From the President & CEO - Rob Steele

"To be native to a place, we must learn to speak its language." – Robin Wall Kimmerer

"Indian River oranges and Ruskin tomatoes, as much as the beach and the postcard, helped shape Florida’s image as a winter paradise and bountiful dream state." – Gary Mormino

Let me begin by saying that I fervently believe that Martin County is the best place on the planet. I know, "Shhh, don’t tell anyone.” I have also developed a deep, unbridled respect for the local Florida natives who have loved this place for their entire lives. I can occasionally discern a veiled but clearly pained expression on their faces when a sprawling development project is the topic of discussion. While I have only had the pleasure of living in Florida for about eight years, I am beginning to share their pain and in the hope that we can somehow slow the growth to preserve some semblance of pristine Florida that existed just a few short decades ago.

Our museums are as busy as they can possibly be right now, and I have the pleasure of speaking with dozens of guests as they peruse the exhibits. The comment I most frequently hear is some derivation of “We are so happy we discovered Martin County, and we just love it.” Some comment of “lighter traffic than anywhere else in Florida” is often the next thing to be mentioned. Tourists are clever, and so must we be. I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the current generation of authentic Martin County natives (remembering that the Ais Indians were here first) in advocating for the protection of and adherence to a policy of thoughtful growth in this veritable paradise.

"A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good just because it’s accepted by a majority." – Booker T. Washington

"History is not history unless it is the truth." – Abraham Lincoln

"History is strewn thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill, but a lie, well told, is immortal." – Mark Twain

I have been wholly surprised by the level of interest and spirited discussion that is occurring on an ongoing basis with regard to our local history. We hope you will take comfort in knowing that the pursuit of truth in the study of our local history is an institutional priority here at the Historical Society of Martin County.

Our passionate local historians are, in essence, detectives of the past, and their commitment to finding the truth is inspirational. Every fact we run to the ground provides a firmer foundation for the generations following us. We rely on artifacts, letters, publications, and oral histories to establish the truth of our history. It pains me to think that the world is beginning to rely on IT - Information Technology to concretize the truth.

People who pursue the truth with an advanced level of conviction are sometimes affectionately referred to as members of a “Hysterical Society.” We are happy to be recognized for our commitment and will continue to take comfort in knowing you will thank us one day.

"It’s better to have loved and lost than do forty pounds of laundry a week." – Salvador Dali

You have probably been curious to know how the Elliott Museum keeps nearly a hundred cars in showroom condition on a consistent basis—elbow grease and baskets full of clean towels. Our collection has 100+-year-old vehicles that make less noise than the dryer in our garage. We are hoping that someone among our readers may be in the process of refreshing their laundry room and might have an available dryer that they would be willing to donate to the cause. We are a humble lot here at the museum, and hand-me-downs are welcome anytime! We will gladly arrange for a pickup at your convenience, and you can walk with a skip in your step knowing that you helped to make sure our cars are shining like the sun.

All the best,


Announcing 2023-2024 Sponsorship Opportunities

The benefits are better! The opportunities abound! Lots of levels!

Sponsoring any of our Special Events, Guest Lectures, Live Performances, Special Exhibits, and our Premier Exhibit has never been easier for individuals/ businesses/firms! We’ve added incredible benefits for businesses/firms that truly provide the brand recognition and promotion needed to increase company awareness. Some benefits of sponsorship include exclusive sponsorship per profession/business category, reserved seating, Meet and Greet, complimentary tickets, Pre & Post Exhibit VIP Receptions and so much more!

Whether sponsoring as an individual or business, you will be providing support, education, entertainment, and growth opportunities for not only the Historical Society of Martin County, The Elliott, and the House of Refuge but our community as well. With the availability of exclusive sponsorships per business/profession category, it’s important to talk soon! Contact me at 772.225-1961 ext. 110 or by email:

As always, we truly appreciate your thoughtful consideration and continued support,


Director of Development

This Thursday at 7:30 p.m.! Buckle your seatbelts!

