Make us your home page

Community effort brings Smithsonian exhibit to Dade City museum


As executive director of the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village, Stephanie Black is always looking for opportunities to enhance what the museum offers. So when she discovered that the Florida Humanities Council would be bringing the Smithsonian Institution's "The Way We Worked" traveling exhibition to six stops in Florida, Black rallied folks to help make the case to bring it to east Pasco.

It was a good call that paid off.

After an application process and a bunch of recommendations, the museum was selected as the first stop for the exhibit, which will be open to the public from Saturday to March 18.

"The Way We Worked" is one of two traveling exhibits making the rounds this year in Florida as part of the Museum on Main Street project, which fosters local, state and national partnerships to bring exhibitions to small communities, said Alex Buell, program coordinator with the Florida Humanities Council.

After leaving Dade City, "The Way We Worked" will travel to cultural organizations and museums in Enterprise, Bartow, Lake Wales and Tarpon Springs. The other traveling exhibit, "Water/Ways," will be featured Feb. 4 to March 18 at the Sulphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center.

"It took the whole community coming to together to bring this here," Black said, adding that she recruited local notables such as Dade City Mayor Camille Hernandez and members of the Pasco Historical Society to pen persuasive letters on the museum's behalf.

There were criteria to meet, and the Pioneer Florida Museum, with its exhibits and quaint village, certainly fit the bill, Black said.

" 'The Way We Worked" focuses on the last 150 years and the way people have worked," she said, adding that it will lend some luster to the museum's ongoing offerings, which include a train depot, a general store, a citrus packing house and a cane syrup mill, as well as woodworking tools, early farming equipment and vintage buggies on the museum's 16-acre wooded setting.

The traveling exhibit is interactive and comprised of large, multi-sided display boards filled with artifacts, flip books, videos and photographs from the National Archives.

It will give local residents access to a small part of Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian Institution and its materials, said Buell, adding that host museums also will receive a $5,000 grant to be used in a variety of ways, such as bringing in special speakers or promoting the event in the community.

"Not everyone can make it to D.C.," he said, adding that the exhibit also helps the host community shine a spotlight on its own history.

The grand opening will be Saturday, the same day as Dade City's Kumquat Festival. There will be a sneak peak for those who want to stop in on the evening of Jan. 27.

The level of interest is rising, and field trip spots are filling up fast, Black said, adding that a series of guest speakers will be making appearances through the exhibit's run.

"This will be the first time a Smithsonian exhibition will be in east Pasco County," she said. "It allows us the opportunity to explore this fascinating aspect of our own region's history, and we hope that it will inspire many to become even more involved in the cultural life in our community."

Contact Michele Miller at Follow @MicheleMiller52

.fast facts

If you go

"The Way We Worked" will be on exhibit Saturday through March 18 at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City. General admission: adults $8, seniors $6, students )includes college students with valid school ID) $4. Children ages 5 and younger and active-duty military with ID (with immediate family) are free.

Special events/ticket offerings

Jan. 27: Sneak peek/ribbon cutting, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 28: Grand opening, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pasco County school employees with ID get in free with a paid admission

Feb. 4 and 5: Farm Festival & Quilt Show

Feb. 11: Law enforcement with ID get in free with a paid admission

Feb. 18: Clergy members get in free with a paid admission

Feb. 25: Fire-rescue, EMTs with ID get in free with a paid admission

March 4: College students with ID get in free with a paid admission; free pizza at 1:30 p.m.

For information, call (352) 567-0262 or send email to The website is

Community effort brings Smithsonian exhibit to Dade City museum 01/23/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 5:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]
  2. At 'American Idol' auditions in Orlando, there are life lessons in line

    Music & Concerts

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — From her spot across the lawn, Sasha Orihuela studies her son.

    Jeremy Joshua Dorsey reacts after past American Idol contestants walk by ahead of his audition at the Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, August 17, 2017. 

Hundreds of people showed up for the first auditions for ABC's reboot of 'American Idol'. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  3. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba


    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  4. Beach Drive mural is a first for St. Pete's swanky waterfront street


    Mural mania in St. Petersburg is spreading east.

    This mural in progress is on the side of the Smith & Associates building on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg.
  5. Is that it? Hardly. Katrina of the Waves still walking on sunshine


    Appearing on both Retro Futura and The '80s Cruise is Katrina Leskanich, who we know better as Katrina of Katrina & the Waves. When thinking about Katrina & the Waves hopefully …