EAST MANATEE -- Myakka City is throwing a 100th birthday party for its 1914 schoolhouse Saturday.
And it's not just for history buffs.
There will be plenty of family fun and activities: shootouts by the Hole in the Head Gang, decked out in 1840s frontier dress; Lance's Cruzin' to the Hop collector cars; Home Depot wood craft projects for children; demonstrations by Jones Roping on swinging a lariat and calf roping; singing by the Wee Care Christian Academy; and Stacey Horton's Cheer Jam student performances.
One of the more unusual activities for kids is the opportunity to decorate a used horseshoe as a picture frame.
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Jennifer Osterling, who served four years as trail boss for the Cracker Trail Ride, plus another four years as assistant trail boss, organized the horseshoe activity.
"We are taking a throw-away piece of iron and making it into something new," Osterling said.
Also planned is a presentation on Myakka history by Manatee cattleman Cully Rowell, a health-and-safety fair sponsored by Wee Care Christian Academy and Myakka City Foundation; gospel acoustic music by Whosoever; and advice from Manatee County master gardeners.
The menu includes pulled-pork sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers and sweet tea.
At the center of it all is the 1914 schoolhouse, which will be open for visitor walk-throughs.
The 5,500-square-foot building was decommissioned as an active school building in 1993.
Marilyn Coker, president of the Myakka City Historical Society, has led efforts to save and restore the schoolhouse for two decades, not only as a showcase for Myakka history, but also as a community meeting place.
The historical society is applying for a special category grant from the Florida Division of Historical Resources, and will announce a local matching grant on Saturday, Coker said.
All activities will be from 10 a.m-3 p.m. on the schoolhouse grounds, 10060 Wauchula Road, or at the Myakka City Community Center next door, Coker said.
"Visitors will have the chance to walk through to see what's been done, what needs to be done, and the possibilities for the use of the building," she said.
This year, the historical society had a new roof put on the schoolhouse and has hired a new contractor to complete the project.
"We have a lot of activity planned for five hours. Manatee County residents have really supported this event, and come together to help us have a nice day," Coker said.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter@jajones1.