Tuesday, October 25, 2016

First meeting of the Lake Worth Historical Society

About 30 people interested in Lake Worth history assembled in the public room at Brogue's Downunder last Sunday in our Downtown. We were invited by Steve Lockwood, Marion Cone and other board members of the newly-formed Lake Worth Historical Society. We learned about the group's mission and that it is also a 501c3 non-profit organization.

It was fascinating to hear those in attendance share their backgrounds, how long they lived in Lake Worth and what part of the City's long history most interested them. One had experience researching and surveying graveyards. My contribution was we need to learn more about the middle part of the 20th century. That was a time when Lake Worth derived much of its economic vitality from U.S. 1 (Dixie Hwy.) and was a popular tourist destination in the days when train travel was more common, before I-95 was built.

Commissioner Andy Amoroso was there and said he was interested in researching more about the City's Black residents and contribution to our City. Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell attended along with District 4 candidates Maryann Polizzi and Herman Robinson.

Marion Cone reviewed a collection of photographs showing parts of our early history including the volunteer fire department and a group of women that were part of the "Kitchen Band." There were also early pictures of Dixie Hwy., complete with vintage cars and one with a quaint 1920s era gas station near Lake Avenue. Another one was the inside of a fish monger's shop which was staffed by women. That was near the corner of Dixie Hwy. and Lake Avenue.

Membership starts at $25 per year and the forms can be found at the front desk of the Lake Worth Public Library. I will keep you posted when I hear about the time and location of the next meeting.

Over time the groups focus will become more clear and interests narrowed on particular topics, once those are explored, tackle other forgotten or neglected parts of our history. If your interest is research your contribution will certainly be welcome.

If you have a few minutes I hope you enjoy this video (to the music of Sarah Vaughan's Over The Rainbow), uploaded to YouTube back in November of 2008: