Meet Your New Boynton Beach Historical Society President
This September marks 12 years since I became a Boynton Beach resident. But my love story with Boynton started long before that. During our five-plus-year search for where to retire, I happened upon the Boynton Beach Historical Society’s Facebook page and the website.
The enthusiasm for Boynton and its history was clear and contagious. I was there initially for the information and local history. But then there was trivia! And articles! And deep dives! I was digging for information about the towns in this area, so while I was at it, prompted by the regular posts, I read up on those interesting tidbits too.
From which shipwreck did many buildings in town obtain salvaged lumber? The Coquimbo! Who painted the mural at the Boynton Woman’s Club depicting the town’s history? Bernard Thomas! How was mail delivered to the area in 1880’s? By barefoot mailmen! Where did children tie strings to horseflies and fly them like kites? The 1913 Boynton School!
The week I moved in, I attended a book signing, of “Pioneering Palm Beach: The Deweys and the South Florida Frontier;” I met authors Ginger L Pedersen and Janet M DeVries; and learned they were the ones behind the Facebook page and website. The following week, I attended my first Boynton Beach Historical Society meeting. That was September 17, 2012. I haven’t missed a meeting since. I’ve gone from member to 1st Vice President & Program Chair to Interim Secretary to Treasurer & Newsletter Editor, and now, I am humbled to lead a dedicated hardworking team of volunteers as the Society’s President.
My goals are to build upon the strong foundation laid by those before me, bring several developing projects to fruition, get you as hooked on Boynton and our history as we are, and work with Boynton Schools to inspire the next generation of historians, Society members and residents.
This season we are offering Programs via Zoom in October, November, February, and March; co-presenting the 2023 Florida Highwaymen Art Show at the Arts & Cultural Center in January; and preparing for the in-person return of our famous Covered Dish Supper in April 2023. Stay tuned for further information as plans are finalized.
To paraphrase writer and cultural critic, Baratunde Thurston –
It sometimes can take the fresh eyes of a new arrival to truly see and fully appreciate our shared spaces. I’ve had the privilege of seeing this place from many perspectives and we should not fear losing traditions. We should rejoice at what the new people might bring. New people can bring the deepest appreciation for the oldest traditions. They can help us preserve what we love the most.
If you, too, deeply appreciate Boynton and its history and want to take an active role in preserving it, we can offer just the right Volunteer opportunity! We have high expectations for our volunteers, so bring a team-oriented attitude of historical proportions and a good sense of humor. You may just find the extraordinary within yourself. And fall in love all over again.
We look forward to meeting with you and sharing this wonderful place we call home.
~ Anne Rimler, September 2022
Photos from our 2024 Downtown Boynton Beach History Stroll
A Message to our Boynton Beach Historical Society Family
Standing in the Florida Reading Room now located on the second floor of the Boynton Beach City Library, I am grateful for a large comfortable room dedicated to Florida books and journals. This room has one of the best views in the city. Looking out a large window you see Ocean Avenue and the old Boynton High School majestically restored. So many people have commented to me about this cultural gem that sparkles in the heart of our downtown for all people.
The old high school was saved from the wrecking ball at the last moment by the Boynton Beach Historical Society, fellow citizens and city leaders. This old building has strong bones and was a place of refuge for many people during the 1928 hurricane. I see new trees growing and a joyful children’s park. Children can be seen playing on the swings, running around and laughing. An attractive black fence keeps the children safe. Here is history unfolding in 2021 during the pandemic.
The Reading Room also provides a view of Seacrest Boulevard, the historic First United Methodist Church and the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum. Kinetic art installations give Boynton Beach a modern vibe for the future. It is quiet in the Reading Room. It is an oasis of Florida history with fascinating books about Seminoles, shipwrecks, sea captains, farmers, pioneers, nature, birds, and the Everglades. Drop by sometime and pick up a book and look out a window where you will see a city full of possibilities.
We have launched virtual programs this season with great success. We appreciate all our members and friends who support our work and are happy to welcome recent new members. Technology, in its best form, allows us to continue to be together during this pandemic. We hope you will join us for future programs.