The mission and purpose of the Boca Raton Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and present information and artifacts relevant to the past and evolving history of Boca Raton and to maintain a visible role in education and advocacy of historic preservation in our community.
The Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum (BRHS&M) is known primarily for its stewardship of two landmark buildings in Boca Raton: Town Hall and the F.E.C. Railway Station (the Count deHoernle Pavilion). Both buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and have received the Florida Trust’s prestigious Historic Preservation Award. These restorations, paid for by private and public funds, are testaments to the community’s dedication to preservation. Through these projects, the Historical Society has set the architectural tone for the city and achieved a leadership role in downtown redevelopment and new development in Boca Raton.
The BRHS&M offers a wide range of educational opportunities that provide the community with a tangible link between its past and present. Located in Boca Raton’s original Town Hall, the Society owns a vital repository of archival information about the formative years of Boca Raton, its families, and its economy. The building’s research library houses a permanent exhibition of historic maps, photographs and documents, Mizner memorabilia, and other treasures.
The BRHS&M presents special exhibits that draw upon its own archival materials. Many of the popular BRHS&M exhibits have become traveling exhibits at other cultural organizations’ sites per their request. Topics range from history and architecture to arts, crafts, and photography. Both permanent and rotating exhibits are displayed in the History Museum’s Gallery.
Town Hall Talks is a lecture series hosted by the Historical Society. A variety of historical topics are presented to the community via guest speakers who are experts and /or authorities in their field.
The BRHS&M conducts regular history tours of the Boca Raton Resort & Club, the Boca Express Train Museum, Town Hall, and Town Trolley tours of historic and contemporary Boca Raton. Also as part of its community outreach programming, the Historical Society offers PowerPoint presentations to civic groups and club organizations for a nominal fee.
Ticket To Ride is the BRHS&M’s signature education program for schools. It is conducted at the Boca Express Train Museum and focuses on the importance of historic preservation as well as local and state history. The program supplements schools’ social studies curriculum, aligns with the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards with the Common Core Standards, and contains FCAT practice skills. It has been approved by the School District of Palm Beach County, which means Ticket To Ride qualifies for bus transportation funds and teacher in-service points are awarded. Other school programs, both on-site and in-classroom, have been developed and presented to area schools and neighborhood children organizations.
Lesson plans detailing the local history of Boca Raton are available to teachers and home school groups free of charge. The lesson plans augment the Florida history curriculum taught in local schools. They can be downloaded from the BRHS&M website.
In the former fire engine bay, the Historical Society & Museum operates its museum store, Fire Bay Gift Shop, appealing to the historian, tourist, and local resident. Items such as historic photographs, unusual gifts, and souvenirs of Boca Raton’s past and present are available. History books published by the BRHS&M, other regional history books, and The History of Boca Raton DVD are for sale in the gift shop and the BRHS&M website’s on-line store.
The BRHS&M website has been crafted with scholarship and accessibility in mind. It received the 2006 Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History.
Boca Bacchanal Wine Fest & Auction is an annual weekend event benefiting the mission of the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum. Events include vintner dinners in private homes, a superb dinner & auction at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, and The Grand Tasting, a luncheon revelry by-the-bite with wine tasting at the Mizner Amphitheatre.
Membership is offered at different levels for anyone wishing to support the educational and preservation efforts of The Boca Raton Historical Society. Members receive newsletters, invitations to private functions, and special discounts.
Museum Hours: Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Downtown Boca Raton in the Old Town Hall
71 North Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Websites: www.bocahistory.org / www.bocabacchanal.com