Florida Guide > Other Florida
In a previous article, we chatted about the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Well, now I would like to tell you about the wonderful Heritage Village which is right next door. This park covers 21 acres and has an impressive amount of historical buildings all in a natural setting.
It is best to make your way to the visitor Center a soon as you get there. We had a most pleasant lady who pointed out the highlights on a map and advised us of any closures. Walsingham House was the home of one of the original families and they have furnished it as a doctors office. A volunteer was sitting in a rocking chair and leapt up to take us round. It is interesting to note that in those long ago days, your doctor would also serve as the pharmacist and other medical roles. Make sure to look at the birthing chair! It did not look at all comfortable and poor baby, landed in a bucket!
I always like to visit old trading places and at the H. C. Smith store there was all you can imagine - a jumble of foodstuffs and household necessities. On the shop counter where the had some early catalogues to peruse through. Then we went through a door to a garage where there were two early vehicles.
The Schoolhouse is just one room and this was built in 1912. Some of the volunteers here remembered being educated somewhere very similar. There was a separate school house for the African American children.
The House of the "Seven Gables" is a bit more impressive and you cannot self tour this home. On the day we visited, tours were taking place on the half hour. This would have been the home of a more prosperous family.
We also liked The Caboose which was once part of the Seaboard Coast Line. This contained the oldest typewriter I have ever seen and some original luggage.
All round the village are dotted volunteers who are ready to escort you round the buildings to explain the past. One chap was whittling a duck using old time tools and was ready for a chat!
Some of the buildings were closed for renovations and some are just not available to walk inside. The Bandstand is not an original but a replica of a bandstand in St Petersburg but nonetheless looks in complete keeping with the surrounding area.
The buildings are all stuffed with artefacts and we were told that many of these were donated by local people.
Just like the Botanical Gardens, there is no entry charge for this interesting day out. They do, however welcome donations.
The nearest entrance is in 125th street north or you can wander over from the Botanical Gardens. The Heritage Village is open wednesday to Saturday from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. and on Sundays from 1 p. m. to 4 p. m.
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