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Osceola County Historical Society and Pioneer Museum.
The county of Osceola has a rich and varied history. Named after the Seminole Indian War hero- it was founded in 1887 and originally reached as far down as Lake Okeechobee until 1917 when Okeechobee County was formed.
Long before a certain Mr Disney arrived to make the area known world wide –Osceola was in the cattle industry . The first pioneers arrived and found cattle grazing on the open plains of Kissimmee River Valley . History says these were the first cattle to arrive in North America and were brought by Spanish explorers in the 1500’s.
The cattle provided food and sustenance for the pioneers and so began the States cattle and Cracker cowboy legacy.
The Osceola County Historical and Pioneer Museum has been earnestly preserving this early local history since 1949 and the foresight of the Spence family- who originally owned citrus farms on the land now used –allowed the society to have the space to be able to share what life was like in the early days with visitors and residents alike.
It is worth taking an hour or two to stop off here to have a look at what living in the Mid-Florida area was like in the 1800' s and early 1900' s. A guide available to take you round -they may be walking around or they can be found in the office/house structure in back of the site or you can do a little walking tour of your own. It’s not a huge place, but it is interesting.
They have the Lanier Cracker home all set out as it would have been, a schoolhouse, general store and post office, a wash house, smoke house, cracker cow camp, a print house, a blacksmith shop and citrus packing house and all surrounded by an orange grove with fruit you can pick if you are lucky.
Once a year -usually in Nov- they hold their annual Pioneer day. A free event there is live music , a Cracker cowboy making and cracking his whip –you will learn why they are called Crackers , women will show their skill at baking and coffee making on an open fire in cast iron pots –the biscuits are good too ! A native American tells tales of the old county and his people and will paint the faces of your young warriors. You can sample swamp cabbage stew –rather tasty surprisingly seeing what it is made from . Local people show off their needlework talent in the form of patchwork quilts and there is the annual crowning of Swamp Lily and Swamp Daddy, people who have done well keeping the history alive.
The whole event is free but if you want to you can buy tickets for the cook off they have with local eateries so you sample the food and vote for the best . Normal entry is also free but they welcome donations to keep it going.
For the Pioneer day they put on a free transfer bus from the other side of 192.
There are basic restrooms on the premises but no food or refreshments served. Everything is done on an honour system Suggested admission is $5 for adults and $2 for those aged 6 - 11.
They have nice shady seats under trees; there is no traffic so maybe make it a takeaway lunch place. Take your time and sit and relax and enjoy it without feeling rushed and enjoy somewhere that is not commercialized.
The Pioneer centre is found on the road that runs along the side of Wal Mart on E192 750 North Bass Road , Kissimmee. 33746.
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