Tag Archives: Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park

Students learn about “Old Time Florida” at Riverbend Education Day

About 120 students, along with parents and teachers, ventured to Riverbend Park on November 3rd to discover “Old Time Florida” as part of Riverbend’s Education Day, part one of the two-day Pioneer Farmstead Event.

“The idea here is for the schools to come out here and experience a little bit about what they learn in the classroom through the history program – 4th graders are targeted because there’s a big history drive on the fourth grade,” said Naturalist John Welch.

The students learned about sugar cane processing and boiling, growing citrus, cattle and other animals, general pioneer life and more. Welch says the event helps teach kids about the work pioneers did to prosper on the land, “to make them a little more appreciative of how we came to be here, what the challenge was that these people faced, what they did for us and also themselves.”

Riverbend Park is located at 9060 Indiantown Road in Jupiter and is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset.

We make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. We achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

Please visit www.pbcparks.com​ for more leisure opportunities available through the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.

First Ever Battle of the Loxahatchee at Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park

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Credit: Andrew Foster

Blog written by: John Welch, Riverbend Park Naturalist

The morning silence was broken the morning of Saturday, January 28th with the sound of artillery erupting from the battlefield here as we began a special event that recognizes the two battles that occurred at the site of Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park in January of 1838.

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Credit: Andrew Foster

The event itself spread out over two days with Friday being an educational day for schools to visit and get a new view of what the battles were about and who was involved. By noon on Friday, 230 students had cycled through the battlefield and visited a US Army camp, interacted with Seminole re-enactors as well as representatives from the Seminole Nation Ah-Tha-Thi-Ki museum and an exhibit on pioneer life in Florida. The students came away with a better idea of what the Second Seminole War was about, who the Seminole were, what life was like as a soldier in the field and on the battlefield and how the army moved about. Pioneer life exhibitor Gina Sauber gave them a better idea of family life in Old Florida. Two artillery/weapons demonstrations ensured that they were ready to return for the re-enactment on Saturday.

Saturday was the main exhibition day for the public. Exhibitors and guest speakers addressed the crowd covering topics from the interaction that occurred between Jesup and Lauderdale to battlefield archaeology to pioneer Florida. Weapons demonstrations and battlefield tours provided a glimpse into the engagements that occurred here and food trucks filled empty bellies.

This was the very first actual re-enactment attempted in the park and anticipation was high. This was indicated by the steadily growing attendance from early morning until re-enactment time at 2:00 pm. The re-enactment started as the Seminole moved out and fired on Jesup’s advancing troops who were approaching from the Northwest. Narration was provided by Guy Bachmann, president of the Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists who kept the crowd informed about what was taking place on the field. The Seminoles held down the Tennessee Volunteers until General Jesup, (Dick Kazmar, Loxahatchee Preservationist member), advanced to urge the troops on only to have his spectacles shot off his face. The battle raged on until Colonel Harney outflanked the Seminole and they gathered up their families, ( Girl Scouts Troop 20646), and retreated South.

By re-enactment start, the cars were lined up through the park all the way to Indiantown Road. The day ended with Mr. Bachmann giving a talk on the aftermath of the battle which was followed by a weapons demonstration.

A day of beautiful weather added to the success of the event. Both regular visitors as well as first timers in the park all reported that they had a great day.

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Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department and is located at 9060 Indiantown Road, Jupiter. Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park is one of the most significant multi-level historic sites in Palm Beach County. Gateway to the Loxahatchee River, prehistoric and historic habitation has occurred along the Loxahatchee dating as far back as the Archaic Period over 5,000 years ago. The primary goal of the park is to preserve and protect these cultural resources, while providing education and passive recreation opportunities for the public to experience this beautiful place and its history. For more information on this park, and to view other parks and upcoming events, visit www.pbcparks.com.

Living History Day attracts almost 1,000 to “Old Florida”

DSC_0073Guests took an unusual step back in time on Saturday, November 14 during Living History Day,  a combination of two events typically held on separate days: The Fall Muster at Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park, focused on battlefield education, and the Pioneer Family Farmstead at Riverbend Park, focused on pioneers and homesteaders education. Both events were free to the public.

The Fall Muster transported participants back to 1838, while the Pioneer Family Farmstead event recreated a typical day on the farmstead during the late 1800s to 1920s. Combining both events into one larger event provided an ideal opportunity for visitors to fully experience “Old Florida” through education about battles that took place at the parks, as well as how the settlers used the land after those battles.

When guests stepped foot on the period farmstead in Riverbend Park, they were welcomed to live folk music, a sugar cane press, sawmill demonstrations and gained an appreciation  and understanding of how pioneers spent their time on the land.  Afterward, they boarded shuttles and were taken to adjacent Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park where they experienced period army and Seminole camps, re-enactors, guest speakers, historical preservationists, weapon demonstrations, battlefield tours and gained and understanding and appreciation of how the militia and Seminoles lived and learned about the wars between them.

“The point behind the event and the parks is for people to come and have a feel of the history and experience how Old Florida use to be,” said John Welch, Riverbend Park naturalist.IMG_0898

Since acquiring the land, the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department’s goal has been to preserve the natural, archaeological, and cultural significance of these properties and to provide access and education to the public. The Loxahatchee River, the first nationally designated wild and scenic river in Florida, passes through both parks, contributing to the environmental importance. The parks are also officially recognized as sites of two Second Seminole War Battles, and were home to pioneers and farmsteaders after those battles.

Riverbend Park and Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park are owned and operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department and are located at 9060 Indiantown Road in Jupiter, Florida. One of the core services of the Parks and Recreation Department is to promote stewardship of natural, archaeological and cultural sites. For more opportunities, visit www.pbcparks.com.

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