Exactly what is a “Florida Cracker House?” What features make a home a “Cracker House?” Why did early Florida settlers build that style home? The answers to all those questions and more can be found at Clermont’s Historic Village located at 490 West Avenue, not far from Clermont’s Historic shopping district.
Living in Florida before air conditioning was not for the faint of heart but many of the features of the “Cracker Houses” helped to make life more bearable. The Townsend House (built in 1895) has many of these elements including its large front and back porches. James and Sallie Townsend were major players in the early days of Clermont and well into the twentieth century. James was instrumental in the founding of St. Mark’s AME Church and Sallie was a mid-wife who delivered more than 1,000 babies in and around Clermont. To find out more about these important Florida pioneers and other interesting facts about the history of Clermont; come to the Historic Village any Friday from 1:00 to 3:00 PM or any Saturday or Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Admission is free but a $2.00 donation per person is requested. Group tours at times other than the posted operating hours can be arranged by contacting the Village Manager at 352-593-8496.
If you are interested in knowing more about the history of South Lake County in particular or history in general, contact the Historical Society by going to our website, ClermontVillage.org; by calling Roxanne Brown, Village Manager, at 352-593-8496; or by attending our monthly meetings which are held on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM in the Train Depot on the grounds of the Historic Village (490 West Ave., Clermont). Our next meeting is scheduled for November 14th. You can also like us on Facebook.