After visiting Colonial Williamsburg Village it is
hard for any other historic village not to pale by comparison.
However, I felt that Pensacola Historical Village had a charm all its own.
We have found that often it is the small museums that are the most interesting. I think it is because these museums are generally started and run by a small group of people who take personal pride in their formation, growth, and operation. In Pensacola, they took an area of their city that was part of the original city, refurbished (or moved) many of the houses and now present it to the public for a look into Pensacola's past.
To begin with, the Historic Pensacola Village is very easy to locate as it is directly in the center of town. We found that for a small admission fee, you got to take a self-guided tour of many of the buildings and museums, plus you got to take a guided tour of four of the buildings that are otherwise closed to the public. We found that tour not only included the buildings within the village but several museums as well. All in all it covered over 12 city blocks. Since the guided tour was not to begin for awhile, we decided to see what we could on our own first. We covered several of the houses, plus the Museum of Commerce and the Museum of Industry. As the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum was located several blocks away we decided we would save that until after the tour.
We met our tour guide, Robert Sirney at the Tivoli House where we had originally purchased our tickets. He did a great job showing us through the 1805 Frontier-Lavelle House, the 1870s Victorian Dorr House, the 1832 Old Christ Church, and the 1920s Lear House. Robert was very thorough in the description of the items in the houses and their uses. One of the things that we particularly liked is that pictures were allowed everywhere, even inside of the houses.
It was interesting to see what life must have been like in Pensacola back in the 1800's. We learned that many people in this area succumbed to Yellow Fever. Spread mostly by the dreaded mosquito. The houses had no screens on the windows, so people slept with their windows and doors standing open in the summer months for circulation. Unfortunately, this allowed any number of insects along with rodents to enter the houses freely.
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