Bagdad in Santa Rosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
A New Century
By the turn of the twentieth century, Simpson and Company was shipping lumber as far away as Scandinavia. Following the deaths of the partners in the Simpson Company the lumber mill was sold in 1903 to Thomas R. Lyon of Chicago, who renamed it Stearns & Culver Lumber Company. At the time of the sale, the company owned 200,000 acres of timber land, a logging railroad with twelve miles of track, forty miles of log ditches, two sawmills, a planning mill, an electric light plant, two dry kilns, a fleet of lighters, and the tug Okaloosa. The new company pioneered new logging methods, and by 1910 employed more than 600 workers Stearns & Culver was in operation until 1912 when the Chicago syndicate changed owners. The new company was first called the Bagdad Lumber Company, then the Bagdad Land & Lumber Company. The Chicago syndicate sold their interest to a group of Florida mill operators led by W B. Harbeson, J. D. Henderson and George O. Waits in 1922. By the 1920s the company was facing a shortage of timber and began to plant new pine trees. An article in the Santa Rosa Press Gazette reported in 1929: 'There is at least of 100 years of lumber left.' This would not prove to be true. The acquisition in 1930 of the Atkinson Tract, one of the largest stands of longleaf pines left in the United States, was not enough to sustain the company, and nine years later it closed. The last log in Bagdad was cut in April of 1939. The federal government purchased the timber land, which was later transferred to the State of Florida and became part of the Blackwater River State Forest.
Center: Turpentine loaded on a barge
Right, top: Bagdad Inn
Right, middle: Employees of Bagdad
Right, bottom: Monorail at mill
Erected 2016 by Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc.
Location. 30° 36.26′ N, 87° 1.987′ W. Marker is in Bagdad, Florida, in Santa Rosa County. Marker can be reached from Main Street 0.1 miles east of Forsyth Street. Touch for map. Located within the Bagdad Mill Site Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6953 Main Street, Bagdad FL 32530, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Longleaf Pine (here, next to this marker); The Architecture of Bagdad (within shouting distance of this marker); Bagdad Mill Site Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bagdad After the Mill (about 300 feet away); The Early History of Bagdad (about 300 feet away); Animals Along the Blackwater River (about 400 feet away); Native Trees (about 500 feet away); Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bagdad.
Regarding A New Century. The Blackwater River State Forest is a significant piece of the largest, contiguous longleaf pine/wiregrass forest complex in the world. Once blanketing the entire southeastern United States, only 3 percent of the forest survives today.
Categories. • Horticulture & Forestry • Industry & Commerce • Natural Features • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 8, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 200 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 8, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.