The Old Barn on La Chua Trail

Ventilation in the old barn on La Chua Trail.
The barn was built in 1945 by the Camp Ranch Cowboys.

This barn was built in 1945 by the ranch cowboys who worked for the Camp family, owners of most of Paynes Prairie in the early 1900’s.

Passing through the old cattle barn on La Chua trail, we immediately felt cool relief from our hot day of adventuring on New Year’s Day. Ranchers dealt with Florida’s relentless heat by building their barns under the shade of huge live oak trees with an open breezeway and some concrete blocks turned to allow for ventilation.

Attracted to Paynes Prairie with the hope of spotting descendants of horses and cattle brought to Florida in the 1500’s by the Spanish, we weren’t lucky enough to spot them, but placards on the walls of the barn explain the history of the cattle, and of bison, reintroduced to Florida after becoming extinct in the 1700’s. They also tell of the efforts of the Florida preserve staff working tirelessly to restore and maintain the prairie.

These signs recount the story of free roaming cattle and horses being ranched first by the Seminole Indians, then by cracker cowboys (named for cracking their whips). They confirm the landscape and harsh living conditions described by Patrick D. Smith in his novel, A Land Remembered.

January 4th, 2019

These signs reveal valuable pieces of history. I like to take pictures of them so I can read them thoroughly upon returning home. I am attaching them so you can read them too.


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