Have you ever wanted to take a walk back into Florida’s past? A time before electricity and cars, when people lived a simpler way? Then you may appreciate a walk around the homestead of Forest Capital Museum State Park, where time has stopped in mid-1800s Florida.
The homestead was built in 1864 by Wiley W. Whiddon and is a perfect example of a functioning ranch of the time. Several buildings, including a farmhouse, chicken coop and even an antique outhouse, sprawl around the large grassy area enclosed by a wood picket fence. Visitors with a keen eye may also see farming equipment from the era, such as the large sugarcane press and kettles. The buildings and tools found here are a mixture of authentic antiques and replicas, aimed at presenting an accurate picture of what life would have been like in the 19th century.
A picturesque stand of old-growth longleaf pines provides a magnificent backdrop to the homestead and highlights the story of the birth of the Florida forestry industry. In fact, one of Florida’s famous ”moon trees” may be found on the grounds; a loblolly pine grown from a seed that was taken to the moon during a lunar expedition. Elements of past and future are found throughout this park.
Rangers lead guided tours around the grounds of this historic homestead by appointment, sharing the stories of this fantastic place. After you explore the 1864 cracker homestead, sit in the rocking chairs and enjoy the breeze. Experience the visitor center, playground and picnic pavilions, and have fun in the Real Florida.