The Cane Syrup House at the Dudley Farm, Gainesville, FL
Dudley Farm Historic State Park Address and Directions
Dudley Farm Historic State Park
18730 W. Newberry Road, Newberry, Florida 32669
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am until 5 pm (farmstead closes at 4 pm.) Closed Monday’s and Tuesday’s.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park is located 4 miles east of Newberry on SR 26.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park Attractions
A few of the attractions at the Dudley Farm aree:
Sweet Potato Cellar
The Dudley Farmhouse
Dudley Farm Historic State Park Highlights
This 325-acre historic state park offers an opportunity to see how Florida family farms evolved from the 1850s until the mid-1940s. Dudley Farm is an authentic working farm. Its buildings have been restored or are currently being restored to their original condition.
Visitors can experience farm life as it was a century ago—harvesting and grinding sugar cane and boiling the juice into syrup, feeding chickens, tending the vegetable gardens and much more. Park staff in authentic farm clothing perform the daily chores and activities. A volunteer traditional crafts group meets to create quilts, rugs, baskets and more. Farm livestock include mules, cracker cows and horses, and heirloom breeds of chickens and turkeys.
Walk on the Pause and Ponder Nature Trail or enjoy sitting in the rocking chairs on the spacious visitor center porches. View a 12-minute program about Dudley Farm at the visitor center, a 1918 cracker house. A rotating exhibit displays original Dudley items that chronicle the family’s history. Seasonal activities are posted in the visitor center. Self-guided tours are available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. A self-guided brochure is available at the visitor center.
Picnic tables and grills are available near the Dudley Farm Visitor Center.
The General Store at the Dudely Farm, Gainesville FL
Dudley Farm History
In the mid-1800s, the Dudley family, progressive farmers of their time, moved from Charleston, South Carolina to North Central Florida. Three generations of the family owned and worked the then 640-acre piece of land. By the 1880s, Dudley had become a significant crossroads community and attained prominence in Alachua County.
For over 150 years, the Dudley family successfully maintained livestock, crops and large vegetable gardens. Eighteen original buildings constructed between the 1880s and 1945 include the 1880s family farmhouse and separate kitchen; the old general store, a dairy shed and canning house, smokehouse, syrup house and mill, hay barn, tobacco barn, stables and the original drinking well and rainwater cistern. Also dating back to the 1800s are hand-stitched quilts, a large quilting frame, an 1835 Bible carried by P.B.H. Dudley through the Civil War, photographs and farm implements.
The Dudley landscape is typical of early Florida farms, with gardens, grape arbors, pecan and fruit trees, fields, pinewoods and croplands of field corn, peanuts, field peas, sweet potatoes and sugar cane. It is a native habitat for deer, wild turkeys, gopher tortoises, bats and bluebirds.
In the mid-1800s, Dudley Farm consisted of rolling land covered with longleaf pines and wiregrass. The longleaf pines provided material for all the Dudley buildings, fence posts and split rail fences.
Sinkholes and dry ponds bordered by hardwood trees provide interesting geological features. The rich organic soil with a clay and limestone substructure, coupled with the Florida climate, create an area suitable for agriculture.
Inside the Cane Syrup House, Dudley Farm Gainesville, FL
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