Experience a taste of country living at the charming Morningside Living History Farm in Gainesville. It is located about a ... More
Morningside Living History Farm
Experience a taste of country living at the charming Morningside Living History Farm in Gainesville. It is located about a 90-minute drive southwest of Jacksonville and features guides dressed in period costumes to show you what went on in a typical day on a turn-of-the-century plantation. Special events are held each Saturday, so you can learn hands-on how to make soap, syrup, applesauce, candles, quilts and cloth. Kids can interact with farm animals, and parents can browse a quaint gift shop. Handmade biscuits and cornbread with fresh butter and cane syrup are served after a long days work.
Likes: Feeding the animals at 3 pm, like the quaint touch. Entry is free.
Loved the hospitality..the homemade biscuit with butter and sugar syrup tastes awesomest.
Should plan for a 90-minute outing to see the farm and enjoy the clean air
We had such a wonderful visit and the people who were there made us feel very welcome. It was a wonderful and educational experience for all individuals in our party. The Grandchildren talked about this experience for days.
Make this your Saturday morning destination. We entered the park around 10am and made our way to the living farm area. There we were greeted by period clothed individuals who offered us entrance to the farm. I would like to thank Bernard, Sally and George for taking the time to answer questions and discuss the period of the late 1800�s they were recreating.
Everything is in the details at the Morningside Living Farm from the structures to the speech of the individuals who work there. When you enter the farm area you feel as if you were transported to the late 1800�s era and the personnel dressed in period clothing along with their 1800�s speech provide the final touch.
You can enter an actual late 1800�s cabin with its rustic furnishings where you will meet the lady of the house who is usually busy with her daily routines, however, is always willing to find time to answer questions and discuss the latest gossip. You also can get a taste of southern hospitality from home made biscuits with butter and cane syrup that are made in the cabins kitchen on a real working wood stove. Explore the cabin and look at the tools and utensils that were fashioned by hand and used to this day to perform the daily duties of the household.
Explore the blacksmith Forge and if you�re lucky the smith maybe in and you can watch him construct or repair metal wears that are used around the farm. Or travel over to the wood shed and visit with a local performing daily repair using period wood working tools and techniques. And when you�re done visiting the wares areas explorer the grounds and experience the late 1800�s lifestyle with its rustic features. The personnel are very warm and friendly and have an encyclopedia of knowledge to answer any questions you have during this time period.
There is no charge for entrance to the Nature Center or for parking. There are no handicap accessible areas on the farm.
The restrooms are located in the picnic area and are very clean. The picnic area is also spotless, with 25 concrete picnic tables with adequate shade around all.
Trash receptacles are plentiful and in the parking area are recycling containers for paper, plastic and metal. There are no places to purchase food or drinks on the Nature Center however there are two water fountains in the picnic area and one in the farm area. My suggestion is to bring a picnic lunch and drink and enjoy the day. There are no grills in the picnic area so precooked food items are suggested.
Following a dirt trail that was covered in leaves we made our way to the farms entrance which was only a few hundred feet from the picnic area. The trail breaks of into two directions, one leads to the Morningside Nature trials and the other to the entrance of the Living History Farm.
Upon reaching the gate of the farm you can see a more modern structure to the right. This is the Half Moon School house which was built in 1938. It is a single room schoolhouse reminiscent of the schoolhouses from the late 1800�s. Entrance to the schoolhouse is only accessible during special events or functions.
There is an old water pump in front of the school that while not operational will entertain the smaller children for a few minutes while they try to figure out what it is and how it works.
The largest building on the farm and most interesting is the Hogan Cabin. It was built in the mid 1800�s by an Irish Immigrant Michael McCarroll. Again entrance to this building is limited to special events and functions. You are able to peek inside the home and see the rustic furnishings that the pioneers that once lived in used to accommodate themselves. While very basic it is still very interesting to see how the pioneers survived with so little in the form of creature comforts and today�s technology.
There is a Syrup kettle and sugar cane press that in the farm area and both are operational. During the winter usually the weekend following Thanksgiving the farm has volunteers that reenacts an actual cane grinding and produces cane syrup. If you arrive on a Saturday during the cooler months the farm area thrives with volunteers that wear period costume and bake biscuits and syrup for the sampling the traditional way during the 1800�s. Oh did I mention that all of this is free?
There are animals on the farm, however, this is not a petting zoo. The farm requests that you do not attempt to pet or feed the animals. On Saturdays and during most days during the week you can arrive at 9am or 4:30pm to allow small children to partake in assisting the help feed the animals. Animals consist of hens, roosters, cows, sheep, pigs, and horses and/or mules.
There is also a Blacksmith Forge and an Outhouse. Both are open to the public on Saturdays and for special occasions and events. During the special occasion and certain Saturdays the farm does have an actual blacksmith which you can see forge metal wears. As for the outhouse well even if it was open I don�t think anyone would care to see it in operation.
The farm includes a sugarcane crop and a working vegetable garden which volunteers tend to throughout the year. This is a working homestead out of the pages of the 1800�s and has been well cared for and maintained throughout the years.
If you find yourself without anything to do on a bright sunny afternoon I suggest stepping out and taking a walk around the farm and/or trails. Its great exercise in a partly shaded surrounding and you can even make a picnic of it. It is even educational and I recommend checking it out on a Saturday where you can witness the period dressed volunteers performing the daily routine 1800 farm life.
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