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Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
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Inside my Brain

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Historical Society of North Brevard was established in 1966 and meetings were conducted in private homes. In 1989, the generosity of Glenn Patch allowed the Society to open a Museum at 301 Washington Street, in Titusville. Joan Harper is the Museum Curator, though she’d deny the title.

She’s a woman who is in love with the history of Titusville and its people. A native Floridian, she’s always eager to take visitors on free tours of the Historical Society’s Museum. She beams as she directs viewers to the cast handprints of six of the first Astronauts, just as much as it does when she introduces visitors to “Old One Eye”, the enormous head taken from a fifteen foot alligator caught in South Lake.

“We have at least one of every single military uniform for men, but not a single one from women,” she said, as she indicated the military section. “Maybe soon, someone will donate some.”

“People have given us some wonderful pictures and memories,” Harper says fondly, suggesting that some of the best history walks in through the front door of the museum. “We have a lot of older people here, who are members of the Museum, but we need younger members.”

Except for the monthly Nickelodeon days where patrons can view historical Brevard videos for just a nickel, the Museum relies solely on the generosity of volunteers and donors.

A recent donation was made by the Sew-So Club, which will also be presenting an informative free program at the museum on Monday, September 26th at 2:00pm. The Sew-So Club is one of the oldest on-going ladies social groups in Titusville, formed in the 1920s by a group of women who preferred to simply socialize over playing cards, as many of their neighbors did.

Mary, who declined to give her last name, is a lifelong resident of Titusville, a member of the Historical Society, and a long time member of the Sew-So Club. She said, “I moved to Titusville in 1914, when I was born in the Pritchard House.” She explained that Ruth Ann Barnhart, who will be one of the presenters of the Sew-So program, is the daughter of the founding president. Ms. Barnhart will be assisted by Tina Kennedy, and will explain why the club has doggedly limited membership to 18 for more than 85 years.

For more information, to volunteer, or to become a member, call the Museum at 269-3658.