“The Genius of Innovation and Creativity.”

This private, non-profit organization, Historical Society of Martin County, interprets and celebrates the genius of innovation, creativity and the historical events of Martin County and the surrounding region, all within an environment of learning and discovery.


Purchase your tickets to the Elliott Museum, House of Refuge Museum, or a Combo package!

HSMC is proud to have two Blue Star Museums!

And admission is always free to Veterans and Military personnel.

Call us for any questions at 772.225.1961

Elliott Museum
Regular Admission

House of Refuge Museum Regular Admission

Elliott Museum & House of Refuge Combo Admission


Historical Society of Martin County

The Historical Society of Martin County is the parent organization of the Elliott Museum and House of Refuge Museum. As the Elliott Museum wows guests with its renowned car and baseball collections, the House of Refuge showcases what life was like for the Keeper and his family in turn-of-the-century Florida. Both museums showcase a wide variety of exhibits, collections, and lectures, all designed to serve the interests of people who live in and visit Florida’s Treasure Coast.

The Historical Society of Martin County is the parent organization of the Elliott Museum and House of Refuge Museum.

An Update From The President

August 10, 2020

"Nostalgia - a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations."



The Elliott Museum and the House of Refuge Museum are ideal locations for you to take a nearby nostalgia trip! 2020 has been a year that has left many of us scratching our heads and wondering what happened. When we are living in fear or under undue pressure, we tend to forget that there were once happier times on the planet when simple pleasures were embraced like a long-lost friend.

My dear, sweet mother was a small girl during the Great Depression. Though she was plagued by Alzheimer’s late in her long life, she could recall and vividly recant her memories of life during the Depression. I remember her stories well, but there were a couple of themes that were oft-repeated that I believe play well today.

“We made our own fun. Neighboring families gathered weekly for a potluck dinner of whatever could be mustered. We always made homemade ice cream, and I can’t recall that I have ever had better ice cream since. Someone would play the piano, quite well I might add, someone would dance, someone would sing, and before long everyone joined according to their own ability, or courage, in the absence of ability.”

This story was told on a very regular basis as dementia laid siege, but always with warm eyes and a beautiful smile. I’m smiling as I write these words. I guess I must be having a nostalgic experience.

"Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days." – Doug Larson

Many years ago, an American farm family was tickled pink to be able to afford this modern Davis Swinging Churn to make butter to have with their meals and sell in their local community. The sheer genius of the invention and the ease of use would be a blessing to anyone lucky enough to have one…the first time they used it. I suspect the novelty wore off as quickly since the process for each batch required more than an hour.

I’m also guessing that Mom didn’t have the opportunity to chat on her cell phone to her sister while she swung the device. You can count on the fact that all of the kids in the family found some other place to keep busy when they saw the milk being poured into the contraption. Despite the short-lived thrill of this modern convenience to its original owners, we can all enjoy being reminded that we should be thrilled when we buy a pound of butter at our local Publix.

Only a practiced mind can extract the good memories from periods of trial and tribulation. Very few of us will raise a glass at midnight on January 31 and say, “2020 was the best year of my life.” By year-end, I genuinely hope that all of us will be able to recall a story or two that celebrates the generosity and resilience of the human spirit under trying circumstances. Perhaps we should challenge ourselves and each other to “be the story” of kindness and character that made 2020 a memorable year..

"Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, and the past perfect!" – Owens Lee Pomeroy

To deny that there is a tall measure of tension in the world today is nonsensical. To argue that the past was perfect is ludicrous. To miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the heartwarming nostalgia of “days gone by” is unforgivable. We want our fellow local residents to feel a bit better during the punishing days of 2020. So much so, that we are inviting you to visit our museums free of charge every Monday in August! We are calling them “Mental Health Mondays.” With 50,000 square feet of space at the Elliott Museum, you can distance yourself so far you will need a flare gun if you become separated from your party! Come and see us soon because we want you to touch your hearts and uplift your spirits. It really was that simple…in the good old days.


Be patient and thoughtful,

Rob Steele

HSMC President & CEO


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