Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park
The Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park protects the site of a sugar mill that was part of a thriving 5,100 acre plantation owned by David Levy Yulee in the mid 1850's. David Yulee served in the United States House of Representatives, and was elected as Florida's first U.S. senator in 1845.

The sugar mill was operated from 1851 until 1864, processing sugar cane grown on the land around the Homosassa River. The equipment, much of which is still intact, was purchased in New York and brought by ship to the location of the mill. It included grinding or pressing rollers and a large steam engine to drive the machinery. The mill works also included a stone foundation and chimney, as well as large iron kettles to cook down the juice from the pressed sugar cane.

In addition to the sugar mill, Yulee owned vast lands across north central Florida. He was instrumental in building a railroad line that connected Fernandino - on the east coast of Florida - to Cedar Key at the Gulf of Mexico. Levy County, Florida, is named after David Levy Yulee. Even though he owned lands all around the state, David Yulee made his primary residence at his sugar planatation, which he named "Margarita".

The sugar mill was constructed and manned with slave labor. When the Civil War erupted, it was a major source of sugar to the Confederate troops. At one point, the mill is thought to have employed more than 100 slave laborers. At the onset of the war, Yulee resigned his post in the United States Senate and served for a short time in the Confederate Congress. In May of 1864, Union troops conducted a raid up the Homosassa River, fired upon the Confederates, and burnt buildings containing Confederate military supplies. During the raid, they also destroyed the Yulee homestead.

The sugar mill was not damaged during the Union raid of 1864. But it did not remain in operation after that time, and fell into disrepair in the following years. It has been partially restored, and is now protected by the Florida State Park service as a State Park.
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