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Damon Fowler — one of the best singer/songwriters in Florida, as part of the Elliott Museum's “Troubadour Sessions." This is the final concert of this series!

Damon Fowler, from Tampa, was nominated for the 2022 Blues Rock Album BMA by The Blues Federation. He will close out the museum's Troubadour Sessions, which was designed as a series of six concerts featuring eclectic music. These concerts were made possible through a unique collaboration with Ron Hart at Earthtones, who is the former owner of Terra Fermata. Thank you, Ron!

Admission is $20 online or $25 at the door. Seating is limited to 75 guests. Buy your tickets online here.

JOIN US FOR DINNER! The fantastic new tiki “Hut” will be open for dinner and drinks before the performance and we will offer a full bar outside the Forum throughout the show.

The Highwaymen: On the road back to the Elliott

Highwaymen — From the Street Corner to the Smithsonian

March 11 - July 21, 2023

In the 1950s during the Jim Crow days, several African-American self-taught artists from the Treasure Coast began painting Florida’s vivid landscapes, looking for a better way to earn a livelihood. Coined as the “Highwaymen,” they sold their art out of their car trunks as they traveled the highways, which led to their nickname. Today, Highwaymen paintings have deservedly earned a place to hang in the Smithsonian, and several Highwaymen artists are represented in the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. Very few of the original 26 artists remain but fortunately, many of their paintings — which are now sought after by collectors worldwide — still do.

The Elliott Museum showcased their artwork last year and we are thrilled to present an all new, premier collection of their art that includes an extensive "Canvas Board Wall" of their early works, including Harold Newton, one of the founding members, along with a Tribute Wall to Roy McLendon, who was inspired by Newton, his neighbor.

Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12

Be among the first to see this new collection!

Featuring throughout the weekend —

  • Live painting demonstration by Roy McLendon
  • Gallery walks conducted by noted collectors Roger Lightle and Steve Carr
  • 11 a.m., March 11 and 12 - presentation and book signing by Catherine Enns, author of "The Journey of the Highwaymen"


There are only 12 vehicles left for adoption and they include cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes and a boat!

To view complete information about this truly special program, please

visit or access this QR code using the

camera on your phone. Here you will find the vehicles that are available, a description of them, as well as the order form. You may also contact, Linda Prange, director of development at 772-221-1961, ext. 110, or by email,, with any questions or to check availability.

Art & Opera — A winning combination

Noted Etchings By Enrico Caruso and live opera performance

The Elliott Museum will unveil a collection of original prints from hand carved lithograph designs created by the legendary opera tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921). Framed and rolled prints will be available for purchase. Caruso’s actual 1920 Hudson limousine will also be on exhibit.

The opening reception begins at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, and will feature a live performance in homage to Caruso by opera tenor Mario Ar‏‏evalo.

Admission is $15 and free to members. Cash bar. Seating is limited. RSVP at 772-225-1961 or buy tickets online here.

Philly Down South — great eats & entertainment

If you've driven along Ocean Blvd. and noticed this Tiki Hut, we invite you to satisfy your curiosity by turning into the Elliott Museum's parking lot to enjoy lunch or dinner under the Hut.

New hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. To hear great local talent, check out the Open Mic session every Saturday from noon until 3 p.m.

Every Friday and Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., weather permitting, treat yourself to dinner while listening to live music.

And there's more!

On March 17, join us all day in celebration for St. Paddy’s Day. There will be live music and Irish food all day from noon to 9 p.m. Then on March 23 in Philly Down South's location on the Elliott's second floor, there will be a Neil Diamond Dinner show. Cost is $65 per person, which includes the dinner, show tax and gratuity. Call 561-718-9733 to make your reservation today! 

There’s no museum admission if you're just coming to eat or sip a beverage at the restaurant. If you're planning a party for your organization or family, host it at the Elliott for a truly unique and memorable event.

Celebrate a loved one with an engraved brick

Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, in honor of, in memory of … so many reasons to Buy a Brick. This uniquely perfect gift keeps giving your love for many years to come!

