Pensacola Historical Society

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The Pensacola Historical Society was an non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Pensacola history.


The Society was founded on February 14, 1933, with twenty-one members meeting at City Hall. At the next meeting, held on March 2 of the same year, in the Shangtung Room of the San Carlos Hotel, the Society's charter and by-laws were ratified. On March 25 the Society was incorporated as a non-profit educational organization.

In 1938, The Society opened a museum in the Dorothy Walton House, located at 137 West Romana Street, which had been purchased and then donated for use as a museum by T. T. Wentworth. Unfortunately, the number of visitors to the museum and volunteers to staff it declined during World War II, and the museum closed on May 5, 1944. The displays and artifacts were moved to Wentworth's home in Ensley, next to which he eventually built a museum of his own, which opened in 1957. The Society itself also fell into inactivity during the war.

The Pensacola Historical Society was reorganized in 1952. Initially, meetings were held in the Chamber of Commerce offices, but members including Leila Abercrombie quickly began working to obtain a space in which the Society could meet and reopen a musuem. After the library relocated from Old Christ Church, the City of Pensacola allowed the Society to use the church, and they opened a new museum there on August 15, 1960.

In 1991, having outgrown the confines of Old Christ Church, the Society moved its Resource Library to the Beacon Building on Church Street, and the museum to the Arbona Building on Zaragoza Street. In 2008, the organization was dissolved, transferring its assets to the West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc., which now is known as the University of West Florida Historic Trust.