YULEE SUGAR MILL RUINS HISTORIC STATE PARK
This site was once part of a thriving sugar plantation owned by David Levy Yulee. Yulee was a member of the Territorial Legislative Council, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate after Florida statehood. The park contains the remnants of the once-thriving 5,100-acre sugar plantation: a forty-foot limestone masonry chimney, iron gears, and a cane press. The steam-driven mill operated from 1851 to 1864 and served as a supplier of sugar products for southern troops during the Civil War.
Approximately 1,000 slaves operated the 5,100-acre sugar plantation. Crops grown included sugar cane, citrus, cotton, and produce just to name a few. Spain deeded most of the plantation to Yulee during the Spanish occupation. The most imposing feature of the plantation was the sugar mill located near the Homosassa River. The mill operated for 13 years, producing sugar, syrup and molasses. (Molasses was used to make rum.) The mill was abandoned during the Civil War and Yulee?s plantation home, located down the river, was burned. The plantation and mill never recovered from the war. During a visit to this small park you will see the ruins of this once prosperous mill. Still standing are the steam boiler, crushing machinery, and large cooking kettles (all shipped to Florida from New York) used to process the sugar cane. Also remaining are the stonework chimney, well and foundation all quarried and constructed by the slaves. A small oval pathway leads visitors around the ruins to interpretive plaques that explain how the system worked.