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Record Group Number: 000158
Series/Collection Number: .S 1597
Creator: Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs. Florida Folklife Archive
Title, Dates: Dudley Farm project records, 1983-1985, 1987, 1989-1992.
Amount: 1.75 cubic ft.
30 audio tapes
Medium Included: audio tapes
photo slides
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     Legislation in 1979 (79-322, SB 1208) transferred the Florida Folk Arts component of the Stephen Foster Memorial to the Florida Department of State. Operating as the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs from ca. 1985 until 1995, the Bureau coordinated the annual Florida Folk Festival and directed such programs as Folk Arts Apprenticeships, Folk Arts in Education, Folk Heritage awards, annual research surveys, and numerous other projects and programs. From 1995 through June 30, 2021, the renamed and reorganized Florida Folklife Program continued the majority of these operations from within the Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Historic Preservation in Tallahassee. During the 1995 reorganization, the State Archives of Florida acquired the Florida Folklife Collection from the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs’ previously maintained Florida Folklife Archives. Legislation in 2021 (2021-71, L. O. F., HB 909) transferred the Florida Folklife Program and its operations from the Division of Historical Resources to the newly renamed Division of Arts and Culture, previously the Division of Cultural Resources, effective July 1, 2021. The program is charged to "identify, research, interpret, and present Florida folk arts, artists, performers, folklore, traditions, customs, and cultural heritage and make folk cultural resources and folklife projects available throughout the state."

    The Dudley Farm is located near Jonesville, Florida, in western Alachua County.  The farm was begun by Philip B.H. Dudley in the 1850s and was run by several generations of his family, including his son, Philip B.H. "Ben" Dudley, who took over in 1881 and died in 1918.  Eventually, control of the farm came to Ben Dudley's daughter, Myrtle.  The farm was a generalized farm that provided cash crops as well as sustenance for the family and farm workers; major farming activities on the farm went through a number of transformations over the years.  Labor-intensive crops such as cotton and sugarcane gave way to crops such as trees and livestock.

    In 1983, Myrtle Dudley donated the farm to the state of Florida in a Living Trust in hopes that the state could restore the farm and allow visitors to see what farming was like in the past.  The Florida Department of Natural Resources' (now Environmental Protection), Division of Recreation and Parks took charge of the restoration.  As part of the restoration project, and at the request of the Division of Recreation and Parks, the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs conducted a study in 1989-90 of the material and cultural heritage associated with the sugarcane grinding complex on the farm.  The Dudley Farm is now administered by Oleno State Park (Sante Fe Basin GEOPark).

Summary:     This series consists of records generated during the study and evaluation of the Dudley Farm by the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs. The series includes draft copies and the final copy of the report submitted to the Division of Recreation and Parks, as well as progress reports and notes. The final report contains background and historical information on the farm; descriptions of the processes involved in the traditional production of sugarcane syrup, including an in-depth description of the cane grinding complex, supported with photographs and drawings; recommendations for the restoration and historical interpretation of the farm; and a bibliography of materials on sugarcane syrup production and other subjects relevant to the project. The report includes many photographs, drawings, and plans. There are multiple copies of this final report. Also included is a report from the Florida Bureau of Archeological Research of the Division of Historical Resources on archaeological test excavations on the Dudley Farm sugar furnace, a report on an existing sugarcane grinding operation at the Water-Davis Farm in Jonesville, and audio tape logs of interviews with Dudley family members and other informants. The series includes photographs and slides of the farm, equipment, Myrtle Dudley, a sugarcane grinding operation, and other relevant subjects. Additional records included in this series are research materials collected and referenced during the Dudley Farm project, drafts with handwritten notes for the final report, bibliographies, and audio recordings.

Finding Aids: Searchable index to images available online at #
Folder listing available. 0
Additional Physical Form: Photographic negative.
Reproduction Note:
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Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Dudley family
Florida. Division of Recreation and Parks.
Sugarcane industry Florida
Farms Florida
Historic farms Florida
Machine-readable artifacts. aat
Photographs. aat
Negatives. aat
Slides. aat
Alachua County (Fla.)
Jonesville (Fla.)
Dudley Farm (Jonesville, Fla.)
Added Entries Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs
Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research