If you have not been to Paynes Creek Historic State Park, it is well worth the detour.
It is southeast of Tampa, near the town of Wachula. The park has had a museum for 30 years, and they recently got some of the original artifacts back from Tallahassee to display.
In 1849, renegade warriors burned the trading post and killed a couple people inside, and it started the "Panic of 1849." It all ended when Billy Bowlegs turned the Renegades over to the soldiers for going on a spree of violence across the state. The court never could decide what to do, and I think the four that were turned over were eventually sent to Oklahoma. I will have to check on that, and it has been a long time since I researched this.
Anyway, it is a nice quiet park (except for roosters nearby who crowed at 4 a.m.) Small crowd of locals. But sometimes I enjoy the small festivals more because people can really stay around and talk and tell about thier family history in the area.
One soldier and six Seminoles. Lots of good craft demonstrators. Has a lot of potential. Maybe a reenactment of the burning of the store at future events.
The drought index is 670 in this county, so we were cautious of fires. Only small star fires, and no big whiteman bonfires.
Drought index has a maximum of 800, and this is the worst area in the state, with the highest index Hardee and Highlands County. Forestry is saying that they will issue a burn ban soon.
Paynes Creek empties into the Peace River, and it would be worth another look to kayak. They asked us what the translation was of the original name of the river Hatchee-Locha, and we said Turtle Creek. That makes sense, because they say there are a lot of turtles in this creek.
When Osceola and his family fled Alabama in the Creek War, they came down and lived in this area of the Peace River for about 8-10 years.