Cortez Village Historical Society seeks board members

Cortez Village Historical Society seeks board members
The Cortez Cultural Center is the Cortez Village Historical Society’s chief project. - Leslie Lake | Sun

CORTEZ – The Cortez Village Historical Society (CVHS) is putting out a call for new board members interested in helping preserve the rich history of the commercial fishing village.

The group will meet Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. at the Cortez Cultural Center, 11655 Cortez Road W., when a nominating committee will present a slate of candidates who have expressed interest in serving on the board or as an officer.

“If someone would like to be considered, they can let us know about any special qualifications they have. Maybe they’re good with children or have past board experience,” CVHS President Kaye Bell said. “This is open to the public and we welcome anyone to apply.”

Those interested are asked to email resumes prior to the meeting to:

“The board acts in an advisory capacity,” Bell said. “Board members will oversee projects and give advice. It would be helpful if someone has been involved in a board in the past.

“We also have openings for volunteers who are willing to spend a few hours telling people about the history of Cortez,” she said. “The only requirement is a smile.”

Board member J.B. Crawford said that board members meet with the officers to consider a variety of important issues.

“These issues range from facilities, finances, meetings, activities, continuity of leadership and other matters as they arise,” Crawford said. “Prior to the pandemic, we met monthly to attend to business, but recently we have followed the social distancing rules and have communicated more by email and telephone.”

Social distancing is the reason that the Nov. 8 meeting will be held outside at the pavilion behind the Center, he said. The rain date is Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Cortez is one of the last remaining fishing villages on Florida’s Gulf coast, according to CVHS. Its fishing history goes back to the Native Americans and Spanish who first lived in and explored the area.

“The Cultural Center focuses on preserving ‘old Florida’ history and stories of founding families in Cortez. Starting with the Guthrie and Fulford families in 1880, visitors can travel through war times with Cortez women who went to work while their husbands were at war, and read about boats bringing visitors to the Albion Inn. The timeline stops at the 1980s, but eventually, the center will document the village’s history to present day,” according to the CVHS website.

The Cultural Center is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To book tours or groups by appointment, call 941- 540-0590. For more information, call Bell at 941-538-0945.