Experience the Lives

Learn about the lives of Florida's pioneers including home life, farm chores, and social activities.
  • Blacksmith

    The blacksmith was an important part of the early rural Florida pioneer settlement. There was usually one blacksmith shop in each settlement. The blacksmith had the responsibility of making many...

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  • Butter Making

    A happy cow, fed grain and put to pasture, will produce enough milk for drinking, cooking and butter making. All utensils necessary for dairy work should be spotlessly clean in order to maintain the...

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  • Candle Making

    Hand-dipping candles has a long tradition for rural families, who had no other source of light once the sun had gone down. Candles were used to allow working and socializing after dark -- for...

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  • Cooking

    A Florida pioneer woman spent a large part of her day in the kitchen cooking and baking for her family. She spent hours over a wood burning stove or fireplace creating delicious meals. Most families grew...

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  • Cowman

    “The crack of the buckskin whips, the squeak of the saddle leather, the lowing cattle, and the strong, rich odor of camp coffee set his senses stirring. It was the kind of life that appealed to most men...

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  • Crops and Garden

    Florida pioneers had to provide for themselves and produce most of their own daily necessities. The quality of their life depended on the time they spent working on the farm. They worked in their...

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  • Home Life

    The home of a pioneer family was a place where families could come together to enjoy each other's company. Home life was built on the relationships of the family members. Each evening, the family...

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  • Household Chores

    Each day was full of work to be done. Some tasks were a daily necessity, while other tasks were assigned certain days. The floors were swept every day using brooms made of broom sedge or broomcorn....

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  • Laundry

    Monday was laundry day. Meals were very simple on wash days, which involved strenuous labor over a hot fire and boiling water. Planning ahead on Saturday by making Monday’s dessert was advised. ...

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  • Rope Making

    The art of rope making dates back to the days before the Egyptians. Although it has changed greatly throughout the years, the basic principles have remained the same. The four major stages of...

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  • Rug & Carpet Cleaning

    Yearly cleaning was all that was prescribed for carpets, while rugs would have been cleaned as needed. Generally, “rug” refers to a floor covering which is smaller than the size of the room and is...

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  • Social Activities

    Florida pioneer families filled their free time with many different social activities. Sometimes neighbors got together just for fun; other times, social gatherings were a means to complete a...

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  • The Animals

    In the early days of Florida, when the land was still wild and unfenced, there were a few animals that the Florida Crackers depended on for living and working in the untamed Florida landscape. The...

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