Drexel on the Road

Drexel on the Road: Historic Pensacola Village

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) - Downtown Pensacola is filled with signs of the future, but one of the things that makes this city so unique is that you only have to step through a doorway to find history nestled in the middle of progress. That place is Historic Pensacola Village which is just a few blocks from the busy parts of downtown Pensacola, but centuries away from the busy parts of life.

Phillip Mayhair is the Living History Director. He said, “Whenever you enter that fence, you’re stepping back in time to when Pensacola was a Spanish colony. We weren’t even part of the United States yet.”

In this village, you’ll find 200-year old buildings preserved and restored to their original appearance. The gardens, outdoor kitchen, main house and even the activities, which are interpreted by guides in costumes, are authentic to the 1800s.

“Just like 200 years ago, people would have been making their candles in the wintertime because that’s when they had an abundance of animal fat,” said Mayhair. “We do living history interpretation where we are in the garden, cooking over an open hearth fire to bring that history to life.”

When you visit the village, you realize how noisy today’s world is...because in this living time capsule, it’s quiet...until it’s not! For instance, on the day we visited, about 100 local 4th graders drop in to get a lesson in living history. They made candles and got an up-close view of the tiny home that once housed an entire family. The parents and teachers with them watched closely as the children also got a lesson in life without technology. 

Mom Tara Mason said of her children,“It’s so entertaining, they haven’t even thought of their cellphones at all.”

Mayhair took time to show News 5 the finer points of making a fire without matches...only two pieces of flint used to make sparks. He said that fanning the flames of history is not just fun. He said as we move toward the future… it is necessary.

“It’s really important that when you are going forward, you need to know where you came from,” said Mayhair.

The Historic Pensacola Village area is also home to several museums and the Old Christ Church. For more information on the village, go to www.historicpensacola.org

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