Vero Beach Train Station Exhibit/Museum/Office
In 1984, the Indian River County Historical Society sought its first historic preservation project with the purchase of the abandoned 1903 Vero Beach Railroad Station. This purchase for $1.00 from the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) also required that the building be moved.
With community support and grant funding from the Florida Bureau of Historical Preservation, the move was made to a vacant parcel of land owned by the City of Vero Beach. Ironically, this land had been purchased in 1924 for relocation of the railroad station. The restored Railroad Station and grounds were opened in 1987 and became the office of the Indian River County Historical Society and their Exhibit Center. The Vero Beach Railroad Station was the first building in Indian River County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The decision to restore this humble example of Indian River County history was made in order to demonstrate that the Society was sincere in its mission statement and that old buildings could be restored, adapted in use, and become part of the future of the community.
The 1903 Railroad Station became the working office and exhibit center where the history and cultural heritage of that part of Florida could be highlighted. Using the exhibit center as a base, visitors are encouraged to go out to explore the real history of the small communities and byways of Indian River County.
In 1999, Miss Ruth Hallstrom bequeathed her childhood home and outbuildings situated on a 5-acre parcel to the Indian River County Historical Society, with the purpose of preserving the house, its comprehensive collections and stately grounds. The Society took possession of the property and buildings including their contents in July 2000. The property was once part of her father's original pineapple plantation established in 1909.
The Farmstead, including all house and outbuilding collections, is used to document and demonstrate a bygone way of life in southern Indian River County, Florida. The collection includes artifacts, photographs, paper documents, furniture and memorabilia. The Hallstrom Farmstead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The property surrounding the Society's 5-acre tract was purchased by Indian River County and will be restored as a nature preserve and green space. The Society's Hallstrom Farmstead is cooperating with Indian River County in providing historical and environmental education tours to this unique south County property.