The Osceola County Historical Society is pleased with the new additions popping up around the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek. The original authentic structures, including the Cadman Complex, the Lanier home, and the Tyson home are just a few of the buildings preserved from the late 1800s used to educate the public in the ways of living back in the late 1800s.
During the 25th Annual Pioneer Days, in November 2016, the Osceola County Historical Society was able to present to the public, the late 1800s replica train depot and the replica Narcoossee Schoolhouse, two of the three completed structures as part of the Expansion Project for the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek.
The Narcoossee Schoolhouse, a simple one-room building crafted entirely of wood, was built in 1887. The architecture of the school is similar to the Late Victorian Gothic style, with a steep roof and large windows to provide circulation since there was no air conditioning at that time. The building was raised off the ground to protect occupants from flooding and snakes. The schoolhouse was used as promotion material by Fell & Davidson to sell land to new investors with famlies who were looking to buy agricultural property in the Narcoossee area.
The classroom in the replica Schoolhouse has a collection of furnishings similar to the late 1800s era. Each desk, mass manufactured and introduced in 1881, has a slate and slate pencil for the student to use. The teacher’s desk has a handbell, an inkstand, pen, and some children's books. Located on the left side of the classroom there is a small box stove that was used for heat during the winter months. Having a piano in the classroom was common and used often.
The interior of the schoolhouse needed to be flexible so that the community could use the space for other purposes. The building would be used as a church, party venue for holidays, theaters, venue for musical entertainment (another reason for the piano), and space for revivals, meetings, and readings. The Osceola County Historical Society has found several references to the Cadman family hosting parties or attending events at the Narcoossee Schoolhouse.
The original Narcoossee Schoolhouse still stands at the corner of Yukon Street and County Road 15 and is currently managed by the Narcoossee Chapter of the Osceola County Historical Society. The new replica Narcoossee Schoolhouse is a great addition to the collection of historical structures that make up the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek allowing the Osceola County Historical Society to continue to share and educate visitors and residents of the community with the history of Osceola County.
The Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek located at 2491 Babb Rd. Kissimmee, FL 34746, is open 7 days a week from 10AM to 4pM. Admission for adults is $7 and $3 for children 4-12 years old. Come walk our grounds and stroll through history!
Sources: Osceola County Historical Society Expansion Project – Historical Structures Report Section IV
Photo Courtesy: Krystal Baize