The Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts, Inc. was established as "an educational institution whose general nature and objective will be to render constructive, educational, and cultural services to the community through collection, preservation, conservation and exposition of objects which are the cultural heritage of this community. Particular emphasis shall be directed to vital programs that enrich the lives of the youth of this community. To achieve this purpose, a settlement has been created for the benefit of the public to house and maintain collections, exhibits, a reference library, and facilities for research and teaching."
Furthermore, these programs shall encourage the common man to express and experience his artistic urges and to fulfill the needs of thousands who might not otherwise be involved in the arts, and to admire the arts of their past. The warm nature of folk artists, the friendly atmosphere of the Settlement site and staff, and the non-intimidating programs should encourage youth, the elderly, minorities and the handicapped to become involved in the Settlement's many cultural heritage activities.
A dedicated program of preserving artifacts, buildings and local history is ongoing. This program consists of permanent and rotating exhibits, workshops on identifying and cataloguing artifacts, research of local history topics, and a docent program for interpreting history, and the exhibits and collections.
Board of Directors
|Marilyn Breeze||Ed Rinderle||Richard Schuler|
|John Case||Jimmie Rogers||Dennis Thomas|
|Frank Paulhamus||Jim Schrader||Joe Underhill|
The Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts, Inc. is located on the grounds of former Volusia County Schools surplus property known as the Central School of Barberville (c. 1919), which was first leased from the Volusia County School Board in the year of the Settlement's incorporation, 1976. In the early years, the Board of Directors, led by school teacher Lura D. Bell, struggled to fulfill their dreams of rehabilitating the badly deteriorated school and provide enriching educational programming. Public programs began in 1982, and have steadily developed into those enjoyed by thousands today. The rapid growth of the children's education program influenced the School Board's decision to place a teacher on site to coordinate the programs with mandated curriculums meeting Sunshine State Standards. Additionally, over the years, the program has adapted to meet the growing need for FCAT-based learning benchmarks.
An important transition began to occur as growing attendance created a demand for more space. The Settlement began moving local and regional historically significant buildings onto the property, and a historical "village" setting emerged. Featured structures include:
|1982: Pierson Railroad Depot (c. 1885)
1983: Astor Bridgekeeper's House (c. 1926)
1984: Turpentine Comm./Store (c. early 1900s)
1988: Turpentine Still (c. 1924)
1989: Pottery Shed (c. 1920s)
1992: Lewis Log Cabin (c. 1875)
1994: Midway United Methodist Church (c. 1890)
1996: Huntington Post Office (c. 1885)
1997: Quarters House (c. 1920s)
1998: The Pastime touring boat (c. 1910)
Through the years, additional workshops were built to exhibit various historical trades and lifeways: Print Shop, Wheelwright Shop/Carriage House, Woodwright Shop, Blacksmith Shop, and Timucuan-Myacca and Seminole Villages.
In 1993, the Central High School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Settlement worked to restore the School building from 2003-2006 with funding from Volusia County ECHO Grants-in-Aid Program, the State of Floridas Special Category Grant Program, and private and corporate support.
In 2005, the Settlement purchased the Joseph Underhill House, c. 1879, which is believed to be Volusia Countys oldest existing brick home. Its bricks were made on site from clay found nearby. This property, named an Endangered Historic Property by the Volusia County Historic Preservation Board in November 2005, is located adjacent to the Settlement complex and will undergo restoration and interpretation as a historic house museum and working fernery and citrus grove.