Outside the grand historic home visitors can explore our edible garden with seasonal heirloom and homestyle fruits and vegetables growing year-round. The garden features a variety of South Florida native edible plants, everyday vegetables, small fruits and herbs. This area displays sugar cane, Everglades tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, greens, beets, assorted herbs, edible and ornamental petals. This area is maintained in partnership with the Pompano Beach Garden Club, and will be used to host gardening, health eating and cooking classes coming this fall.
Admission to the Sample-McDougald House includes a guided tour of the 1st and 2nd floor of the home. Our docent-led tours last approximately forty-five minutes and include information about the history of the home and stories about its two resident families. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions along the way. The tour will take you through all the rooms on the 1st floor and three bedrooms upstairs to view items from our permanent furniture and artifact collections. Highlights on the tour include viewing the original dining room, living room and bedroom set of the Sample Family, music written by Mrs. Sarah McDougald, letters from John Sample, the older brother to Albert Neal, and a series of 1st generation entertainment appliances such as the mid-century Westinghouse combination TV/Radio/Record player console and 1930s era Majestic radio.
The Sample-McDougald House, listed on the National and Local Register of Historic Places, is a distinctive historic house museum known for its unique architecture, history and cultural background. It was built in 1916 by Pompano Beach pioneer and farmer, Albert Neal Sample, who served as a community leader until his death in 1941.
The Colonial Georgian-revival home was sold to William and Sarah McDougald in 1943. Generations of McDougald's were raised in the home until the 1990s. The McDougald Family preserved the architectural and structural integrity of the home, making only slight changes to the property over time. When increased urbanization changed the historical character of the original home site, the McDougald family sought to donate and preserve the home. The Sample-McDougald House Preservation Society, Inc. was formed and received the donation of the building in 1999. The 4,500 sq. ft. structure was then moved to its current location in Centennial Park in May of 2001. Hundreds of local residents and businesses contributed to the restoration and site development through financial and in-kind contributions. After more than a decade-long restoration funded by individuals, businesses and local governments, the home opened to the public in November of 2012. The city was with us every step of the way and has continued to support our efforts for the past 18 years.
Today, this historic house museum hosts approximately 7,500 visitors per year, offering opportunities to learn about the heritage of two of Pompano Beach's prominent families through daily guided tours. Visitors learn about the unique south Florida architecture, early 20th century lifestyles and discover the regional connections to agricultural and coastal history. Guests may also visit, picnic and enjoy the 5-acre Centennial Park, in which the home sits and our edible heritage garden.
Largescale community events hosted in the last 12 months include: 100 Years: A Centennial Celebration, A Haunted House, Holidays at the House, the Antique Car Show, Farm Heritage Days, Plants & People Day, the Florida Highwaymen Exhibition and the Pineapple Jamboree. We regularly collaborate with other local businesses and nonprofits to carry out these events and to deliver a variety of community engagement.
Staff members customize field trips for K-12th grade school groups. More than 500 children from greater Broward County participated in history activities and events over the past five years.
The City of Pompano Beach Preserve America designation solidifies the importance of our community’s heritage, and the Sample-McDougald House is proud to be part of the fabric that makes up that heritage.
As a fledgling cultural organization in the community, the Sample-McDougald House has just five operating years under its belt. In our first years of operations, our focus was on community events, venue rentals and daily historic tours. Today, we aim to increase our impact in the community and broaden our audience reach by offering a fully comprehensive, educational and diverse range of cultural, arts and heritage programs and events.