Flagg
Charlene and Richard Johnson
Kristy and Scott Johnson
Patt and Bill Sned




Major Sponsors
The Richard and Pat Johnson Family – Grand Presenting Sponsor
Nievera Williams Designs – Evening Exhibition Sponsor
Julie and Michael Connors – Evening Champagne Sponsor
Mark Edward Partners – Cocktail Reception Sponsor
Kirchhoff and Associates Architects – Evening Entertainment Sponsor
Signature Collection, Inc. – Evening Invitation Sponsor
Palm Beach Illustrated Magazine – 2016 – 2017 Media Sponsor

Pioneer Family Sponsor
Carol & Harold Baxter
Susan and George Cohan
Maigi and Peter Madden
Miriam & Steve Kimsey
Nancy and Joseph Sambuco

Pioneer Business Sponsors
Anderson Moore Construction Corp. |Jennifer and Christopher Harris
Bush Brothers Provision Co. | Nancy Jane and Harry Bush
Eastgate Whitehouse, LLC | William Koeppel
US Sugar

Ann-Britt and Christian Angle
John Archer and Natalie Geary
Linda and Guy Ashley
Jeanne and Jim Beasley
James Berwind and Kevin Clark
Nancy Brinker
Dawn and Gary Burkhead
Lindsay Connor and Daniel Seigel
Julie and Michael Connors
Martha DeBrule
Mark Elhilow
Nicole Dina and Keith Williams
Gay and Stanley Gaines
Lynn and Russell Kelley
Carol and Tom Kirchhoff
Fruema and Elliot Klorfein
Pat and Howard Lester
Cathy and Duane Lewis
Kay and Peter Lyons
Ross W.W. Meltzer and Victor Figueredo
Penny and Alan Murphy
Kristy and Grier Pressly
Frances Scaife
Lesly Smith
Sonja and Mark Stevens
Karen and Dan Swanson
Connie and David Thomas
Jane and Dean Woodman

For Sponsorship information, please contact Holly Finch at 561.832.4164 ext. 106.







Young Friends

July 13, 2017: A Sip of Summer

R.S.V.P’s requested. Please call 561.832.4164 ext. 103 or email us here!

March 4, 2017:  Evening on Antique Row

Evening on Antique Row, the signature fundraising event benefitting the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, will be held Saturday, March 4, 2017, in partnership with the Antique Row Association.  The event closes Dixie Highway between Southern Boulevard and Monroe Drive to vehicles, allowing visitors to explore the area’s unique shops, which stay open late to tempt attendees with 17th- to 20th-century antiques, decorative arts, fine art, and design services.

In addition to luxe shopping, the street festival brings “the Row” to life with live music, entertainment and games, cocktails, and gourmet food trucks.  At the heart of the event is a desire to elevate and increase awareness of this historic commercial area, which is key to Palm Beach County’s reputation as a cultural, dining, and shopping destination.

Becoming a sponsor of Evening on Antique Row has many benefits. For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Holly Finch at 561.832.4164 or hfinch@historicalsocietypbc.org

Check back for updates or click here to join our mailing list today and stay up-to-date on all of our upcoming events, including the next Cocktails in Paradise!




Lecture Series

Distinguished Lecture Series

What:  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 book signing when appropriate. Authors’ books are available for sale in the Museum Gift Shop.

When:  Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m.

Where: Historic Courtroom, 3rd floor, 1916 County Court House, 300 N. Dixie Highway, downtown West Palm Beach. Free parking is available on lecture nights starting at 6:00 p.m., in the lot accessible from 4th Street across from the firehouse.

2016-2017 Season

April 12, 2017
Greatness to Glory: The Restoration of the Historic 1916 Palm Beach County Court House.

After many individual and collective efforts, led by community preservationists and Historical Society leaders, to save the 1916 Court House from demolition, the Board of County Commissioners voted in April 2002 to preserve and share the structure with the public, and to restore it to its original neoclassical grandeur.

Rick Gonzalez of REG Architects and Robin Lunsford of Hedrick Brothers Construction will share their stories of”unwrapping” the building and giving it a new life while maintaining its authenticity.

This lecture is kicking off a month long centennial celebration of the 1916 courthouse!

April’s lecture is generously sponsored by Wilmington Trust



Third Thursdays @ 3 Lecture Series

What:  Third Thursdays @ 3 were started to provide a daytime option for those who want to learn more Palm Beach County history.  Attendees are encouraged to visit the admission-free Johnson History Museum on the 2nd floor before or after the lectures.

When:  3:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month during the season

Where:  Historic Courtroom, 3rd floor, 1916 County Court House, 300 N. Dixie Highway, downtown West Palm Beach.  Free parking is available on lecture nights starting at 6:00 p.m., in the lot accessible from 4th Street across from the firehouse.

2016-2017 Season:

January 19, 2017       Sue Gillis, Curator, Boca Raton Historical Society, on “Boomtime in Boca”

February 16, 2017     George Poncy (writing as George Williams), on his book, Snow on the Palms (2012)

March 16, 2017          Josh Liller, Collection Manager, Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, on “The History of the Jupiter Light”

April 20, 2017             Sandra Thompson, author of Palm Beach: A Retrospective, The Art of Sandra Thompson (2011)



Family Programs

 Scarecrow Festival & Contest October 21, 2017!

