You wouldn’t know it today, but quiet little Barberville received its name from a family feud as big as the notorious Hatfield’s and McCoy’s feud. Back in 1870s, it was the Mizell-Barber Feud that fueled cattle land disputes that ranged from Orange County to Lake County. Mizell was the Orange County Sheriff; Barber was a wealthy cattleman who refused to pay some taxes. After all the gunsmoke and dust settled, no less than seven were dead (however, the number varies depending on which family you talk to). The Barbers settled in the land in this area.
Originally named Midway, for its mid-point between two local Methodist Church rider’s areas, the name was changed to Barberville in honor of the Barber family.
First established in 1763 as a trading post along the St. Johns River, Barberville is centered on a crossroads known by most inlanders headed to the beach – the junction of SR 40 and US 17. A can’t-miss-the-kitsch antique store sits across the street from the Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts, a living history museum that invites you to explore Florida’s past through historic structures such as an 1885 post office and 1920s pottery shed. The Settlement regularly hosts groups of school children on field trips. The Settlement’s two annual festivals are a big draw: the Spring Frolic and the Fall Jamboree. Also part of the Settlement is a Timucuan Village with replica structures depicting Native American life in the area.