A Blast from the Past!

A section readers normally expect to see in Journalism X is our “On The Job” column. Traditionally, the team interviews a person who holds a specific “job” that may be unusual, unexpected or simply fascinating!

This month’s series will feature some jobs from our past!

Journalism X traveled to the outskirts of Osceola County to learn more about their local Pioneer Village.

The Pioneer Village is almost like hopping into a time machine and seeing what life was like in the 1880’s in Central Florida.

The historic homes are preserved today for the public to see and re-creations of school houses, a train depot, church and general store are currently under construction for future guests to experience.

From the Florida Cracker to the Seminole Indians, the one thing our early settlers and natives had in common was survival.

The stunning complex highlights different lifestyles, occupations and what lives were really like for the upper and lower classes during the late 1800’s.

Who was the Florida Cracker?

Florida Crackers were cowmen and farmers who owned or worked with cattle and were more than capable of surviving during the time period as they were known to be very self sufficient.

They had larger families who assisted with the farm and additional labor. The women would cook, clean, tend to their personal gardens, make their own clothes as men would traditionally buy their clothes from the General Store.

Their homes were small and family members would sleep on the floor and if necessary on the outside porch. Having a lack of resources required families to reuse items as often as they could. Jobs weren’t always easy and both men and women took on as much as they could to provide for their families.

Journalism X students on location!

Seminole Indians: 

According to the Seminole Indian’s official website, semtribe.com, the Seminole Indians resided in South East United States, specifically Florida.

In the 1800’s however, due to wars and illnesses there were only a few Seminole Indians left. These Seminoles lived off the land, relied heavily on trade, along with hunting, fishing and trapping. Seminoles reached a tough point in their life when pollution started impacting their food source. Their crops reached a low point and the fish population reduced dramatically. Environmental disasters started hitting the Seminoles, making it a bigger struggle for them to survive.

The frontier Seminole economy fell and it gave the Florida Indians the threat of extinction. The U.S. Congress finally gave notice, they set aside more than 80,000 acres of land to live off of.

Journalism X students on location!

Middle/Upper Class Families:

The wealthier families at the time had occupations like citrus growing and investing and generally owned a larger house that consisted of a separated kitchen, outhouse, stable and buggy house. These wealthy families sometimes owned their own citrus packing houses. They came to Florida specifically for the beauty and bounty, as well as the climate. Servants were also present in these houses, whether they were all around employees or focused on one specific area. These wealthy families did not have to share their beds with a great amount of people because of the abundance of space.

How people earned a living nearly 100 years ago is extremely different from the way we work and live in the present days. If you plan to step back into the past and visit the pioneer village be sure to pack sunscreen, water and opt for the guided tour. You can also enjoy a self guided tour as well, as panels and maps are available with facts, information on the structures and stories highlighting the families that once resided in these homes.

*Information featured in this article came from Osceola County Historical Society’s Pioneer Village and semtribe.com.


Story by:

Tessa Best
Age 12

Roberto Vargas
Age 11

Olivia Mitchell
Age 11

Nicole Crow
Age 11