Port St. Lucie Historical Society Gatherings

Prior to 2017. Click most photos for larger versions

One of the most enjoyable perks of being a member of the PSL Historical Society is the member get-togethers, usually four times a year to share some good food and drink and lots of tales. Look at these from the past. As of 2017, we are referring to them to them as "Membership Meetings."

December 14, 2016 -- Five new members joined us to celebrate at the Holiday Gathering held at the new home of newly elected City Councilwoman Jolien Caraballo. Jolien's mother Maria Vicente had two large pots of authentic Cuban chicken and rice and beans bubbling on the stove. Add the other finger foods, desserts and drinks and it was quite a feast. Some of us gathered around the Caraballos Christmas tree to send this greeting.

September 28, 2016 --The 2016-17 season of the Port St. Lucie Historical Society kicked off with a talk by lifetime St. Lucie resident Cynthia Putnam and St. Lucie County Commissioner Paula Lewis about the early days of recognizing the need to preserve the city's history. The group was known as the New Pioneers and later morphed into the the city's historical society. The event was at the home of Dan Kurek.

May 11, 2016 -- The final Gathering of theseason was at Beth Gessner's homewith finger foods and beverages. The scheduled storyteller was unable to attend so Secretary Mary Dodge spoke about the real events and settings she drew on for her recently published humorous novel The Reel Hot Summer. Beth added some firsthand color by telling of her time on the jury for the real case behind the book.

Mar. 9, 2016 -- Butch and Bob Post invited members to their lovely new home on the North Fork of the St. Lucie for the March Gathering of the Port St. Lucie Historical Society. Butch was the speaker of the day, recalling the start of the long busing debate that began in the the late 1960s and lasted a couple decades. As usual,there was plenty of good food, drink and conversation.

Holiday Gathering, December 9, 2015 --The Holiday Gathering featured great food and drinks as members met to share memories and plans for the future at the home of board member Patricia Christensen and her husband Franz. Chair Richard McAfoos presented Rotary Youth Exchange Student Nabilah Noorani, who is staying with the Christensens, two Society gift packages, which included the history book, DVD and CD, one for her and one for her family in India.


Sept. 30, 2015 --Historian, 3rd generation Martin County resident, and author Rick Crary entertained the Port St. Lucie Historical Society at its Sept. 30, 2015, Members Gathering at the home of Dan Kurek. Rick told the tale of C.T. McCarty, one of St. Lucie County's important and beloved citizens, who was gunned down on the streets of Fort Pierce. The City has recently annexed what had been the McCarty Ranch for water retention. The story is one of many in Rick's recently published book, A Treasure We Call Home. Click for more on C.T. McCarty. Rick and his wife Donna joined the group for a light supper.



May 27, 2015 -- Port St. Lucie Planning and Zoning Director Patricia Tobin (right in photo left, with Bobbie Deemer) was the speaker at the final Gathering of the season. She spoke of the challenges the city met as it came out from under the influence of General Development Corp. and other issures. The evening of food and drink was held at the home of Dan Kurek.

Mar. 4, 2015 -- PSL Historical Society members were taken back by Society Secretary Mary Dodge (right) to before the days of General Development Corp. She spoke about the times and troubled life of legendary fishing guide Burt Pruitt, who came with his family to live on the shore of the North Fork while on parole for a crime of passion. The setting at the home of member Beth Gessner was perfect for a lovely meal and get-together.

Dec. 3, 2014 -- PSL Historical Society members (left) met for a purely social gathering to celebrate the holiday season and a year of sharing our historywith others through community meetings, donations of the Society's history books to county schools and an adult learning class at Indian River State College. We met at the beautifully decorated home of Dan and Cheryl Kurek in Sandpiper Bay. It was the last meeting attended by Susan and Tom Minch, long time members who have left the PSL area.

May 28, 2014 --As the PSL Historical Society wound down before the summer hiatus, members and guests met for food, drinks, fellowship and a talk by former St. Lucie County Assistant Administrator Dan Kurek (right). He spoke of the historical relationship between the city and county.

March 5, 2014-- Former City Manager Don Cooper, shown left with former City Council Member Jack Kelly, informed and entertained members of the Port St. Lucie Historical Society with stories and opinions about Port St. Lucie from 1989 until his leaving in 2010. He spoke of the City Council's, City staff and his accomplishments, such as city-owned utilities and the CrosstownParkway as well as the trying and sometimes humorous effortsduring the string of hurricanes in 2004. About 35 persons attended and shared the buffet of items provided by members.


December 4, 2013 -- The final gathering of the season (right) was at the beautifully decorated residence of Mark Barnes. In the spirit of the holidays, it was an informal get-together where memories were shared and new acquaintances were made. About 35 persons attended and shared the buffet of items provided by members.

September 25, 2013 -- The first gathering of the season was at the residence of Mark Barnes, who marked the event with an autumn tree decorated with items from The Shell Bazaar. Veteran journalists Joe Crankshaw (right) and Mary Dodge (center) were the speakers. Also in the photo is Mary's husband, Jack. Joe, who has covered the Treasure Coast for more than 50 years for the Miami Herald and Scripps Newspapers, discussed the amazing display of fish on the river at dawn in the 1950s before the coming of development. Mary covered St. Lucie County, esp. the City, for 15 years for the Port St. Lucie News and the Palm Beach Times. She talked about her first impressions of the city in 1980 and her ride with the first official city police patrol. About 30 persons attended.


May 22, 2013-- Real estate broker Paul Zinter (right) entertained the group with tales of transferring from Chicago to Port St. Lucie with General Development Corp. in 1969 and his later establishment of Welcome Center Realty. The Zinters were among the few young families in the area which initially was geared almost solely towards retirees. Among those retirees who purchased a home from Zinter was the city's first elected mayor, William McChesney.

March 13, 2013 -- Port St. Lucie Historical Society members took a trip down Memory Lane at the March 13 Gathering at Rick's Diner. Beth Gessner (center, left), who moved here from Fort Lauderdale with her husband Dave and their family in 1959, shared remembrances of early days, especially the fun at what is now the Northport Marina. Chair Richard McAfoos reported thattalks were continuing about finding a permanent place for a city museum and that the Downtown Lions Club had given the Society some financial support.

December 15, 2102 -- New and long-time members of the Society met for a casual evening of chat and snacks at a get-together at Rick's Diner, next to the historic Shell Bazaar. It was a pleasant way to end a year of retrospect and looking ahead.

May 23, 2012, and February 12, 2012 -- Evening get-togethers at Rick's Diner, next to the historic Shell Bazaar. (l to r, Christine Williams, Dennis Grabhorn, Randy Green)


June 14, 2008 -- At Marge Organ's home, seated below (l to r) Diane Aguiar, Mayor Patricia Christensen, Marge Organ, Janet Organ, Joan Beyer, Billy Organ. Standing Debra Davis, Randy Green, Christine Williams, Bill Organ, Stan Hicks, Royce Sisson, Beth Gessner

First Gathering, April 13, 2008 --at Beth Gessner's home,Standing (l tor r), Stan Hicks Randy Green, John Lamplough, Carson and Mary Meyer, Butch and Bob Post, Christine Williams, Dennis Grabhorn. Seated Royce Sisson, Lee Hicks, Rosemary Grabhorn, Estelle Stephenson, Joan Beyer.


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