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A man guides sugar cane stalks into a large wooden mill.
Information icon A volunteer feeds sugar cane into the cane grinder. Photo by Susan Heisey, USFWS.

Okefenokee steps into history with Pioneer Day

Each year, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia hosts a Pioneer Day event where visitors can witness what life was like during the homestead period of the 1800s and early 1900s around the vast Okefenokee Swamp. The event centers around the refuge’s Chesser Island Homestead and includes exhibitors and demonstrations representing the early swamper life. One of the event’s highlights is watching volunteers feed sugar cane into the cane grinder and see the sweet cane juice boiled down into cane syrup.

The 2017 Pioneer Day, held November 18, was a resounding success. More than 1,600 visitors attended and watched a blacksmith demonstration, quilting, and soapmaking, while sampling homemade biscuits and butter, and to bluegrass music and four-note singing.

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