They have a nice mix of historic buildings and animals to look at as you walk around the grounds. This one room schoolhouse was used by African-Americans for 60 years...up to 1968 if you can believe it.
This church traces back to the slave days. They had a lot to read about the slave owners and how they viewed the religious leanings of their slaves, but to me the most surprising thing was that the slave preacher who founded this church ended up as both a County Commissioner and the Chaplain of the Florida Senate. I assume that was during the era of reconstruction, but they didn't say it.
This house, with the detached kitchen out back like we have seen so many other places, was owned by a woman named Catherine Murat, quite a trailblazer in her time. She owned 2 plantations, buying this one after her husband died. She was related to both Napoleon and George Washington and was named a French Princess before buying this plantation. After the Civil War she actually gave land to at least some of her former slaves, so I guess her heart must have been in the right place on some counts!
Young kids used to have to carry water to the field hands. They had these buckets weighted so you could see how heavy it would be for them. Heavier than you would think, for sure!
They had some nice animal/fowl exhibits. I thought the kids might like seeing some of them. This little screech owl is not much bigger than you hand.
I love the colors in these male turkeys...and check out the female in the middle. I never saw a brown one before.
Being Florida, of course we say an alligator.
These panthers stretch 6-7 feet tail to nose.
A white squirrel, bobcat, and red wolf.
You walk all through this swampy area on a boardwalk. I thought these cypress trees were pretty interesting to look at. Actually sort of creepy.
Did you know there were different types of turtles? The one on the left is called a gopher turtle while the one on the right is a water turtle. The gopher turtles burrow into the ground and don't hang out by water at all. Brenda's boyfriend Jeff was telling me that the gopher is a protected species, so if you are trying to sell land here in Florida and you find one on your land you are basically screwed! haha
There is a large area that is set up sort of like an old settlement, with lots of old buildings and farm equipment. The chair below is made with deer hide. Cathy said her grandmother used to have one.
Some barnyard animals were around...but that snake wasn't supposed to be hanging out there. We were looking at some other animals when Brenda looked up and saw it only a few feet from where she was standing.
A few days before we went to the museum we went up to Georgia to visit a family friend and to go fishing. This is Liz and her dog Duke. Liz owns and works this farm, a 350 acre spread with about 100 acres of pecan trees, 60-70 Brahma cows, and several irrigation and fishing ponds. Liz told me that the pecan groves can produce up to 120,000 pounds of pecans in a given year. That's alot of pecans!
We caught lots of fish, mostly small ones in the beginning. Eleanor actually caught the 1st one...you have to blow up the pic to see it--haha! Look at Brenda in the middle...perfect fishing form!
I think Ed was the only one not to catch a keeper. He wasn't pleased! haha Look at Duke eyeing the fish Liz is holding.
We were all hoping to catch the biggest for bragging rights. The jury is still out as to who the winner was.
This used to be Liz's swing! Eleanor kept telling Ed to stop swinging so much...they were lucky not to get hurt!
I took a few videos of the cows. Liz had some work to do while we were fishing, so half way thru the day she came up alongside where we were fishing, followed by a bunch of her cows. She said they will follow her thinking they are going to a new field for feeding. So this is like a modern day cattle drive.
Duke ignores the cows. Are they ever noisy?
Ed was the last one up to the fence to see the cows and I think his deep voice scared them, causing a stampede!
We are here till the 12th of April when we head to Jacksonville and the beach for a week. I'll have a few more pics before then, so stay tuned!