Pioneer Museum in Florida City reopening for season on Nov. 6

By Bob Jensen….

Pioneer Museum in Florida City

The Florida Pioneer Museum, located at 826 N. Krome Ave. in Florida City, will reopen for the winter season on Saturday, Nov. 6.

The museum is scheduled to be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays, subject to the availability of volunteer docents. Admission is free although donations are accepted.

The museum is available by appointment to school groups and others by calling 305-248-0976.

A focus this year will be the 100th anniversary of the arrival by rail of the first residents from Detroit, MI, in November of 1910, to what is now Florida City.

The birth of the museum can be traced to a May 24, 1962, meeting of the Lily Lawrence Bow Library Board. At that time the Homestead library board included two council members, four appointed library board members and representatives of the Woman’s Club of Homestead, Rotary Club of Homestead and Soroptimist Club of Homestead. Ruth Campbell was present.

The main topic of the meeting was the offer by Plantation Key “scientific writer” Dr. Zim of his collection of “Indian items.” A July 12 meeting included a representative of the Homestead Art Club and Bea Peskoe who volunteered her husband, Irving, to incorporate a group as the Florida Pioneer Museum. There was not enough money so Irving paid the remainder of the incorporation fee.

On Jan. 9, 1964, the Florida East Coast Railway offered the fledgling group its Station Agent’s house on Flagler Avenue provided it could be moved off the property by Feb. 3. The City of Homestead failed to make land available when requested so Henry and Jacqueline Brooker donated the property on which the museum now stands.

The museum association raised the $7,300 necessary to move the building and restore it to use. In 1965, the Florida City Commission accepted the ownership of the building and land.

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