Palm Beach Post social media star: HistoricPalmBeach.com’s Michelle Quigley

Research librarian Michelle Quigley is the driving force behind The Palm Beach Post’s HistoricPalmBeach.com, as well as the blog’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

The niche site has a loyal audience, including 1,600 Facebook fans, folks who post about their own memories of Palm Beach County and in return get relevant and quirky facts from the place we live.

With Facebook’s new Timeline, Michelle posted historic events as Facebook Milestones relevant to Palm Beach County dating to 1696, when Jonathan Dickinson shipwrecked off Jupiter Island.

Michelle’s Timeline takes readers on a trip through local history, tracing such events as:

    • The gathering of 87 residents On Nov. 5, 1894 at The Calaboose on Poinsettia Ave., who met to incorporate the place we now know as West Palm Beach;

  • The opening of the first local movie theater in 1908 in the Jefferson building on Clematis Street, where “The Great Train Robbery” was shown;
  • The quiet integration of Delray Municipal Beach in 1962, where “whites and Negroes mixed both in bathing and on the beach with no difficulties”;
  • Contemporary history, including the opening of the “Leaky Teepee,” the first West Palm Beach Auditorium in, so named because of the shape of its roof and the fact that it leaked, and the annual National Enquirer Christmas tree display in Lantana.

“To pull the page together, Michelle did amazing research, combining hundreds of descriptions of historical events and people with photos, scans and newspaper clips,” says her fellow research librarian Niels Heimeriks. “The result is fascinating and engaging — relevant yesterday, relevant today and relevant tomorrow.”

Through her hard work on the site and social media, Michelle has built a healthy community, succeeding in getting people to contribute content constructively.

Unlike some of the comments on our main site, the comments on the Historic Palm Beach website and Facebook page are thoughtful and on-topic — hard to come by these days.

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Filed under Blogs, Community engagement, Facebook, Social media

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