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Homestead’s own Historic Town Hall Museum at 41 N. Krome Avenue will host a Bring-And-Brag session on Saturday, December 2 from 1 to 4 PM. The event is free. Bring-And-Brag! is the latest concept of America’s museums to connect audiences with their local history archives. Experts will be on hand to value items and to share relevant history of family antiques. The Museum wants to identify pieces of original Homestead history, although any old article can be shared.
Participants might be startled to discover what they actually have. An example: a 1926 bank deposit slip signed by a bank officer has no real intrinsic value. But to local historians this is a lost treasure, connecting us personally to Homestead’s past. The Depression hit early in South Florida, the bank failed in 1926 and the town began using script (paper promises of payment) with local contractors. Event professionals will be able to recommend sources for those who want to pursue sales. The real value to the Town Hall Museum is identifying things that should be preserved for future generations. The rules for Bring-And-Brag! are simple. Just two items allowed per customer (a set of dishes would be one item).
Second, the Museum suggests no bulky items or large furniture (but bring a picture instead). Exceptions can be made for significant examples from our city’s history. The Museum also seeks donations for its collection. The South Florida area through Cutler Bay is known as a world-class fossil area of the Atlantic Coastal Ridge zone. Locally retrieved fossils from the ancient reef and extinct land animals would be especially prized for display at the Museum. Homestead’s traditional Christmas tree lighting and visit from Santa Claus are scheduled for Losner Park after 5 PM the evening of December 2nd. To celebrate the holidays, every participant in the Museum Bring-And-Brag! will be given a treat. When were you last at the Town Hall Museum?
A recent assessment of this year’s attendance found guests from twenty-eight different countries and at least twenty-two states. Website traffic increases every month as people ask about Homestead family history or access to the Museum’s newspaper archives back to 1911. What historic item do you want to see that speaks to you of the past? Today, museums are asking themselves, “Do we really need 200 Quaker bonnets?” - the seminar topic at the American Association of State and Local History’s annual meeting. The problem with saving only the best of a collection becomes “the wedding dress syndrome” – everyone saves a wedding dress but a typical set of period work clothes cannot be found. How does someone know what to save? It’s simple.
Come to the Bring-And-Brag on December 2nd and let the experts tell you. *Historic Town Hall was built in 1917 with $5,000 from a City bond issue for the police station, jail, and fire department with the Mayor’s Office and City Council chambers housed upstairs. The building was locally designated an historic property in 1987 and put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum was created in 1994.