Tuesday marked another great accomplishment in the latest Osceola County Historical Society project focused on moving various historic buildings from their original locations to the new Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek. The citrus packing house (along with the other historic buildings at the old Pioneer Village) made the move and we thought you might be interested in the history behind it.
The citrus packing house originally belonged to the Cadman Family of Narcoossee. When the family moved to Florida in 1888, upon arriving in Narcoossee, they purchased a home from the Fell & Davidson development group. The home came with a starter grove of citrus trees. The Cadman family used these trees to begin their citrus operation, which was mainly operated by the children of the family.
Inside the citrus packing house was a sorter that was operated by peddling a piece of rope around a pulley. This helped package the citrus before shipping. The oranges were then wrapped in paper coated with bee’s wax and linsee oil (an invention claimed by the Cadman family). Placed in a barrel for shipping, the oranges would not touch each other and if one spoiled it would not affect the others-talk about true ingenuity!
Historical research shows that the packing house was likely built around 1890, as documents record “Cadman Groves, Inc. Packing House since 1890.” The building was updated throughout its use, but was a staple in the Cadman’s citrus operation. The Cadman Groves Inc. ceased operations in 1982, and the structure was donated to the Osceola County Historical Society in 2005 by Cy Sharp, Jr. It was moved to the Pioneer Village at Bass Road in 2005.
At the new Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, the citrus packing house will be reunited with the Cadman family home and the bachelors’ quarters. The citrus packing house allows the Osceola County Historical Society to share the narrative of the citrus industry in Florida while using a unique and authentic setting as the centerpiece of the story. We can’t wait for the new Pioneer Village to be ready for visitors this fall!
Oh, and in the meantime…don’t forget to enter our giveaway for two passes to Medieval Times! Learn a little medieval history while you enjoy dinner & a show!