The Museum Buildings and Grounds

The Pioneer Florida Museum Association was chartered by the State of Florida on April 30,1961. The gift of early Pioneer farm equipment to the Pasco County Fair Association was the incentive for forming the museum association with 87 charter members.

Gifts of time, talent, land, objects for the collections and money from countless individuals and organizations have enabled the museum to grow and flourish. It is located on a 20-acre wooded hillside and has ten main buildings.

Eight buildings are historically significant and were moved from surrounding Pasco County communities to the museum grounds. They are:



 

This was the first historically significant building to be moved to the Museum Grounds, the Old Lacoochee School, was acquired in 1976, only a few weeks before it was scheduled to be torn down. Although built in the 1930's as a part of a complex of frame school buildings and used as a first grade building, the structure is architecturally typical of the one room school houses of an earlier period. The school has been restored and furnished in the style of the one room schools prevalent in Pioneer Florida. The addition of electric lights, salvaged from another 20th century school building, has made the Old Lacoochee School available for use as a classroom for courses and meetings offered by the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village.

 

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The John Overstreet House (circa mid 1860's), a two-story farm dwelling constructed of native heart pine. A typical pioneer era facility complete with dog-trot connecting it to the kitchen and with appropriate furnishings.

 


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The Trilby Depot built in 1896 and a 1913 Porter Steam Engine were previously located in the nearby town of Trilby, once the third largest railroad yard in Florida. The steam engine was used for 50 years by the Cummer Cypress Co. to haul logs to its sawmill in Lacoochee. The logs on the truck are estimated to be between four and five hundred years old.

 

 


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Enterprise Church: This was built in 1878. The original structure was built by local residents and replaced in 1903 at the cost of $500.00. In 1977 the church was moved to the Museum to preserve. Wedding are still performed at the Church.
This is a beautiful setting anytime of the year..

 


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J.L. Bromley Shoe Rapair was donated to the Pioneer Florida Museum by Mrs .Pearl Bromley. It was originally located at the corner of Pasco and 8th Streets in Downtown Dade City.
John Lewis (Jack) Bromley came to Dade City from Kansas in 1913. He was a gifted shoemaker. After getting his wife
Minnie and son Fred settled in their home on Fort King Road, he opened his shoe repair business which he operated until poor health closed it's doors in 1930. At that time the shop was moved to the Fred Bromley property on Pasadena Road.

It remained there until acquired by the Museum in the summer of 1990. Many area residents will remember the late Fred Bromley, who operated a watch repair business in Zephyrhills for 42 years.

The two newer buildings are the Main Museum Building (1975). The main building houses a variety of collections;medical, Indian artifacts, dolls and toys, textiles (clothing, quilts, linens, etc.), laundry equipment, bottles and jars, pottery, shoe lasts, hats and umbrellas. These and numerous other items all combine to give a feeling of nostalgia and a sense a of pride in Florida's pioneer heritage.

 

 


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Mabel Jordan Barn

The bright red Mabel Jordan Barn, (built in 1987), houses collections of early farm equipment, vintage buggies and carriages.The barn now house 1946 Chevy Firetruck donated to us by Dade City along with the 1921 LaFrance Firetruck

 


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C.C. Smith General Store:

The C.C. Smith General Store was donated to the Museum by C.C. Smith's niece and was moved to the Museum grounds in May 2000. Built in the 1920's, it served Lacoochee area residents for over 50 years, and carried many of the daily items needed by most families. When you are inside you can go back in history and find meat scales, butcher block, yard goods by the bolt, a Postmasters Station, cooking pans, kettles, bottles irons and many items that have been preserved.

 

 


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Quilt Building

 

 


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This structure was built in 1909 and opened in 1910, employing many area people and shipping citrus by rail and truck.

The Blanton Packing House was a working citrus plant until the 1989 killer freeze and was like a museum within it's walls. The Pioneer Museum and Village is in the process of preserving history and now we are in the phase of re-constructing this Blanton Packing House back to a working structure. The Museum has formed a Citrus Committee of agricultural citrus growers, packers, processors, business and professional members. They will help with historical information, research, financial fund raising.



Cane Syrup Mill



Annually the museum sponsors a number of events and activities. They include:

"Pioneer Florida Day" held on Labor Day with music, crafts, storytelling, demonstrations of the "old ways," historical presentations and "cracker" food.

"Black Tie & Blue Jeans Dinner and Dance" held in April or May.

Farm Festival and Quilt Show, Horse Pull held in February

Other activities held include Country Christmas, Cane Grinding, and various related activities during the year.

The museum is host to hundreds of school children each year as they study Florida heritage and pioneer life. Many individuals and organizations use the buildings and grounds for various activities including class reunions, picnics, and services and weddings in the Enterprise Church.  For information on building rentals call 352-567-0262.

The Pioneer Florida Museum & Village trustees and members strongly believe that the preservation and recognition of our past, our ancestors, and the life they lived help to build the foundation for a better future.