Cracker Country - Florida State Fairgrounds - Tampa, Florida

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Cracker Country - Florida State Fairgrounds - Tampa, Florida entrance

Cracker Country features thirteen original buildings dating from 1870-1912. These buildings were moved to their present location from throughout the state, then restored and furnished with antiques of the period.

Demonstrations include blacksmithing, spinning, making traditional "Florida Cracker" Cow Whips, woodcarving, open fire cooking, storytelling, sewing, soap making and old tool demonstrations just as was done 100 years ago.

outdoor cooking horses and mules
making soap Okahumpka train station
mandoline player people watching music performance
old cracker house back of old cracker house
woodworking demonstration craft demonstration

Click Here to download a booklet on Rural Florida Family Life 1870-1912.  This publication will help you and your students discover what life was like for early rural Florida families.

K-2nd. Grade Activity Book
"A Look At Florida Then And Now"
3rd.-5th. Grade Activity Book
"Cracker Country's Pioneer Children"
Grades K-5
Manners (grades K-5)
Grades K-8
Things to do on your visit to Cracker Country (grades K-8)
drygoods store


[NEWS RELEASE] TAMPA, FL. - July 2, 2009. Cracker Country, an outdoor living history museum, announced a plan today to launch Electronic Field Trip (EFT) programs based on 1890s rural Florida history. Currently, the museum hosts field trips for local elementary school children, but the EFT program is designed to reach children from all over the state. "We are excited about all the possibilities to share the Cracker Country experience with students throughout Florida," said Rip Stalvey, Museum Director.

Founded in 1978 by Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr., Cracker Country documents, preserves and interprets rural Florida history from the period of 1870-1912. Visiting students tour the 13 original buildings, guided by a historical interpreter, and participate in hands-on activities. "The EFTs will use pre-recorded video segments coupled with live interpretation, streamed in real time to elementary schools all across the state," Stalvey said.

The museum plans to produce six EFTs each year to educate students about the lives, customs and material culture of early rural Floridians. Teachers utilizing the EFTs will have access to a wide variety of resources to facilitate classroom learning. "The EFTs are not designed to replace our existing elementary school field trips program, but rather to complement them with a more in-depth look at subjects we don't have time to cover during school visits," Stalvey said. Online lesson plans, interactive components, games and puzzles are being designed that enhance the learning experience while meeting both state and national educational standards.

Currently, the EFTs will be offered on a fee basis. Cracker Country, however, is working to obtain financial underwriting to cover production and distribution costs so that the EFTs can be provided free of charge to more than 1.2 million students statewide. The museum is scheduled to begin shooting the first episode of the inaugural series, titled "School Days," on July 6, 2009. The first broadcast is scheduled for late winter 2010.

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