Night at the Museum shows off Pioneer Florida Museum & Village through Costumed Docents
Contributed by Andy Warrener and images by Richard Riley
The Pioneer Florida Museum & Village in Dade City tore a page out of Hollywood cinema with their “Night at the Museum” event on Saturday, July 16. “Night at the Museum” featured eight different docents, dressed in period regalia, depicting either a historical figure or a generic character demonstrating a craft or skill of yesteryear.
Curator Andy Warrener portrayed Spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca in the section dedicated to prehistory and the 16th Century.
Adjacent to Warrener, in the covered Cracker porch were docents Deanne Absher and Tiffany Davis demonstrating crafts using corn husks. Already on display in the area were two brooms constructed of corn husks.
Continuing counterclockwise around the museum was historian and author Keith Kohl portraying a soldier from the 2nd Seminole War. Kohl was accompanied by his son Johnathan.
Inside the Lockey Tool Room, resident carpenter Rob Schuler and his wife Susan demonstrated different wood-working techniques.
Night at the Museum shows off Florida History at Pioneer Florida Museum & Village through Costumed Docents
Just outside the tool room, Museum Association trustee Wayne Sweat demonstrated how a linotype was used. The Model 32 Linotype that was donated by The Zephyrhills News and was the very same model that Sweat used early in his career as a journalist.
Next up was Sheyenne McAlister in the Cracker Cowboy section, discussing early cattle ranching in Florida and the role of the Cow Cavalry during the American Civil War.
On into the Civil War section of the museum, history teacher and historian Caleb Greinke did a first-person portrayal of Samuel Pasco, who Pasco County is named after.
Lastly, in the World War II section of the Museum’s main building, Hannah Schultze depicted lady Marines, complete with uniforms, identification patches, manuals and lots of stories.
The Museum dimmed the lights to give the nighttime feel, even though it was still broad daylight at 6pm when the event began. “We have been coming here for years,” stated Michelle Williams of Dade City, “But we did not expect this unique event. We learned more than usual through the people role playing characters of different eras of the central Florida area.”
The Pioneer Florida Museum & Village also hosted a Genealogy Workshop August 13. For more information on the many programs at the Museum, visit its Facebook page or its website at http://www.pioneerfloridamuseum.org.