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Stepping Back in Time

WARNING--photo heavy post! Can't help myself....

Last week was one of rain, rain, and more rain. Weird times too, as in 10:30 in the morning just as Bruce was ready to mow the lawn after major trimming in the yard. Very unpredictable, which is generally not the case around these parts. Mid to late afternoon for sure, mid-morning, not so much.
At any rate, because Bill had a Saturday night appearance downtown, instead of working over there, we took a little step back in time, leaving early to beat the rain.
Located in the small town of Barberville, about 15 miles North of DeLand, the Pioneer Art Settlement is put together very nicely; a reminder of Florida's agricultural past. Leaving the barn, after perusing a vast assortment of farm tools, including a still, a gentleman asked me if I'd ever wondered what a Brown Recluse Spider looked like. Normally I would shy away from a spider, especially a deadly one, but of course he wouldn't have been holding it had it been alive! An exoskeleton is what the young man who worked there termed it.
Now you know...

Adjacent to the barn was the sugar cane working area with various tools in the yard, including this sugar cane press.
A small assortment of farm animals roamed around--baby goats!
Alongside is the garden...
Following a short path we went into the only log cabin on the property. My, how simply folks lived back then, as well as how much shorter they must have been. Bruce, standing in the front doorway takes up most of the allowed space.
A table set for three...
The neat thing about the cabin is how they used available surface for storage; every little nook and cranny held something to sustain pioneer life. It is called a settlement because there are all the buildings one might have found back then. Many of the buildings were moved there from other nearby small towns. The school, on the other hand, was not. Built in 1911, which although doesn't sound so long ago, was just that, if you think of how short a time period inland Florida has been populated. Florida, flying under five different flags, mostly was populated along the coastline. It took brave settlers to make their way inland, fighting not only the heat and mosquitos, but Indians too. I guess I'd forgotten the part of Florida history that told me the British are the ones who called the native Indians, Seminoles. The central part of Florida, from Ormond Beach over, was mostly tamed through the efforts of Swedish people, or so the plaque in the park says.

Don't ask me why I photographed this display,
inside the "shotgun shack", instead of the newspapered walls, but I did. The shotgun shack was tiny as you might expect from the name-- this one was used to house turpentine workers.
After doing a little research this morning, I discovered that turpentine was used for all sorts of things, including medicinal purposes. Vicks Vapo-Rub still contains some turpentine, which seems reasonable, but apparently in years past it was also in cheap gin, and various "miracle elixers" for all sorts of ailments. History is so darn fascinating to me--how about you?

A lovely United Methodist church is part of the settlement with both a piano, and old organ.
A fire department building with two antique fire trucks...
Looks like those tires could use some air!! Bruce enjoyed chatting with the volunteer in the wood shop which was quite extensive. Many fine examples of old wooden wheels.
There is a train depot with a little red caboose you can board. Standing on the exit platform I took this shot of the back of the Barberville Central High School, built in 1911.
As you can see, the sky was a threatening deep blue, however, we managed to tour everything before the rain came pouring down. The school was just beautiful with large windows to let in the natural light. A kitchen display was particularly fascinating. Love, love, love this colorful stove!
Reminds one that there is not much that hasn't been tried before. Several old refrigerators were on display,
and although I've seen a few before, never one quite like this old GE, which still works, btw. Of course today we take ice for granted, but it wasn't always quite so easy as having an ice maker.
This got me to thinking about how Europeans don't have the same interest in ice as Americans. Do you suppose it has something to do with availability, and familiarity? I mean, where in Europe does it get as cold as the Great Lakes region? Just a thought.

A woman was demonstrating candle making which was also very interesting. Never did I fully understand how they were made long ago. Successive dippings is how.
This cash register from 1911 is mighty impressive.
Apparently folks back then thought so too as it cost $500!! People today marvel when I use my Square reader on my phone, and rightly so, but there sure is none of the glamour of the above model. Or is there?

As a Girl Scout back in the late '50's I learned to make pine needle baskets, however, as you can imagine, my efforts paled in comparison to these fine examples.
Back when the children were in elementary school, I served a year as PTA president. Our meetings were nothing like this!
Who knew there were PTA songs? Gosh I wish I knew what they meant by "Stunts by Women, Faculty, or Men!" This is quite the school bus don't you think? Or make that school wagon.
Underneath the beautiful Live Oak trees we heard some popping noises coming from these folks.
Closer inspection revealed all manner of steam driven engines which apparently collecting them is a pastime of some men. Maybe women like to as well, however I did not see any there. Good grief the steam engines are loud and kind of scary with all that popping going on! I thought you might enjoy seeing an old washing machine. The engine made it rock back and forth.
Barberville, located at the intersection of SR 40 and US 17 is unincorporated, so quite small. Turning off of US 17, I was so shocked by a business on that corner, we just had to go there after our time at the Settlement. Good grief, I've never seen anything like it! I'll save you the trip..
This is just one tiny part adjacent to the parking lot. Get this...
I did not check the price on either the gigantic giraffe or rooster, however, I did check it on the horse and wagon with boy and girl "riding"--$3,500!!! You enter through the legs of the giraffe!! Covering TWO ACRES, there are rows upon rows of outdoor stuff.
It is just astonishing really. If you are looking for an outdoor Santa, I know where you can find one in June.
If you can't get enough of this place, feel free to click on this link for a virtual visit by video! Talking to a worker, who was stroking a gigantic lizard (live) in a cage, we learned it began as a roadside vegetable stand, morphing into this. Oh my, oh my!

That sure was one way to move back into the 21st century!
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