North Brevard History - Titusville, Florida

History of the Historical Society of North Brevard
and the North Brevard Historical Museum

The Historical Society of North Brevard was originally formed in September of 1966 by about 10 local residents who were interested in doing something to preserve the history of the area. The first meeting was held at the home of Bill and Tina Kennedy. Some of the others involved included Ruth Barnhart, Bob Hudson, Rod Northcutt, Kay Phillips, Mary Schuster and Marge Threlkeld. At each meeting they would decide where to meet next. Meetings were held wherever they could find space.

Decisions made by the group included writing the bylaws, designing the logo, formulating the purpose and designating boundaries. The purpose at the time and continues to be "the collection preservation, recording and display of historical artifacts, photographs and written records". The area to be covered for history would be from Port St. John to the Volusia County line and the Atlantic Ocean to the St. John's River.

In 1971, the city of Titusville awarded the use of half of the Mildred Bruner Library for a Historical Museum. The members got it in shape but then the Titusville Art League, who had the other half of the building demonstrated the need for more space so that eliminated the Museum at that time.

The Historical Society was established as a not-for-profit organization and became incorporated in 1982. The Magnolia Theater was to be renovated to house the Emma Parrish Theater and funds were raised in 1982 to 1984. The Historical Society was to have the use of the space at the west end of the building for a Museum. However, since the Playhouse needed additional funds, the space was renovated and rented as an attorney's office.

In October, 1988, Glenn Patch, a Titusville businessman, offered the use of the commercial building at 301 S. Washington Avenue for the Historical Society to use as a Museum. Les Widick and Herb Lorenzo did most of the renovation work. The Museum opened on October 28, 1989.

Glenn Patch donated the buildings at 301 and 303 S. Washington Avenue to the Historical Society in December, 1995. Since then there have been fund raisers to finance an expansion of the Museum. Many donations have also been received for that purpose as well as for operating expenses.

During the summer of 1999, the outside of the buildings were renovated through funds provided by the Facade Loan Program made available by the city of Titusville. The interior of the building at 303 S. Washington now has additional display space.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on October 28, 1999 to observe the re-opening of the Museum and to celebrate it's 10th anniversary.

The historical items at the Museum have been donated by individuals or organizations although some items are on loan to the Historical Society. Anyone wishing to donate anything to the Museum is encouraged to bring the items in on any Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The membership has grown from 23 in January 1989 to 306 in January of 2000. Tours are encouraged by individuals, clubs, school groups, scouts, fraternal groups, etc. There is no admission charge and approximately 75 volunteers, who are members of the Historical Society, staff the Museum. All members receive a membership card and newsletters.

North Brevard Historical Society and Museum

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