Save the Date! Scarecrow Festival & Contest is right around the corner! The family event is held at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum at the Historic 1916 Court House on Saturday, October 21nd and features kids’ activities, arts & crafts, live music, food, agriculture booths, and the renowned Scarecrow Competition.

The voting and judging for the Scarecrow Competition draws employees and families from businesses, schools, and community groups vying for cash prizes and a trophy.  Holding with tradition, the courthouse lawn will be filled with fall family activities such as mini pumpkin decorating, a haystack hunt for treats, face painting, corn shucking, crafts tents and guided tours of the new exhibition, “Shipwreck: Discovering Lost Treasures.” This year’s agriculture displays will be bigger and better than ever, and the bake sale assures delicious, classic and creative treats. For the competitive eaters out there, the pie eating contest is a don’t-miss!

The all-inclusive admission is $10 per person (children under 3 are free) and the proceeds support the free educational programs and field trip transportation.

Now accepting entry forms for the Scarecrow Contest! This year’s contest features a historic Palm Beach theme in honor of the 80th anniversary of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. Scarecrows should reflect the rich history of Palm Beach County and can portray a historical figure, represent a time period, or reflect a historically significant event that took place in PBC. Need ideas? Visit pbchistoryonline.org for inspiration!

Download the Youth/Family/Troop/school entry form here!

Download the Business entry form here!

Interested in being a sponsor? Download the sponsor package here or contact Holly Finch, Director of Advancement and Communications at 561.832.4164 ext. 106 or by email.

Join our mailing list here to stay up-to-date on this event and all upcoming events HSPBC will present during the 2017- 2018 season!



History Tours


Sunset History Cruise:  April 23, 2017

Join the Society for an intimate Sunset History Cruise to benefit education programs for local school children aboard the Mariner III, a 122-foot classic motor yacht built in 1926.

This year’s cruise will take place on Sunday, April 23, 2017. Historian, author, and columnist Augustus Mayhew will discuss “Believe It or Not: Palm Beach Myths and Legends.”  Enjoy this nautical perspective with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while exploring the facts and fictions that have long been a part of the resort’s history with its larger-than-life personalities.

This Cruise has been generously underwritten by:
Bush Brothers Provision Company
Christian Angle Real Estate Inc.
Dailey Janssen Architects
Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design, Inc.


Thank you to everyone who has purchased a ticket for this year’s Sunset History Cruise.
At this time the cruise is sold out.

About the guest presenter:  Augustus Mayhew is the author of Lost in Wonderland-Reflections on Palm Beach (2012) and Palm Beach: A Greater Grandeur (2016). A cultural columnist and architectural historian, Mayhew’s essays and photographs are featured online at The New York Social Diary and highlighted on The East Side Press at his www.augustusmayhew.com website. He has been a guest lecturer at the Society of the Four Arts, Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Historical Society of Palm Beach County, Everglades Club, Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, Town of Manalapan, Colonial Dames, and Sea Island-Coastal Georgia Historical Society. As a member of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County’s board of governors for many years, he served as the organization’s chairman of archives and collections. Along with appointments to local, regional ,and state historic preservation organizations, Mayhew is the recipient of the AIA-Palm Beach Chapter’s Historic Preservation Award.

Tickets are $150.00 per person. Space is limited.

For more information or to reserve your spot, please call 561.832.4164 ext. 100.



Historic Walking Tours

Friday Historic Walking Tours

Take a step back in time on our Historical Walking Tours! The Historical Society of Palm Beach County hosts Downtown West Palm Beach History Strolls led by architect and historian Rick Gonzalez of REG Architects. The one-hour guided tour showcases the evolution of downtown West Palm Beach buildings and landmarks and includes a historical urban design overview through recent area development. The tours have been organized each season since the development of CityPlace in West Palm Beach.

Tour participants meet on the second floor of the historic 1916 Courthouse in West Palm Beach. Advance reservations are required.

Join us on:
January 13, 2017
February 3, 2017
March 3, 2017
April 7, 2017

Tours begin at 4 pm with a $5 suggested donation per person. Call 561.832.4164 ext. 100 for more information or to reserve your spot.

The Historic Walking tour is sponsored by REG Architects.

Saturday Historic Walking Tours

THIS JUST IN! Explore downtown WPB’s history during an interactive Walking History Tour on Saturday, March 4, and Saturday, April 1, 2017. In partnership with the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, the 90-minute guided tour will start at 10 a.m. and be led by architect and historian Rick Gonzalez. The tours will highlight the evolution of downtown West Palm Beach buildings and landmarks. Tours begin “by the Banyan tree” on the north end of Clematis Street, 101 N. Clematis St., and end at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, at 300 N. Dixie Hwy. For reservations, call the Historical Society of Palm Beach County at (561) 832-4164 ext. 100. A $5 donation is recommended.

Join us on:
March 4, 2017
April 8, 2017



Trolley Tours

The Downtown Development Authority and Historical Society of Palm Beach County have partnered to bring History Trolley Tours to the Downtown! The 45-minute tour takes place in the 1945 era just as World War II is ending. The tour is led by “Evelyn Chapman,” a character who is a West Palm Beach native and engaged to a serviceman returning home from the war. She takes patrons on a journey through the Clematis District’s vibrant development and distinctive architectural styles, from the pioneering days of the early 1900s and the real estate boom of the 1920s to the continued revitalization present today. Tours are $5 per person and reservations are required. For details, please call the DDA at 561-833-8873. The DDA is closed on Saturday and Sunday.