YULEE SUGAR MILL RUINS STATE HISTORIC SITE
Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins were 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 the U.S. Senate after Florida statehood.
The 5,100-acre sugar plantation was operated by approximately 1,000 slaves. Crops grown included, sugar cane, citrus, cotton, and produce, just to name a few. Most of the plantation was deeded to Yulee by Spain 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 my 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 from 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.
Across the street from the ruins is the park's picnic area. A six table pavillon is available to groups on a first-come-first-serve basis. Grills and picnic tables are also scattered throughout the picnic area. Restrooms are available. There are no fees charged to visit the park.