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The Barberville Pioneer Settlement is a non-profit 501c3 corporation established in 1976.


In 1976 a group of Volusia County teachers with a passion for the arts; Lura Bell, Anne Johnson, Mary McClancy, Dorothy Felton, Marion Hillabold, Shirley Keppel, Dorothy Johnson and Viola Pierson founded the Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts, Inc., as a not for profit organization.


At first the property known as the Central School of Barberville (c. 1919), and was leased from the Volusia County School Board, however in 2001 the School Board bestowed ownership of the property to the Board of Directors of the Pioneer Settlement.

Our Mission

To educate and entrust the public and future generations with knowledge of the pioneer lifestyle of our forefathers, through hands on experience, folk life demonstrations, preservation and historical exhibits.

Board of Directors


Joe Underhill, President

Diana Johnson, Vice President

Joan Carter, Secretary

Dell Hoyt, Treasurer 

Joseph Stone

John Case

Dennis Thomas

Paul Howes

Richard Schuler

Bruce C. Hawley


Our History
In the early years, the Board of Directors led by 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.
Our Vision


To become Florida’s

premier living history



Gudrun Benson, Associate Director

Erick Nielsen, Associate Director

Christen Gandy, Events Coordinator

Heinrich Hole, Education Coordinator

Seasonal Volunteers

Susie & Donald Lewis

Jed & Audrah Lewis

Eric Emery

Chris Collins & Phil Pittenger

Outreach Program


To further the Settlement's mission, a representative is available to speak about the Settlement and it’s history to the community, at civic group meetings, retirement facilities and other public or private gathering.


For more information contact

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