Pioneer Settlement Prepares for Goat Day and Pioneer Day

By: Denise Bradberry Email
By: Denise Bradberry Email

Have you ever wanted to go back in time to see how some real pioneers lived, before electricity, and cars and major department stores?

There's an easy way to find out if you head to Blountstown, Florida to the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement.

Live at Lunch visited as they prepare for Pioneer Days.

Locals call it "The Settlement” and upon arrival it's like taking a step back in time.

"The history was disappearing before our eyes very rapidly and the buildings that people had lived in for a hundred years were disappearing. We decided we better try to save some of them,” said the settlement’s founder, Willard Smith.

All of the buildings on the grounds are structures that were salvaged and restored from the little schoolhouse to the barn where the blacksmith does his work.

"The iron, when you heat it up is almost like play dough and it gets very soft and malleable and you can shape it anyway you want it. Just as soon as it cools off, all the red doesn't have to leave it, but the iron begins to get harder,” said Smith.

The mission of the settlement is to restore buildings and other tools that were used in the pioneer days.

It's been arranged at Sam Atkins Park in Blountstown, Florida to simulate an agricultural community.

You can even find Miss Lovie churning butter in the farmhouse.

"We would go milk the cow, me and my brother. I love to cook with milk and cream and the butter and I did it right on a long time,” said Lovie Burkett, a volunteer at the settlement.

Everything at the settlement is made possible through volunteer’s efforts who say they want young people to know about the pioneer lifestyle.

"Our main goal here is to educate kids and get hands on for the kids and let them be part of it," says Smith.

The pioneer settlement is a big draw for what actually began as "Goat Day."
"A group of families here in the county had not only meat goats but also milk goats started it as rather a national goat show and it grew. A lot of the people that come for goat day end up becoming members of the pioneer settlement and they donate antique objects to the settlement and they come back and visit,” says Margie Mason, the president of the Rotary Club that’s now in charge of “Goat Day.”

"We want people to enjoy it and enjoy themselves and take away something from here; maybe part of their memories or history. We hope this brings them back," says Smith.

If you would like to go Goat Day and Pioneer Day it's Saturday the 18th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

It is located off of Hwy. 20 in Blountstown at Sam Atkins Park.

There is a link to directions below.

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