Why does history matter?

 Studying history means thinking critically about the world and our place in it. It involves evaluating many different perspectives and figuring out how past events affect our lives today. In doing so, we build critical thinking skills that apply to all aspects of our lives—and we develop a deeper understanding of our society and how it came to be. And we learn from the past with hopes of a brighter future.

We believe history can—and should—be used to move us forward. At the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village, we believe through history, we can better understand where we have been, where we are now, and how we can do better.


How the Pioneer Florida Museum got started:

In 1960, Rudolph Rhode and his sister, Miss Annie Rhode, the children of a prominent farmer in San Antonio, gave 37 antique farm implements and tools to the Pasco County Fair Association. Such were the humble beginnings of the Pioneer Florida Museum. On April 28, 1961, the museum was chartered by the State of Florida as The Pioneer Florida Museum Association, Inc., with 87 charter members. The growing collections were housed at the Pasco County Fairgrounds for many years. In 1973, Emily Larkin donated  6.5 acres to the Museum Association in memory of her husband, William Larkin. This gift made it possible to accommodate the growing array of items depicting early life in West Central Florida.

The Museum’s picturesque site is located just north of downtown Dade City, Florida, adjacent to the Little Everglades Ranch. In later years the Museum grounds grew to 21 acres. Governed by a Board of Trustees, the Museum is dedicated to educating, promoting, fostering, and encouraging public interest in Florida life and history from pioneer times until 1945. To accomplish its mission, the Association acquires, preserves, restores, exhibits, interprets, researches and publicizes items of historical significance, aimed at depicting pioneer life in Florida through an organized community effort. The Association has established a museum that recalls the basic, simple values of our forebears, asserts the dignity of labor, and emphasizes the value of craftsmanship.

On display are tools of the Florida Pioneer Man, showing how he built his house, made his furniture, plowed his fields, harvested his crops, and did his leather-work and blacksmithing.

There are many wonderful historic buildings including the Trilby Train Depot, a Lacoochee one-room schoolhouse, the Methodist Church from Enterprise settlement (now Lumberton Area of Dade City/Zephyrhills), a two-story 1860s restored Overstreet house, a general store, and more.

On display in the Overstreet House and kitchen addition, are furnishings which reflect the Florida Pioneer Woman's everyday experiences - churning butter, cooking on a wood-burning stove, spinning, weaving, battling and boiling the family wash and doing her household tasks with simple primitive equipment.

The Pioneer Florida Museum hopes to show that the men and women who were here before us, struggled, made do, and sometimes won and sometimes lost their battles with nature. In essence, they were people much like us.

Blanton Packing House - Citrus Plant that educates school children as well as visitors. A new Blacksmith Shop and Woodworking Shop were added in 2018. A log house built in 1910 has recently been moved to the museum and is currently being put back together, preserved and furnished. 

There are more than a dozen buildings filled with displays. Come for a visit one day soon.


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Diversity and Inclusion

The Pioneer Florida Museum & Village values diversity and inclusion: including but not limited to age, appearance, disability, ethnicity, gender, geographic location, nationality, race, religion, marital status and sexual orientation.


This Statement of Policy is Posted In Accordance with Regulations of the Small Business Administration

This Organization Practices Equal Employment Opportunity We do not discriminate on the ground of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability or national origin in the hiring, retention, or promotion of employees; nor in determining their rank, or the compensation or fringe benefits paid them.

This Organization Practices Equal Treatment of Clients We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, disability, age or national origin in services or accommodations offered or provided to our employees, clients or guests.

 Please report violations of this policy to : PFM, PO Box 335, Dade City, FL 33526

The Pioneer Florida Museum and Village is located in Dade City, Pasco County, Florida.


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