Marshall Adams of the A.E. Backus Museum

Free History Festival takes place tomorrow in downtown Fort Pierce

FORT PIERCE — The lineup for this weekend’s Treasure Coast History Festival has been announced, with separate sessions on the native Ais culture and the life of landscape artist A.E. “Bean’’ Backus headlining the event.

The free festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow (Sat., Jan. 11) in downtown Fort Pierce and features historical re-enactors, ghost tours, historical trolley rides, sessions on historical topics and an old-Florida fish fry. Read more...

Billy Johnson

Social media personality Billy Johnson featured at Saturday’s History Festival

On any given day, Billy Johnson is likely to pull from his memory some long-forgotten piece of history that happened in Fort Pierce a half century ago and post it on the popular Fort Pierce Connection Facebook page.

The world of Johnson 50 years ago was idyllic: riding his bike downtown, plying the waters of the Indian River in his flats fishing boat, spending the weekend in his family’s cabin on one of the river’s spoil islands or dropping into the local bowling alley for a cherry Coke. Read more...

diorama at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Ais, 15,000-year natives, topic of Saturday’s History Festival

When the Spaniards arrived on shores of the Treasure Coast 500 years ago, an ancient people known as the Ais greeted them to the land they and their ancestors had lived on for thousands of years.

The Ais and their ancestors had been living on this coast for perhaps as long as 15,000 years, says an archaeologist who has studied them and uncovered some of their settlements over the last two decades. “It’s an interesting phenomenon,’’ says Alan Brech of Palm Bay, who will be one of the featured speakers at the Treasure Coast History Festival in Fort Pierce on Saturday. “As a researcher, I’m fortunate because there’s a lot to do and it’s easy to make contributions because so little has been done.’’ Read more...

Larry Lawson leads a ghost tour


The Treasure Coast History Festival returns to downtown Fort Pierce on Saturday, Jan. 11, with an all-day event featuring historical re-enactors, ghost tours, historical trolley rides, sessions on historical topics and an old-Florida fish fry.

This is the fourth year of the festival, which highlights the history of the Treasure Coast. Free and open to the public, the festival is produced by Indian River Magazine Inc. in association with Main Street Fort Pierce, Sunrise Ford/Volkswagen, the St. Lucie County Historical Society, the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery and the Sunrise Theatre. Read more...

artist. A.E. Backus

Famed Fort Pierce artist to be remembered Saturday

FORT PIERCE — The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery will present a panel discussion entitled “We Remember Backus” as a session in the fourth annual Treasure Coast History Festival on Saturday, Jan. 11, presented by Indian River Magazine. The panel discussion will start at 1 p.m. in the Sunrise Theatre’s Black Box Theatre located at 117 South 2nd Street in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce. Admission is free and no reservations are required, though seating is on a first-come, first served basis. Read more...

Mark Tripson

Waldo Sexton Homestead Days returns to Vero Jan. 4-5

Treasure Coast residents will have a rare opportunity Jan. 4 and 5 to visit the original 1917 homestead of Vero Beach pioneer Waldo Sexton.

The family of Mark Tripson, grandson of Waldo Sexton, are hosting Waldo Sexton Homestead History Weekend from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5,on the property at 5000 12th St., Vero Beach, as part of the Treasure Coast History Festival produced by Indian River Magazine.

Waldo Sexton History Weekend will kick off Friday night, Jan. 3, with a dinner at the homestead from 5:30 to 9 p.m.featuring speakers former Indian River County Commissioner Fran Adams and Maj. Eric Flowers of the Sheriff’s Department. Tickets to the dinner are $100 and can be purchased at A portion of the proceeds benefit the Sam R. Tripson Memorial Foundation and the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. Read more...