The City of Homestead and the Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum will host a Lighting Ceremony and Memorial for former Homestead Vice Mayor and Museum Director Ruth Campbell on Wednesday, July 10th from 7 to 9pm at the Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum at 41 North Krome Avenue. Guests will enjoy a Museum Open House with wine, soft drinks, and light hors d’oeuvres, followed by a ceremonial lighting of the Museum in honor of Ms. Campbell.
Ruth Campbell passed away peacefully at 98 years old on May 7th.
Ruth Campbell, married into one of the area’s first families, was a champion of local history in South Florida and was instrumental in saving the old City Hall and Fire Station building to establish the Town Hall Museum. Retired at age 97, she was a businesswoman, a politician and a tireless community activist, known as the grande dame of Homestead after serving the city for more than seven decades.
“Miss Ruth” first worked at the Homestead Grocery Store on Krome Avenue before the military base as an operator scheduling aircraft departures. She later owned a local beauty salon, a travel agency, and an ice cream parlor. She was a long time participant in the Chamber of Commerce and worked to bring the Homestead Miami Speedway to town. She served as the Dade League of Cities President from 1991 to 1993 and was on the Board of the Florida League of Cities. She also served on the Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Board, the Homestead Center for the Arts Board, the Pioneer Museum Board.
The historic Town Hall structure was constructed in 1917, and is on both the local and the national registries of historic buildings. It served as the City of Homestead Council Chambers, Police Department, and Fire House until City Hall moved in 1975. After the city vacated the old Town Hall, it was used as a Senior Citizens Center and a State of Florida Department of Corrections, Bureau of Probation and Parole, office. In 1980, at the behest of local merchants seeking to increase parking along Krome Avenue, the City Council resolved to demolish the structure. Thanks to donations from community members opposed to the demolition and a state grant for historic preservation, the building was restored and turned into a museum that opened to the public in 1994. Currently, it houses historical artifacts, photographs of early families and places, and a library and archives open to researchers. Learn more at www.townhallmuseum.org.