History, Sugar Mill Ruins

This week I had the opportunity to visit the site of the Sugar Mill Ruins where sugar was made by the settlers before the Seminole Indians living in Florida burned it down in 1835.

Florida Sugar Mill Plantation-5

About the only thing left are the walls and the details surrounding what happened when the making of sugar was a risky business one hundred fifty years ago.

Dunlathon Sugar Mill Gardens in Florida (5)

The machinery for this business was then “moved near the river” where the mill was rebuilt. The Seminole Indians also burned this Sugar Mill down, thus leaving only these historical traces of its existence preserved for future generations to visit. Today, this second place is known as the Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens in Port Orange, Florida.

Note: Coquina  (Florida’s native stone) was the building block for the Sugar Mill.

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, December 6, 2013

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19 Comments

December 6, 2013 · 9:45 pm

19 responses to “History, Sugar Mill Ruins

  1. Great post. I love history and this was new to me. Your nice photos completed the story very well.

  2. patricksgarden1

    Entertaining read. Your images, on a much smaller scale, reminded me of ruins of castles and buildings in Britain. Would be a blast to be hired as the landscape architect in reinventing that space.

  3. Somehow I’ve missed the sugar mill ruins on my many trips to Florida, but it looks like an interesting place.

  4. This looks great. I’ve been here 43 years and there’s still so much to learn about the state.

  5. Interesting how much the large vats (pits?) resemble what I was told were leather tanning pits at the San Gabriel Mission where I went to grade school. After school I had to wait for my mom to pick me up and it was easy for us to play on the grounds of the church which were also a museum and historical site where apparently the Gabrielino Indians had worked at leather tanning and I think soap making, which would logically follow from the tallow extracted from the leather processing. Can’t imagine that they would let anyone scramble up and over those pits nowadays…it was a long way to the bottom!

    • Thanks for sharing your interesting story about the vats. I’m glad you survived those days of playing around those pits. When I was a child growing up in the Smoky Mountains, I frequently hiked and played close to the edge of some tall cliffs. Fortunately I survived never falling over the ledge in remote places considered dangerous by adults.

  6. This looks like another interesting Florida spot for us to visit! 🙂

  7. Amy

    Thank you for the history info, Mary! Great photos of the Sugar Mill Ruins.

  8. Hmmm… we’re driving down to Florida for Christmas – too bad we’re not passing by there or I would have stopped! Next time!

  9. fascinating story and photos

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