From spears and pioneers to hurricanes and famous names, explore it all here at Palm Beach County History Online!

Girls in water


Palm Beach County History On-Line is part of our mission to make history accessible, interesting, and meaningful. Our site which is still a work in progress was created to help broaden the audience and widen the reach for local history access beyond visitors restricted from visiting the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum during standard operating hours.

We aim to have the site become a one-stop shop for all your county history questions. New information will be added periodically.

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County wishes to thank 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. Other contributors to the site include content research by Lise Steinhauer, site graphic design by Black Design and images provided by the archives of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, Loxahatchee River Historical Society and the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum. Technical development of the website provided by Fusedog Media Group.


Temporary Exhibit at the Johnson History Museum

Courage Under Fire: 120 Years of Fire Rescue
On dispaly September 9, 2014 - June 27, 2015

“Courage Under Fire: 120 Years of Fire Rescue” examines the exceptional history of the West Palm Beach Fire Department, which served as the only fire department in Palm Beach County for many years. As Judge James R. Knott wrote in the forward to Fire Chief Bennett T. Kennedy’s book entitled The Fire History of the City of West Palm Beach Florida, “documentation of the Fire History…sketches the development of the community.” To take that sentiment one step further, a fire history can also demonstrate the civic mindedness of the individuals who stepped forward to protect the lives and property of their neighbors.

Click here for more information.

Historical Society of Palm Beach County

Online Archive Catalog

The HSPBC’s collection catalog is now online and available for browsing. While not everything in the collections is online, this is a great place to begin doing research or looking at photographs.

►Click here to begin your search.

Palm Beach County's Diverse Cultures
Celebrate Our Cultural Heritage
To visit the Cultural Heritage Page
Please click here.



We hope you enjoy and share in our unique history.


The Historical Society of Palm Beach County

Preserving our past to secure our future

HSPBC LogoSince its founding in 1937, the Historical Society of Palm Beach County has been the “go-to” resource history education and research, assembling an extraordinary collection of documents, photographs and artifacts that tell the fascinating story of the people who made Florida and Palm Beach County an exceptional area to live, work and learn. The Society has partnered with the School District of Palm Beach County to provide programs for elementary and middle school students. Research in the archives is by appointment, and openphone_number.gif to members in the Society free of charge.




The Museum

Located in the restored 1916 Courthouse in West Palm Beach, the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum enriches the lives of children and adults alike by making local history accessible, interesting and meaningful. History comes alive in two permanent galleries and rotating temporary exhibits that reflect the influence of the many cultures in our County’s diverse history, from the earliest Native American inhabitants to the present day. It also explores the natural environment and many communities that have contributed to our County’s distinct identity.

Group tours available with advance reservations (10 or more)

300 N. Dixie Highway
Downtown West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
Tuesday – Saturday, 10am -5pm



The Tustenegee

The Tustenegee is an online journal of Palm Beach County history published annually by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

To view or download PDF, click here, or click on journal at the top of the page.

Johnson History Museum Logo

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phone: 561.832.4164  |  fax: 561.832.7965  |  mail: P.O. Box 4364, W.P.B., FL 33402  |  visit: 300 N. Dixie Hwy, W.P.B., FL 33401

© 2009 Historical Society of Palm Beach County  |  all photos courtesy HSPBC unless otherwise noted