From the President & CEO - Rob Steele

"Character is not created in isolation or repose; it's forged through interaction with others and the world." - David Corbett

I have been overwhelmed of late by the high level of happiness that seems to have seeped into every corner of our beloved museums! Ever the curious type, I have been delving into why this is happening. On the surface, two years of pandemic-induced isolation is at the center of the bullseye. All of us were, to some degree, conditioned to survive with limited exposure to our fellow human beings. Everyone has emerged, blinked their eyes to adjust to the light, and carefully moved about in the new, old world. Our innate need to be social has not been eliminated…merely sedated. I'm ever so pleased to report that the sedation has worn off. Everyone appears to be ridiculously happy with the ever-changing, dynamic exhibits at the museums, and their happiness is contagious.

"Simply put, wisdom is the interaction of intelligence, knowledge, and perspective." - Bret Alan Hughes

I have taken note that several volunteers have made comments about how much they learn from the delightful guests that they interact with at the museum. Please realize that our guests come from all over the planet, and their perspectives and knowledge cover the full spectrum of wisdom. While our volunteer docents have proven themselves to be a veritable treasure trove of knowledge, they all delight in learning something new every day. Ask any educator you know, "When are children happiest in school?" and they will tell you, "When they are learning something new and relevant to their lives." This exchange of regional and global perspectives is happening on a continual basis within the walls of our museums, much to our universal delight.

"The simple truth is that technology is still a poor substitute for human interaction." - Robert G. Thompson

My mother fondly recanted the story of her mother taking her out of school as a young student to see a matinee screening of the new and much-anticipated film, "Gone With The Wind." She described her mother looking for a place to hide when Clark Gable said, "Frankly Scarlet, I don't give a damn." I suspect this occasion was the only time my mother was in front of a screen in 1939. As a young lad, I was utterly enthralled by the prime-time, animated adventures of "Jonny Quest." This Hanna-Barbera production was broadcast on Friday nights at 7 p.m. in 1964-65. Our TV was black & white, and I can assure you that "Jonny Quest" and the "Wonderful World of Disney" were the only times I found myself in front of a screen. My how times have changed.

We invite everyone with the ability to cross our threshold to join us for some mostly screenless interaction with the real world and real people, 360 days a year. Our animated and celebrated volunteers can hardly wait to pick up their next kernel of wisdom from you! We invite you to think outside the box and enjoy some heartfelt interaction with the nicest group of people imaginable.

All the best,


Become an HSMC Champion: Donate Monthly!

By becoming a recurring monthly donor to the Historical Society of Martin County, you’ll truly be a “Champion” of the Elliott and House of Refuge. You’ll be helping us by creating predictable and needed monthly income while helping us to expand our exhibits, education, entertainment, collections, and other program opportunities.


The benefits to you as a recurring donor include the following:

• It’s convenient and simplifies the process of financially supporting the HSMC. You only need to complete your donation form once, and we’ll take care of it from there!

• You’ll receive Invitations to special events during the year.

• You’ll have our undying appreciation!


It’s easy to become a Champion today! Go to our website, click DONATE TODAY, and decide the amount that you wish to give to the HSMC on a recurring monthly basis; select Make this a monthly donation and follow the prompts. That’s it! And, don’t worry if circumstances change later in the year; you can opt out of the monthly donation program at any time. Your contributions will be 100% deductible under IRS rules. 


Donating monthly is just one way to support the Elliott, The House of Refuge and the HSMC. If you’d like to talk about other ways to support the museums, or if you’d like to make a gift of stock, please contact Linda Prange, director of development, at 772-225-1961. ext. 110, or email However, if you’d rather meet and talk at the Elliott … Let’s do it!


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


Director of Development

Time is running out ...

"Threading the Needle" by Norman Rockwell

“Spring Commuter” by J.C. Leyendecker

to see the exceptional collection of artworks by Norman Rockwell and his mentor, J.C. Leyendecker, which has been on display at the Elliott Museum since November 2022. The exhibit, which includes 20 original works of art, will run through March 3. Additionally, covering the walls of the Elliott are each artist’s complete collections of vintage Saturday Evening Post covers — 323 by Rockwell and 322 by Leyendecker. The magazine covers range from 1899 through 1963, giving an interesting visual history of the United States through an ever-changing time. Be sure to catch the exhibit itself and the following lectures. Details are below and on the website here.

Lecture about Norman Rockwell's models

Tuesday, February 7, from 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Join us for a lecture by poet and former editor Stephen Haggerty and learn about some of the real people behind Norman Rockwell’s paintings.

“I knew some of the people we knew were models,” Haggerty recalled. “But I didn’t know I knew that many!”

Haggerty began tracking down former neighbors and friends, many now in their 80s, and asked them about their experiences posing for the painter in Vermont. His latest book, title release date Feb 15, 2023, “Norman Rockwell’s Models: In and Out of the Studio,” includes stories of Norman Rockwell’s models and their time in his studio. Read more details here.