Each brick costs $250 and may contain three lines of your personalized message. You will find a Buy a Brick order form and complete information at If you have any questions, please contact Linda Prange, director of development, at 772-225-1961, ext. 110, or via email,

House of Refuge is up and running!

After undergoing some major renovations (and more to come), the House of Refuge is welcoming visitors and activities again. On February 18, Riley's Eagle Scout Project installed new signs of identification for all of the native plants on the property. The boys from BSA Troop 840 were assisted by our master gardener, Ann McCormick, to identify plants for the signage that they actually made. Thanks to all the boys for their hard work and dedication to the project!  

We invite you to stop by the new Gift Shop at the House of Refuge. From sea salts to turtles, there are a variety of items to browse.

DECEMBER 30, 1945 – FEBRUARY 10, 2023

On February 19, a memorial service was held for Jim McCormick, former Keeper of The House of Refuge. It was a beautiful sunset ceremony on the back porch with family and friends. Jim created the lecture series that was conducted at the House of Refuge for many years. We are grateful for his service. RIP, Jim.

Sip & Shop to help the Elliott on March 31

Congratulations on 50 years!

The exhibit under the stairs has been updated to a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Environmental Studies Center (ESC). Come and see what wonderful things this center has accomplished in half a century! You can read more about the ESC here.

Travel with the Elliott

Enjoy great values on all-inclusive luxury travel while supporting the Elliott Museum! Mayflower Cruises and Tours, a leader in the travel industry, has every detail covered for carefree travel to nearly every corner of the globe.  Here’s a sample of the travel adventures that await you.

Christmas in Opryland in Nashville will be from November 26- December 1, 2023 and will feature the Opryland Holiday Show, General Jackson Riverboat and the Grand Ole Opry. Click here for more information.

The Ionian Sea Adventure will give you the opportunity to sail aboard a luxurious Emerald superyacht through Southern Italy, Sicily and the Greek Isles. Click here for details.

Coming! European Christmas Market River Cruise for the 2024 Holiday Season!


Mark your travel calendar for these future all-inclusive trips. Space for each of these tours is limited. You can register early for free airfare offers and additional savings! For details, contact Debbie Banta at or call 772-225-1961, ext. 124. We also invite you to like and share the Elliott's new travel Facebook page.

Creativity at its finest

For an explanation, view this video!

“Free Electrons” is a display of artwork from extraordinary award-winning artists, Danuta Rothschild and Torenzo Gann, at the Elliott Museum on the second floor. The exhibit is included with the Elliott Museum’s regular admission and will be on display through April 27.

This month's HI Mindfulness Forum events

Deena Rahill, founder of HI Mindfulness Forums, presents the following Sound Vibration events. For more details on these events and/or to register, please visit her website,

March 8 at 6 p.m. - March Worm Full Moon

Join me for a powerful Sound Vibrational Journey during the Worm Full Moon


March 17 at 6 p.m. - The Magic of Gratitude

No matter who you are, where you are, or your current circumstances, the Magic of gratitude will change your entire life!

March 23 at 1 p.m. - Free lecture - Stuart Health & Healing: Reverse the so-called irreversible and make the impossible possible again! Regain your health and eliminate your pain. Deena and Debbie will answer all your questions!

March 24 at 6 p.m. - Manifest your Dreams!

No matter who you are, where you are, or your current circumstances, the Magic of gratitude will change your entire life!

EVERY WEEK: Tune Up Tuesday and Sound Healing Sunday. To learn more about sound healing, new events and what Deena does, visit her website -

Oh, the benefits of being a member!

As a Family Level Member or higher, you have access to free or discounted admission to 134 museums in Florida alone with the NARM and SERM reciprocal benefits. One of the participating museums is Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs, FL. For more information on this amazing museum, keep reading and visit their website below. We hope you get the chance to explore this season and use your membership benefits!

The Wonder Gardens is home to a diverse family of rescued, rehabilitated and non-releasable animals. From Florida alligators and flamingos to beautiful macaws, pythons, turtles, tortoises and even Chinese golden pheasants – add that to the vibrant botanical collection and we have something to interest every member of your family! Read more here.


