249 Church Ave.
This unique facility is home to several original structures from 19th century pioneer life in Florida, including an 1800s farmhouse, school and church.
There are two types of historic houses at the park that exhibit different lifestyles. One home is the English home, a single-room log cabin with four doors and windows. Family members occasionally slept on the wrap-around porch for the cooler temperatures. The second home, the Raulerson house, belonged to an affluent pioneer family. It was built in 1900 and said to house the Raulerson family downstairs and the foreman’s family upstairs.
Visit the original school building that opened in 1878. It was named Bethel Academy and started with five students and one schoolteacher who taught reading, math and writing. Eventually, the number of students grew to 75, and it became the largest school in Polk County. The original school bell still exists, and you will see the teacher’s desk and several oak chairs used by students.
Near the school sits Homeland Methodist Church that was built in 1887. The structure features stunning stain glass windows that shine bright colors on the original pine flooring and the church pews once used by parishioners. Other items on exhibit include the pole barn, church annex and a mock cemetery.
Current hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.