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Featured Review
Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park
The chimney can be seen easily from the road. The picnic area is on the other side of the road from the ruins. 5.83 Florida ratingStar
Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park guyonthego

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park is a 6 acre historic site with parts of a foundation and a chimney associated with a 19th century sugar mill. The historic site also has a picnic area with grills, benches covered by shelters and bathrooms.

The mill and a related plantation were owned by David Levy Yulee, who also was a US Senator and served in the Confederate Congress during the US Civil War. In its day the Yulee plantation was quite an operation with over 5,000 acres and 1,000 slaves. The principal crops were sugarcane, citrus and cotton. The mill produced sugar, molasses and syrup. The mill began operations in 1849 and interestingly escaped destruction in 1864 when the plantation house was destroyed by Union soldiers during the Civil War. Work at the mill was hot, difficult and dangerous. The focus here was on production not the safety of the workers. It was thankless work performed by slave labor. The mill ruins were owned privately until 1923 when they were donated to a civic group and then were transferred to the state of Florida for historic preservation in 1953.

Little is left of the actual mill so you have to use your imagination to consider how it might have looked and operated. The most notable remaining feature of the mill is the chimney. There also is some ironwork, gears and shafts, but overall the ruins are not especially memorable or interesting. As for historical interpretation, there were a handful of basic signs that explained mill features and how it worked. There also was a sign about Yulee. The site is not staffed, is free, and can be seen in a few minutes. However, since the ruins are limited in scope and the historical information is scant, a visit here is unlikely to be of interest even to avid history buffs. The traffic noise was fairly loud as well so the park would not be a prime choice for a picnic.
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March 2015
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