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Boca’s History 101 starts




Boca’s history experts are taking their usual in-person Town Talk lookbacks online. Boca History 101 starts Thursday and runs weekly through November. Curator Susan Gillis is presenting a 10-part virtual lecture series for Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum. It’s free to members and $25 for non-members.

Topics range from the city’s pioneer days to renown Boca architect Addison Mizner. Boca’s military installation here during World War II will be covered. Gillis will present PowerPoints with images from the museum’s vast historical collections.

Each lecture is a half-hour Zoom session starting at noon Sept.17. To register and receive a link prior to each session, go to to contact assistant curator Patricia Fiorillo. Viewers will be able to ask questions, noted executive director Mary Csar.

The lectures are arranged in three groups. “The history of Boca Raton before settlers. Two on the 1890s to 1910s, the pioneer tropical frontier era. Two parts on the ‘20s to ‘40s and Addison Mizner. And the last on the Army airfield,” Csar said. “I hope people enjoy this series. We polled our volunteers and did 30-minute sessions.”

Town Hall, society headquarters and visitors’ center downtown is temporarily closed for extensive renovations. Meanwhile, there’s a capital campaign for the new, interactive History Alive! exhibits.  Reopening is set for late 2020, Csar said.

The remodeled museum will include three public gathering spaces. The Pioneer Room and the Research Library will be set up for educational programming. The new design will have both permanent and changing exhibits to appeal to all ages. Permanent exhibits will document the development and growth of Boca Raton. The city started as a small farming community, the society’s announcement said. A timeline will include IBM’s presence here at the birth of the computer era.

Boca was plated by Mizner, but chartered in 1925 and the society’s preparing for the 100th anniversary, Csar said. She’s encouraging joining for $40 at

“Membership includes access to our lectures and big discounts for tours. Members will be able to visit the new museum for free,” Csar said.



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