Well, since I’m leaving Florida soon (you can read about the move here), I thought I’d share now about how the term Cracker originates from the state of Florida.
Most people know Florida for its sunshine and oranges. What most people don’t know, is that Florida started out as the beef capital of the country. As much as some might like to use the term Cracker as a derogatory term for southerners, the term was originally used to refer to rugged Florida cowboys.
I’ve posted about my trips to the Florida State Fair each year for our Valentine’s Day date. What I didn’t share was about the historical center they have there called Cracker Country. This is my favorite place at the Fair, because I love history, and a corner of the grounds there are set up like a small town in the late 1800’s.
There you can see the original homes of two families who lived in Florida. Most of the decor is original as well.
They have original post office, school, church, general store, train depot and more.
Inside the schoolhouse
My favorite thing to do in Cracker Country is to watch how they used to make syrup out of sugar cane. You can buy a stalk to see what it tastes like before it is processed. It is not edible in this form, but the bamboo like coating can be peeled back to suck on the inside nectar. It is just the right hint of sweet with a citrus flavor.
They also demonstrate how they made lye soap. Thank God we are in an era where we don’t have to use that stuff.
Since we’ve been there many times, I have plenty more photos I could share of the place. However, I’ll just share one more. It’s a model of what the homes and businesses might’ve looked like back then.
P.S. Georgia was also known for its Cracker Cattlemen.
Are you a fan of history? What is your favorite era?