The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum is located in the historic 1916 Courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach.
The museum is operated by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. Admission is free.
The People Gallery is a tribute to more than 100 individuals and families who have contributed to the development of Palm Beach County. Exhibits include: A video display projecting images of people from all walks of Palm Beach County life. Kiosks and exhibits with artifacts to help tell the stories behind the colorful characters of the past, including Pre-Columbian inhabitants, Seminole Indians, early pioneers.
In The Place Gallery, models and photographs explore Palm Beach County’s natural environment and the animals and ecology that make it unique. Here exhibits include a giant mosquito, banyan tree, snake, alligator, and a recreation of a “palmetto shack,” the frond-topped dwellings the first pioneers built for themselves.
In addition to its permanent People and Places galleries, the museum presents temporary exhibits on a wide variety of topics to appeal to a diverse audience. An in-depth Special Exhibit opens each fall at the museum. Short-term exhibits, on loan or created in-house, rotate year-round in the Courtroom Gallery on the 3rd floor of the 1916 Courthouse. Outdoor exhibits on the courthouse grounds have been introduced during the pandemic, as have virtual exhibits.