Herd on the Street

The last thing you wrangled was probably a TPS report, but it wasn’t so long ago that most Floridians made their living on steeds and heifers. HistoryMiami just opened “Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition,” which is infinitely more interesting than it sounds. Turns out Florida was the first place in the nation to have cattle when Ponce de Leon brought his Andalusian bovines to our state in 1521. The heat-tolerant cows escaped and roamed wild before the Seminoles got wise and starting ranching. But then, the nasty Brits began pilfering their stock, ultimately leading to the bloody Seminole Wars. If all of that history doesn’t entice you to visit, there’s always the modern-day cowboy church. See photos of baptisms in troughs, coffins hitching rides in horse trailers, and a preacher man doubling as a livestock auctioneer. The cracker cattle retrospective will be up through January 23. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday at 10 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday at noon.
Wednesdays-Sundays, noon. Starts: Oct. 3. Continues through Jan. 23, 2010
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Amanda McCorquodale

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