As part of the Village’s 20th anniversary celebration, Pinecrest officials dedicated a time capsule on a recent Monday at the Pinecrest Municipal Center, 12645 Pinecrest Parkway. The capsule contains items including a 2016 coin set, a Pinecrest Police patch, submissions from local schools, a replica Pinecrest street sign, mementoes with the 20th anniversary logo, and copies of various Village publications. The capsule will be opened on the Village’s 50th anniversary in 2046.
Following the dedication of the time capsule, Village officials unveiled a historical marker commemorating the former site of the Miami Serpentarium at the Pinecrest Town Center, 12651 Pinecrest Parkway, on US 1 just south of the municipal center.
The Miami Serpentarium was founded in 1946 by Bill Haast and was one of Florida’s first tourist attractions with 50,000 visitors each year. Haast’s intuitive foresight, determination, pioneering efforts, and sacrifice are credited with advancing the use of venoms in science and medicine. Nancy Haast, from the Miami Serpentarium Laboratories in Punta Gorda, Florida, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill, who brought along a 100 lb. albino boa named Prince, were special guests at the event.
“The Serpentarium was one of a ‘big three’ of old-time Florida roadside tourist attractions once located in today’s Pinecrest, the others being Parrot Jungle and the Rare Bird Farm,” said Councilmember Bob Ross, who sponsored the resolution to place a marker at the Serpentarium’s former location.
“We are past due in honoring the memory of this important local institution and its colorful founder, snake man Bill Haast, whose mission in life was to gain recognition for the curative powers of snake venom.”