Dudley Farm Historic State Park, Newberry

#217 of 579 in Museums in Florida
Must see · Park · Hidden Gem · Visitor Center
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).
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Dudley Farm Historic State Park reviews

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  • What a treat! A unique piece of Florida history away from the hub bub of Florida and crowds - a great social distancing attraction. The guides and employees/volunteers here are amazing and our...  more »
  • Stopped by the farm on the way into town. It was really well done. Shockingly cool under the shade of the trees for it being summer. There is a nice museum/visitor center with memorabilia, a video....  more »
  • The volunteers/staff at this park are awesome!!! All in period dress and as friendly/hospitable as history describes the Dudley family. The detail to everything here is amazing. Such a wonderful experience for everyone who loves Florida, history, farming, or nature! Make sure to watch the video documentary when you enter the visitor center, grab a tour guide brochure, and don't miss the general store on the way out!!!
  • Great hidden gem near Gainesville. Come if you love nature, agriculture or all three. And do not skip the gift shop! They sell all types of local and hand made items including sugar cane made on site.

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