The Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts is in Barberville, Volusia County, Florida. It is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization registered with the State of Florida. The Barberville Pioneer Settlement lies on the Florida Black Bear Byway, a designated National Scenic Byway. In it’s Designation Application, the Byway noted “The most significant cultural resource found within the limits of the [121-mile long] Byway is the Barberville Settlement for the Creative Arts.”
The Settlement has been the recipient of grants from the Florida State Department for Historic Preservation and is also supported by Volusia County ECHO and cultural programs. Most of its financial support, however, is derived from school fields trips, visitors, memberships, and individual donors.
The Settlement campus comprises 30 acres with 18 historical buildings and over 10,000 historical artifacts. Volunteers provide thousands of hours as demonstrators for educational programs, teachers of music workshops, organizers of the five special events, and fundraisers.
The centerpiece of the Settlement is the original Barberville Central High School (1919), a National Register of Historic Places site, and the heart of many special events, music, dancing, craft demonstrations, and workshops. Many of the historic buildings on campus have been brought from neighboring towns and one even from Georgia, but the Settlement is the original home of the Joseph Underhill House, Volusia County’s oldest two-story brick residence, built in 1879.
Some of the structures moved in include the railroad depot from Pierson with a large working model railroad setup run during special events. A turpentine still was moved from Daytona Beach. The Astor Bridge Tender’s House, Lewis Log Cabin, a church, firehouse, quarter’s house, commissary, post office, and are among others.
The Settlement is also home to farm animals from pioneer days: chickens, geese, peacocks, mules and donkeys.
The Pioneer Settlement is truly a Great Florida Place!