Dudley Farm Historic State Park
Dudley Farm visitor center
|Location||Alachua County, Florida, USA|
|Area||325 acres (1.32 km2)|
|Established||October 4, 2002|
|Governing body||Florida Department of Environmental Protection|
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Dudley Farm Historic State Park (Florida), also known as Dudley Farm, is a U.S. historic district and museum park located in Newberry, Florida. It was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on October 4, 2002. The address is 18730 West Newberry Road.
The park encompasses approximately 325.6 acres (1.318 km2), and contains 21 historic buildings and 13 structures, including the family farmhouse with original furnishings, an 1880s kitchen outbuilding, a general store and post office, and a cane syrup complex.
The farm also maintains a registered Cracker cattle herd, and at least one Florida Cracker horse. Park staff and volunteer living historians perform chores and other period activities while dressed in period clothes.
The site is a working farm, showing agricultural development in Florida from the late 1850s through the mid-1940s. After that period, the farm was used solely for subsistence farming by a few third-generation family members. In 1996, Myrtle Dudley, the youngest member of the third generation, died, leaving the site to the Florida Park Service.
Other features include a visitor center, a picnic area and nature trails. At least one open ranger-led tour is scheduled per month, not including the summer months. Tours for school classes and other large groups can be scheduled. A 19th century "Domestic Skills" group of volunteers meets every Wednesday morning, working on everything from pine needle baskets to quilts.
Although, the farm is part of the Florida park system, "The Friends of Dudley Farm" (FoDF), a state-recognized volunteer Citizen Support Organization, holds numerous historical activities and festivals throughout the year in cooperation with state park personnel.
Due to deterioration of the historic cane syrup complex, through continued use to produce cane syrup for sale at the farm, its use was suspended. However, FoDF built a similar cane syrup complex outside the homestead area, but still on park property. In addition to the cane syrup, the FoDF also produces authentic corn meal and corn grits for sale at the farm. All proceeds are used to support the park.
Other supported community activities include weddings at the farm; tours of the homestead gardens by local and regional gardening groups; Boy and Girl Scout activities---such as living history, invasive weed control, etc.; Earth Day and National Public Lands Day. The schedule for many of these activities is available on the Friends of Dudley Farm Web site (see below).
- Dudley Farm Historic State Park at Florida State Parks
- Friends of Dudley Farm - Citizen Support Organization site
- Alachua County listings at National Register of Historic Places
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