|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2010)|
|Location||Stuart, Florida 34996|
Jennifer Esler President/CEOAmy Martin CFO
The Elliott Museum, located at 825 N.E. Ocean Boulevard, on Hutchinson Island near Stuart, Florida, United States, focuses on art, history and technology. Named after prolific inventor Sterling Elliott, the museum houses permanent collections including Model AA Trucks, early transportation, history of Stuart and surrounding regions, baseball memborabilia. In addition, the museum hosts a juried art show in the fall and a juried car show in the spring. Traveling exhibits round out the schedule.
The Elliott, as it is often called, was built in 1961 by Harmon Elliott as a tribute to his father Sterling Elliott, and on November 18, 1961, was given to the non-profit Historical Society of Martin County, which has operated it ever since. Most of the memorabilia comes from father Sterling himself. Before the donation stearling held the world record for the greatest baseball card collection in existence. Its longtime director was the late Janet Hutchinson.
In 1991, on its 30th anniversary, over 500 people gathered for the museum’s re-dedication ceremony, complete with a presentation of the Elliott tartan banner and a ribbon cutting by Lynn Elliott, great-grand daughter of Sterling Elliott, as well as an exhibition of early automobiles from the Treasure Coast Vintage Auto Club and the Daytona Antique Auto Racing Association.
Over the years the museum has expanded its facilities, public programming and members. The museum is often the setting for social events and sits among the residential and business community on Hutchinson Island.
The mission of the Elliott Museum is to interpret and celebrate the genius of innovation, creativity and the historical events in Martin County and the surrounding region all within an environment of learning and discovery.
In the South Gallery one can find an ever changing exhibit of art ranging from classic paintings to stained glass. In the North Gallery one can find the Studio at the Elliott. The museum offers art instruction for all ages and all skill levels.
The Elliott Museum exhibits consist of:
- Elliott Invention Room The pass-through from the main gallery to the Automobile Gallery showcases a few of the inventions and patents of both Sterling and his son Harmon Elliott, including many addressing machines that revolutionized how large companies address envelopes.
- Automobile Gallery The collection in this gallery includes Harmon Elliott’s first car, a 1909 Hupmobile, and the 1936 Austin he carried aboard his yacht “Harmonelle” when in Florida. Recent additions include a 1927 4-Door Model T, a 1941 Lincoln Convertible and a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air Convertible.
- The Soda Shop This was a local gathering place where a soda jerk made up specialty desserts and soft drinks by adding soda water and sugared and flavored syrups. Every child and teenager looked forward to a trip to the soda shop for special treats that could not be made at home. Ice cream was a new phenomenon that could be made at home with a hand-cranked freezer. Fresh milk, sugar and fruits were mixed and frozen.
- The Apothecary This is the old English word for drugstore. In the 19th century, the pharmacist had to make all of the prescriptions by hand. The bottles and jars contained all of the chemicals needed to make up the right medicines for a particular illness. Pills were rolled in molds and cut to the right size depending on the dosage.
- The Elliott Bicycle Shop Bicycles were big business, both as transportation and as recreation at the turn of the 19th century. Sterling Elliott was a bicycle builder in Massachusetts who eventually used his engineering skills to invent automobile steering mechanisms. His patent on the “kingpin” made him a wealthy man and led to other inventions.
- The Barber Shop In small town America from colonial days until the early 1900s, the barber could also serve as the dentist and could perform minor surgeries. This barber has a special day for children’s haircuts. Note that he only pulls teeth on Fridays.
- Music Room This exhibit features music boxes, early phonographs and other instruments that older generations would have used for entertainment prior to the invention of the radio or television. Among the most popular was a little gem roller organ sold by the Sears Company for $3.50.
- Langford Exhibit This walk through exhibit features photographs, memorabilia and clothing from the estate of Frances Langford, film actress, singer and local resident.
- General Store Before department stores, people bought clothing, food, household items, tools and even appliances at a local general store or country store. Local residents often gathered at the store to hear the latest gossip since It was also common to find the area Post Office in a corner. The creaky wooden floor and pot-bellied stove recall an era of small town life.
- Martin County History This large exhibit area (located on both sides of the aisle) is devoted to the pioneer families of Martin County, as well as the industries and businesses that have been located in Martin County through the years.
- Let’s Play! A group of toys ranging from model trains and dolls to books and blocks. This exhibit showcases many different types of toys that would have been seen in a child’s bedroom from the Victorian era to the 1950s.
- Elliott Dining Room This dining room setting showcases various pieces owned by the Elliott family. As evidenced by the opulence of the pieces, through the hard work, innovation and ingenuity of Sterling Elliott and his son, Harmon, the Elliott family was able to live very well. The table and chair set once belonged to the silent movie actor Fatty Arbuckle and was later purchased by museum founder, Harmon Elliott, for use in his own home.
- Auerbach Dining Room This is a traditional Jewish dining room from the late 1930s. Oscar Kanarek was one of the first Jewish merchants in Stuart when he established the Stuart Department Store in 1938. The Kanarek family and the Auerbach family have graciously donated many of the items in the dining room.
- Baseball Memorabilia One of the finest collections of signed Baseball Hall of Fame memorabilia outside of Cooperstown, New York. Approximately 95% of this large collection is on display at any one time.
- 1943 Kitchen World War II did not just affect Europe and the Pacific. American homemakers had husbands and sons fighting in foreign countries and they had to cope with shortages, loneliness and a rapidly changing society. Our exhibit depicts a typical middle class kitchen with ration coupon books for precious items such as sugar, butter, tires and other rationed consumer products. This homemaker is a Civil Defense volunteer, trained to look out for enemy aircraft and submarines along the Florida Coast.
- Sterling Elliott: How he steered his way into the history books Sterling Elliott was an inventor, innovator and early civil and woman’s rights advocate. Several of Sterling’s wheeled inventions are on display in this area, including the Elliott Hickory Bicycle, the quadricycle, which has many features found on the modern automobile, and the Elliott Bicycle sulky. The Elliott family lived across the street from the Stanley brothers, who used Elliott’s quadricycle as a pattern for their Stanley Steamer.
- Kim Hughes (February 6, 2012). "Jennifer Esler appointed president/CEO of Stuart's Elliott Museum". TCPalm. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Baseball Exhibit. The Elliott Museum official website. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
- Baseball Cards. The Elliott Museum official website. Retrieved 2011-06-26. See also: Baseball card.