Sunday, June 29, 2014

Florida State Parks: Politically Correcting Our History One Event at a Time

I had occasion to visit a couple of State Parks this past weekend, one of which was the Dudley Farm between Gainesville and Newberry.

The Dudley Farm is an old farm that dates back to at least the 1850s and has been largely unchanged since the 1940s.  By unchanged I mean the kitchen is still a separate building from the rest of the house, there's no kitchen sink, no indoor plumbing, no heat or A/C, no insulation etc.  There's a three hole privy with a stack of corn cobs in the back yard.   The family that owned it never saw a need to update to any of that new-fangled stuff and finally donated it to the State in the 1980s.

Its a really neat place to go see how people lived and worked in 18th and early 19th century Florida.  I like the Dudley Farm.  I like the people that work there.  I constantly encourage people to go there.  I constantly encourage people with kids to take them there.

The Farm holds events every few months like "Plow Days" when they have an antique car and tractor show and people plow the fields with their horses, mules and antique tractors. 

A couple of months ago, they had a reenactment of what it would have been like to muster troops into the Confederate Service after the Northern invasion of Virginia.  From what I have been told by other people who have visited the place, they have done that every year for several years.

In talking with some of the Park personnel, I learned that there is to be no muster reenactment next year.  Nope.  The historic farm is replacing the historic reenactment of something that actually happened all over the State with a celebration of Lenin's birthday.  They call it "Earth Day."

I asked if the Dudleys had ever heard of Earth Day and the Park employee said he doubted it.

Of course, there is one historic reenactment that isn't going to be cancelled.  It seems they have  been doing a "Reconstruction reenactment" the past few years too.  It is set in 1868 and has "Buffalo Soldiers" (there weren't a whole heap of buffaloes in Florida in 1868 but whatever), yankee school teachers to explain how every white man in the South owned slaves or profited from exploitation of slaves, how only people of color were ever enslaved and to generally celebrate the subjugation of the South.

Funny how that worked out.

We picked up a brochure on the way out and it said that ALL Florida State Parks will be celebrating "Earth Day" next year.  Makes me glad I didn't buy that Florida State Parks tag to put on my Jeep.

BTW:  I still encourage people of all ages to visit the Dudley Farm.  There is still a lot of history there.  The people in Tallahassee haven't erased all of it by any means yet.   Take a look at their Facebook page too.  Lots more images and info there.


Benarley said...

I like Cane Syrup Day.

Lantry said...

I've never liked cane syrup too well so that's one I've managed to miss. I may have to go to the next one to get some for some friends and relatives. There's a place in Shiloh that does a cane grinding and boiling right around Thanksgiving. The Feaster family has been doing that on the same land since the Seminole Indian Wars.

Bobo the Hobo said...

Thank you for the great link! We try to see Old Florida as much as possible (seeing as how we were both born, bred, and raised in this fair state.) Gonna have to put this spot on our to-do list.