We hope you have a chance to explore this season and enjoy your membership benefits!


Members-only benefits include:

  •  Behind the scenes tours to upcoming exhibits
  •  Access and admission discounts to special events and opening receptions
  • 10% off museum shop items (some exclusions may apply)
  • NARM & SERM - free admission to over 1,000 museums in the Southeastern and National Reciprocal Programs (Family membership and above)

Plus, you can enjoy a sense of community pride knowing that you are supporting a worthy nonprofit organization right here on the Treasure Coast. For a full list of benefits, visit our website at Questions? Email Director of Visitor Services Ales Day at

A well deserved award

The Antique Automobile Club recently awarded the Elliott Museum with its annual Appreciation Award. This distinction is given to one automotive museum each year to honor outstanding efforts in the preservation of automotive history.

The Elliott is proud of its staff and volunteers for all of their time, talents and dedication, which made this recognition possible.

Congratulations to all involved!

Weekly Car Shows - March 7, 14, 21 and 28

Sponsored exclusively by McKee's 37, Lew's Crew Cruisin' at the Elliott is held every Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m., weather permitting, in the Elliott Museum's parking lot. In addition to a lineup of cool cars, "The Hut" is open to serve you delicious food and beverages.

Thanks to 106.9 True Oldies Channel radio station for spinning the hits we love and promoting the show. There’s a $3 fee to show your car and a portion of the proceeds are donated to the museum. Admission to the car show is free for guests.

Cars & Coffee - Saturday, March 11

Cars & Coffee is held the second Saturday of the month from 8 to 10 a.m. in the Elliott Museum's parking lot, weather permitting, co-sponsored by McKee's 37 and Oldies 95.9/106.9FM. Bring your pride and joy ride or just come and hang out with other car owners and enjoy the outdoor ambiance. The event showcases an amazing display of different makes, models and years of vehicles. This event is free and open to everyone. Coffee and donuts are provided at a nominal charge.

Learn more with an auto collection tour

To take advantage of the museum's weekly tours of its auto collection on Thursdays at 11 a.m., meet at the front desk at 10:55 a.m. We recommend calling first at 772-225-1961. You also can take a joy ride to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion. The minimum suggested donation is $200.

Contact Jim Ferrare at 305-878-7795 to make arrangements or email him at

Help the HSMC grow
As you can see from this newsletter, the Historical Society of Martin County continues to grow and offer more to the community than ever before. But we can't do it without your support. Every little bit helps! Thank you in advance for your support.
Host your own private party at the Elliott
Looking for a place to host a private party? We've got you covered!
Whether it's for your business, organization or family event, the Elliott Museum is available to rent.

For details, contact Debbie Banta at 772-225-1961, ext. 124, or email her at
Volunteer opportunities

House of Refuge volunteers needed!

If you are interested in history and would enjoy being a part of the House of Refuge team — we need you! Come join our Volunteer Corps at the Historical Society of Martin County. If you (or someone you know) is interested, please contact Ales Day, director of visitor services, via email, or fill out an application online via the website.

At the museum's Emporium Museum Shoppe, you'll see plenty of unique items, whether you're shopping for a gift or for yourself. The merchandise includes these magnetic, glow-in-the-dark butterflies, artwork, jewelry, decorations, children's toys, books, an assortment of soaps, clocks, clothing, signed baseballs, baseball literature and much more. No museum admission is required if you just wish to browse and shop.

Community News

The Jensen Beach Art League will be on the grounds of the Elliott Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates:

March 12, 2023

April 9, 2023

For more information, visit the website, or send an email to

Click here to see all of the local happenings and more on

For concise information on what's happening with the Arts Scene on the Treasure Coast, subscribe to Willi Miller's ARTS BLAST! at

The Historical Society of Martin County

A Treasure on the Treasure Coast since 1961! | 772-225-1961

Two Museums on Hutchinson Island in Stuart, FL 34996

Elliott Museum | 825 NE Ocean Blvd.

Hours: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday

House of Refuge • 301 SE MacArthur Blvd.

10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m., Sunday