You can preorder or take a peek at Haggerty’s book on Amazon. There will be a cash bar for this event. $10 for members and $15 for non-members. RSVP by giving us a call at (772) 225-1961.

Join us for a candid discussion with Abigail Rockwell

Wednesday, February 15, from 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Abigail Rockwell will be speaking about her grandfather, Norman Rockwell, and his life, work and the recently published Definitive Edition of his classic 1960 autobiography. She will be answering questions and discussing her insights of his inspiration, life and legacy.

“What will be different about this book talk? After four years of madness with my own family and in the world, I have a perspective on Pop’s (Norman Rockwell) work I’ve never had before. I understand the relevance of his work on a deeper level… because that’s the level he was usually painting from with his storytelling images.” – Abigail Rockwell

There will be appetizers and a cash bar for this event. Seating is sold out/Standing Room Only. Free to members through the sponsorship of Judy Yaker; $10 for non-members. RSVP by calling 772-225-1961.

World renowned art collector talk

Thursday, March 2, from 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Judith Goffman Cutler, world renowned art collector, author and director of the National Museum of American Illustration, gives light to her Rockwell/Leyendecker exhibit, and an overview of the “Gilded Age” of American illustration. Discussion and book signing follow$10 for members and $15 for non-members. RSVP by calling 772-225-1961.

Join us for this engaging discussion on February

Three new cars to adopt

We’ve added three new vehicles to our Adopt-a-Car program — an 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, a 1914 Ford Model T Truck and a handcrafted 1980s River Cruiser Boat!

There are only 13 vehicles left for adoption and they include cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bikes.

1914 Ford Model T Truck

1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen

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 me, Linda Prange, director of development at 772-221-1961, ext. 110, or by email,, with any questions or to check availability.

Philly Down South — great eats & entertainment

Dinner show on February 8

Dinner show on February 22

Come and enjoy these indoor dinner shows at Philly Down South's Bar & Restaurant on the second floor of the Elliott Museum. The Elvis show is on February 8 and the Neil Zirconia show, featuring Neil Diamond songs, is February 22. The cost is $65 per person and includes the dinner, show, tax and gratuity. Call 561-718-9733 to make your reservation today! 

You're also invited to dine at the outdoor Tiki Hut at the Elliott Museum Tuesday through Saturday for lunch from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Friday and Saturday nights, there will be live music with The Hut being open from 6 to 9 p.m. and food being served until 8 p.m. Come and enjoy great food while listening to live music! On February 24 from 6 to 9 p.m., there is a Yellowstone event featuring the Burnt Biscuit Band. Come dress in your best cowboy or cowgirl threads.

To hear great local talent, check out the Open Mic session every Saturday from noon until 3 p.m. 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.

Travel with the Elliott

Enjoy great values in 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.

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,

New Audubon of Martin County art exhibit

Art Down the Hall now features photos from the Audubon of Martin County's recent photo contest. The exhibit, “Florida’s Natural Beauty,” contains six categories: Birds, Wildlife, Floral/Landscape, Drone Photography, Cell Phone Photography and Creative. Pictured above, two Robert Gloeckner award-winning photos. The exhibit will remain through March 2.

Celebrate the Environmental Studies Center's 50th!

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,

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 6-7:30 p.m.

Snow Full Moon | Sound Vibration

Join Deena for a powerful Sound Vibrational Journey during the Snow Full Moon. Details here.

VIRTUAL ONLY EVENT! February 14 marks the 21st Annual World Sound Healing Day, a global event dedicated to healing our planet through projecting intention-filled loving sounds to the earth and all sentient beings. This event will be live around the world. You can participate on Deena’s Facebook page.

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 the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton, Florida. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature coins itself as the largest natural history museum on Florida's Gulf Coast and features a planetarium, manatee habitat and a mosaic backyard universe. If you'd like to learn more about this NARM participating museum, please check out its website. 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

Lots of auto happenings!

A posthumous thank you and tribute

Fred Vierling and his super sleek 1972 Nova SS have been a regular sight in the Elliott parking lot for the Tuesday night car shows. Sadly, Fred had battled a long, difficult illness, and recently passed away.

Several months earlier, Fred had contacted the Elliott to discuss donating his beloved Nova to the museum. Completely restored, the silver Nova is a knockout with Yenko stripes, 4-speed transmission, power steering, and power brakes. It is in immaculate condition, and was Fred’s “pride and joy.”

The Elliott Museum is most honored and proud to add it to our collection, where it will be enjoyed by many people for many years to come. The ’72 Nova SS will continue to hold its place at the Tuesday night car show as a grateful tribute to Fred’s honor.

Weekly Car Shows - February 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, February 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.

Student leaders explore the Elliott

Martin Youth Leadership explored the Elliott Museum for part of its Art, History and Culture Day. More than 30 high school students took in the Rockwell/Leyendecker exhibit, experienced what it felt like to “shop” in a turn-of-the-century general store, and were immersed in the exploits of the Notorious Ashley Gang by docent Steve Carr.


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 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:

February 12, 2023

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