Energy and excitement filled the air at the Delray Beach Historical Society Tuesday evening, Sepetember 17th. New co-presidents Angela Kumar and Leslie Callaway along with a newly formed board hosted a community-wide, kick-off to the season, celebrating the revitalization of
the society’s mission. Three generations of locals gathered to tell stories, renew friendships and
plan for the future.
In 1964, the daughter of one of the city’s most prominent pinoneer families, Ethel Serling Williams, along with Presdent of the Chamber of Commerse Kenneth Ellingsworth founded the Delray Beach Historical Society in an effort to safekeep the memories and records of Delray’s settlement. The society continues to this day as an enthusiastic nonprofit membership organization working to preserve and share Delray Beach’s fascinating heritage. Angela Kumar noted in her address to the crowd of 80, “Our library and archives, our museum and our rich offering of programs, events and exhibits are accessible to all —building a sense of excitement for local history, pride of citizenship and stewardship of our legacy for generations to come.”
As the 2013-2014 season begins, the Delray Beach Historical Society’s revitalized vision includes redefining the society as a vibrant center for community life, bringing together families and multiple generations to share in a series of fun-filled and contemporary themed events, which will also showcase the colorful stories of our past. Leslie Callaway adds, “along with the expertise of our new board members, we are blessed to be working with longstanding members who bring unprecedented knowledge, wisdom and a love for Delray that inspires us all.”
Three buildings encompass the Delray Beach Historical Society campus. Authentically furnished and reflecting the South Florida lifestyle from 1915 to 1935, The Cason Cottage Museum is an education institution devoted to the preservation of Delray Beach History, named after Dr. J.R. Cason, Sr., the town’s first physician. It provides rotating exhibits of art, artifacts and records pertaining to the City’s storied past. The 1926 Florida Bungalow and Gift Shop provides the museum with additional space for exhibits on local Florida history and is a rental space for various events and meetings. The Hunt House is an original Florida farmhouse, which was dedicated and named the Ethel Sterling Williams Archive and History Learning Center in 2009. This state-of-the-art and award-winning center houses the City’s archives and is open for local research, school classes and exhibits. Staff archivist, Dottie Patterson and Patroness of Cason Cottage, Marsha Love are both Delay Beach veteran historians and look forward to sharing their knowledge through events and exhibits in the coming year.