Fall is finally here! If you’re a Florida native, or if you have lived here for many years, you have already noticed the subtle changes. There’s a difference in the sunlight, tree leaves have been turning colors since July and are finally dropping, days are getting shorter but best of all the cooler temps are here! No more humidity!
With the coming of fall is the return of seasonal residents. So, this time of year is when many county pioneer days and festivals are held. If you haven’t been to a pioneer day or festival before, you should find one in your area and go.
Most of these pioneer festivals are held on the grounds of permanent pioneer villages. These villages exist to show us how our ancestors lived when Florida was still a Territory or its early days of Statehood. Having read stories of my own pioneer ancestors, I have a real respect for their willingness to move here and endure what they did. These villages bring to life many of the occupations and lifestyles we see when researching census and other genealogical records.
In central Florida, we have several pioneer villages:
- The Osceola County Pioneer Village at ShingleCreek, located in Kissimmee
- The Pioneer Florida Museum and Village, located in Dade City
- The Manatee Village Historical Park, located in Bradenton
- The Pinellas County Heritage Village, located in Largo
- The Pinellas Pioneer Settlement, located in Saint Petersburg
These are just a few of the pioneer or historical villages in Florida. I have enjoyed visiting all of these pioneer villages and have come away with a better understanding of the history of my pioneer ancestors and my native state.After seeing these pioneer villages, I’m looking forward to visiting others around the State. I hope to see you at one of them!