By Estella Fullmer
For Hometown News
Take a walk back in time at the end of the month with the city of New Smyrna Beach as it celebrates Founder's Day in Old Fort Park and Emory Bennett Park from Oct. 28 to Nov. 3.
"We will have something for each member of the family," said Leigh Finner, Director of the New Smyrna Museum of History.
On Monday, the museum is kicking off the celebration with Rick Smith, son of Patrick Smith, who will be presenting a media intensive show titled "Patrick Smith's Florida -- A Land Remembered." This will be in the New Smyrna Beach High School Auditorium at 1015 10th St. Tickets are on sale at the museum at 120 Sams Ave. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children under 18.
From Tuesday through Friday there will be speakers from the Florida Public Archaeology Network, The Florida Humanities Council and various regional and local Historians and Archaeologists at the museum. Lecturers scheduled to speak are Tom Baskett on the sugar mills, Roger Grange on the Turnbull Settlement, Rachael Wentz on ancient medicine in Florida, Roslyn Howard on the Black Seminoles, Larry K. French on the Civil War in Florida, Mr. Grange on Time Travel, Sarah Miller of FPAN on Frauds, Myths and Mysteries, and a lecture on The history of Live Oaking (speaker to be determined). Call the museum at (386) 478-0052 to reserve a seat or for specific dates for each speaker. The lectures are free.
On Friday evening, the Union and Confederate armies will be arriving and setting up in Old Fort Park, preparing for the shelling of the Sheldon House. This is the battle that took place in New Smyrna Beach during the Civil War. Historical re-enactors will demonstrate the battle for the public. There is no fee to observe the re-enactment.
"We are proud to be part of New Smyrna Beach and want the residents here to know and share their history," Ms. Finner said. "The festival has a little bit of everything."
The bulk of the activities will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2-3, downtown along Canal Street and the surrounding areas of Old Fort Park and Emory Bennett Park.
The museum is sponsoring the Parade of the Descendants of the Turnbull Colony Saturday morning to be followed by activities children during Colonial, Civil War and pioneer times would have played. Some games children can participate in are marbles, hopscotch, chalk drawing on the street and races (sack, three leg and spoon and egg). Parents may also enjoy a workshop on non-digital games for their child conducted by Ms. Finner. There also will be a petting zoo and pony rides.
Throughout both days, living history performers and various crafters will be demonstrating their trades, such as spinning, weaving, blacksmithing, leatherwork, wood carvers and beekeepers. A whip cracking demonstration from the "Cracker Days" will be in Old Fort Park and Emory Bennett Park along with artisans, performers and vendors.
The antique fire engine "old No. 5" will be there from 1-4 p.m. both days. There will be Minorcan, Greek and Italian food, and Lil' Neals BBQ. There also will be music, dancers and other entertainment, including an archeology dig. Each day will finish with a drawing for many fantastic prizes.
There is no fee for the Founders Day Festival, but the Southeast Volusia Historical Society, overall sponsor of the festival and the museum suggests a $5 donation to the museum. For more information, visit nsbfla.com/foundersday or call the museum at (386) 478-0052.
Ms. Finner will also have information at the museum on the Voices of History program. The museum wants to get local history on video one person at a time. It is scheduling interviews of residents of New Smyrna Beach at the museum so people can tell their own family history. The video tapes will eventually be available for viewing in the future. "We are excited about this program," Ms. Finner said. "We want to get the history down and make it available for future generations."