Social Activities

Florida pioneer families filled their free time with many different social activities. Sometimes neighbors got together just for fun; other times, social gatherings were a means to complete a difficult task. Community members often came together to help each other accomplish an especially challenging job, for example house raising, rail splitting, land clearing, or cane grinding. The men worked together while the women cooked a large meal for everyone. The children also came together to play at these times. Working together in this way allowed the pioneers to achieve their goals faster and enjoy their time working.

On occasion, the Florida settlers came together strictly for fun. Special events such as weddings, fish frys, dances, barbeques, box suppers, candy pulls and horse races were customary celebrations. Many events such as picnics, plays, dances, and checkers or chess competitions were held at the local schoolhouse. Getting together was a great way for the pioneers to pass the time and to develop their relationships with other settlers.



Sundays were set aside as a day of rest in the days of Florida's pioneers. The families would take a break from their daily work, get dressed in their best outfits and make their way to the community church. Families often traveled by wagon or horse and buggy, sometimes they would walk if necessary.

The preacher was often a local farmer who worked during the week and preached on Sundays. It was also common that the preacher would travel to multiple towns and preach to a different congregation each week. As he traveled, he received room and board from local settlers.

The services would often last several hours. Singing was a very important aspect of worship. The congregation would sing the hymns without any musical accompaniment and often from memory if there were no hymnals available. Some larger churches, or churches with wealthy members, would have a pump organ for music.

After the services, the families would come together to socialize and enjoy a large meal together. Each family would bring a basket of food to share. They would eat together and then relax and delight in each other's company. The children would use this time to play games together. The church was also used for public meetings and social gatherings.