Palm Coast, FL (October 29, 2021) – There was laughter, memories, and of course, cake.
Bringing together members of the Palm Coast Historical Society and elected officials, many of whom have lived in Flagler County for decades, it was special moment in time for the annual Founder’s Day celebration.
Ongoing activities hosted by the Palm Coast Historical Society have highlighted 50 years of Palm Coast’s formation and growth, starting in the early 70’s with ITT, and leading up to the city’s formal incorporation in 1999. Keeping track of history from prehistoric to the Palm Coast of today, Art Dyke, the city’s first historian, was celebrated as a guest of honor alongside the City of Palm Coast’s first mayor, Jim Canfield.
The pair’s contributions to the city’s earliest days were shared through their own memories and through those of the people who have lived, worked and played beside them, including longtime resident and founder of the successful International Festival Fanny Herrera, former Palm Coast City Councilman Bill Venne (2000-2007) and former Flagler County Commissioner (2006-2012) and Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland (2016-2021).
It was Holland’s anecdotes about Canfield’s required dress code when her own father James Holland served as a Palm Coast City Councilman that had guests chuckling, conjuring up warm memories for many in attendance.
“It’s just an incredible day. I think I’ve been to just about every Founder’s Day we’ve has since the city’s incorporation. There’s a lot of memoires that surround these days because of the incredible stories that are told by community leaders and a variety of people that came before us, and contributed so much to the health and wellbeing of our community,” she said.
“I could not be more proud to stand here today. I feel my father on every single road I drive in Palm Coast. He’s never left me. I just have the fondest memories of him telling me stories of why they felt it was important to line the trees along the medians in Palm Coast and what that meant to the entrance way, and the value systems that evoked in people who really wanted that feel of a community. I love telling stories about my dad.”
Memorializing their place in history in perpetuity, Palm Coast Historical Society president Elaine Studnicki and Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin made the big reveal, sharing the renaming of the facility to the James V. Canfield Museum and Arthur E. Dyke Research Center.
“It’s unbelievable to have this celebration of the historical society and having Jim Canfield, the first mayor of Palm Coast come back, the present mayor here. It’s a celebration all the way,” said Dyke.
“I was the first historian here. The mayor asked me to do the job and I did that. I’ve written two books and just finished my third, so that’s what we’re all about.”
Paying homage to Palm Coast’s beloved mayor Jon Netts, who passed away in the spring of 2021, a multi-panel mural is under construction commemorating the city’s milestones across history, in his honor.
Residents can visit the Palm Coast Historical Society James V. Canfield Museum and Arthur E. Dyke Research Center at 18 Florida Park Drive, North in Palm Coast’s James F. Holland Memorial Park.
Featured Photo: Former Palm Coast City Councilman Bill Venne joins Palm Coast Historical Society President Elaine Studnicki, Palm Coast Historian Art Dyke, the first Mayor of Palm Coast Jim Canfield and Palm Coast Historical Society Vice President Kathy Reichard-Elvasky for the Founder’s Day celebrations on October 29, 2021. FNW/Danielle Anderson