The Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road in Dade City, is situated on 16 acres and has an old schoolhouse, church and general store as part of its attractions.
Now, it would like more people to come and see what it has to offer.
“One of the issues that we have here is that a lot of people don’t know about the museum,” said Brenda Minton, event coordinator for the museum. “It’s kind of like Dade City’s best kept secret.”
Minton hopes the secret will be out with the museum’s Old-Fashioned Family Style Fish Fry, which will take place Sept. 11 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.
The Kiwanis Club of Dade City is co-sponsoring the event.
The fish fry replaces their Pioneer Days event in an effort to offer something new to the community. It includes live music by Those Unscrupulous Sunspots, a six-piece band that performs covers of rock and roll classics from The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Neil Young, as well as playing original tunes.
In addition to the fish, dinner includes items such as cheese grits, hushpuppies, cole slaw and baked beans. Food can be ordered to go, and is available by delivery to businesses that order 10 or more dinners during that time.
The museum hopes most people will choose to eat there and take a fresh look at the area, and the dozen or so buildings that have been collected over its history.
The Pioneer Florida Museum began at the Pasco County Fairgrounds before moving to its current location more than 40 years ago. Many of the buildings were renovated and relocated to their new home, and they come from different parts of the state. A shoe repair shop from downtown Dade City shares the grounds with a steam engine from Trilby, and a Lacoochee school and general store. There’s also a cane syrup mill, a quilt building and a barn.
Those Unscrupulous Sunspots will be performing on the front porch of another structure, the Overstreet House, which is a two-story farm home made of pine.
The main museum features a sample bedroom, doctor’s office and dentist’s office. There are also authentic examples of clothes, tools, toys, pottery and other artifacts from Florida’s pioneer era that began in the 1800s.
Minton believes that people will be interested in returning once they see the history on display.
Some come back for more than a tour, she said. The Enterprise Church, built in 1878 and replaced in 1903, is still available for weddings.
In addition to the music, the museum will set up picnic tables and hold games during the event.
Visitors who stay to eat will enjoy free lemonade and iced tea as well.
The museum’s goal is to sell 500 tickets for the event, and Minton said feedback has been good so far.
“It’s kind of bringing the community together for a fun afternoon and also showing off the museum,” she said. “I think we’re going to have a nice crowd.”
Tickets for the fish fry are $8 and can be purchased at the museum, the Dade City Chamber of Commerce or by calling (352) 206-8889. For more information, visit PioneerFloridaMuseum.org.
Published September 2, 2015