Cracker Country in Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida, is home to Cracker Country, a rural living history museum showcasing Florida's rural living past. Located on the grounds of the Florida State Fairgrounds, it is the only "living history" museum in the southeast. Cracker Country is unique in many ways, and its mission is not only to provide education and entertainment but to also help preserve Florida's rural heritage.
Cracker Country was created in 1979 and consists of 15 original buildings typical of late 19th and early 20th century Florida "cracker" homesteads. These homesteads can be found in many parts of the rural south, and each of the structures has been moved from their original site and authentically restored. Included in the museum are a one-room schoolhouse, a well and smokehouse, a church, and a general store, all designed to provide a glimpse into the rural life of yesterday. At Cracker Country, costumed interpreters (people dressed in traditional clothing) provide demonstrations and activities to give visitors an interactive experience. The interpreters provide details on how activities like butter churning, weaving, blacksmithing, and molasses making would have been conducted in the 19th century. Visitors can try out the hand-crafted tools and participate in the activities. There are also demonstrations of horse-tilling and other agricultural activities that were common in the 1800s.