While writing a feature about Florida farms, I discovered Dudley Farm Historic State Park. Located in Newberry, about seven miles due west of I-75 in Gainesville, it’s where visitors witness the evolution of farming from the 1850s to the mid-1940s. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like to be running a farm in those times, but I can imagine I’ll be heading there soon. Among 18 historic buildings -- including an old general store and post office -- the park staff dons period clothing and demonstrate how the farm was run, from raising crops to livestock to shucking corn to grinding cane.
It takes a lot of devotion to maintain a state park and the Friends of Dudley Farm are doing their part by pitching in with special events like "Reconstruction" which takes place September 6th & 7th. With learned and talented living historians portraying characters from 1875, you’ll learn how the nation – especially defeated Southerners and newly-freed slaves – struggled to rebuild their lives after the Civil War.
That must have been one extraordinary time, and this sounds like one incredible event.
All in all, this seems like one incredible destination.
You’ll find all the details on “Reconstruction” as well as field trips and group tours at Dudley Farm Historic State Park. Be sure to call ahead – they’re gearing up for the season now!
IF YOU GO
18730 W. Newberry Road
Newberry, Florida 32669