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Pioneer Village vandalized over the weekend

Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 11:46 am

By Rachel Christian
Staff Writer
Bullet holes and broken windows were among the damage discovered at the Pioneer Village in Shingle Creek Sunday morning.
It is the eighth act of vandalism the cluster of historic and replicated structures has sustained since 2014, according to Donnita Dampier, executive director of Osceola County’s Historic Society. Five of the reported cases have occurred this year alone.
According to law enforcement records, a historical society staff member noticed the damage after arriving at Pioneer Village around 9:20 a.m. Nov. 12.
Nearly all the windows at the Lanier House were broken, and the door of a historic building dating back to the late 1800s suffered significant damage. Objects in many of the structures were said to be carelessly tossed around or out of place.
Bullet holes were found in windows and signs on the property, Dampier said.
Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.
Dampier said the latest act of vandalism struck the historical site property just hours after one of the group’s biggest annual events – Osceola County Pioneer Day.
“Saturday was a great success with over 2,000 people in attendance,” Dampier said. “But discovering this the very next morning definitely put a damper on everything.”
Dampier added that the historic society is working closely with law enforcement to prevent situations like this in the future. The two groups have discussed increasing security measures, including additional cameras and alarms on the property.
Dampier said some of the village’s past property damage was eventually traced back to misbehaving teens. But the director noted that the bullet holes found at the site this weekend concern her.
“We’ve never sustained that kind of damage before,” she said. “That’s why we’re taking these additional security measures seriously.”
The educational group is also reaching out to the public for donations to help repair the damage.
“As a nonprofit group, we’re already dealing with major budget constraints,” Dampier explained. “Every dime counts, and incidents like this can really set us back.”
The historic society has launched a fundraiser on its Facebook page to assist in repair costs and new security equipment.
The group has already collected $2,700 toward its $5,000 goal.
Those who are interested in making a contribution can visit the group’s Facebook page at Osceola County Historical Society.