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Bagdad in Santa Rosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Bagdad Mill Site

 
 
The Bagdad Mill Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
1. The Bagdad Mill Site Marker
Inscription. The Bagdad Mill Site has been home to a number of different companies that helped shape Northwest Florida. Juan de la Rua cleared land to create a dam and possibly a saw mill at Arcadia on Pond Creek in 1817, but was plagued by labor shortages. In 1828, Joseph Forsyth, an entrepreneur from Connecticut, purchased Rua's land and established an industrial complex that included a mill and pail factory. Two years later, Forsyth formed a partnership with brothers Andrew and Ezekiel Simpson, to build the Arcadia Mill,the first and largest water-powered industrial complex in Florida. The Forsyth and Simpson Company purchased slaves to construct earth and ironstone dam, dig log flumes, and work the mills. By the mid-1830s Arcadia Mill was running two saws and shipping 5,000 board-feet of lumber a week. During Arcadia Millís 38 years in operation, the site (a saw mill, a lumber mill with planning and lathing machines, a gristmill, bucket and pail factory, shingle mill, cotton textile mill, and silk cultivation operation) shaped the political and economic climate of Northwest Florida. When the mill became obsolete, Forsyth and the Simpson brothers built a new steam- powered facility on the waterfront and began construction of the village of Bagdad. The steam engines were powered with sawdust, and fresh water came through a series of wooden pipes
The Bagdad Mill Site Marker near the former site. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
2. The Bagdad Mill Site Marker near the former site.
from a nearby spring. In the new mill, Forsyth employed mainly Northern labor for skilled jobs and enslaved men and local white men for unskilled jobs. The company was reorganized as E.E. Simpson and Company in 1855 upon Forsythís death. On the eve of the Civil War, the mill produced $250,000 of products and employed 150 workers.
 
Erected 2016 by the Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc.
 
Location. 30° 36.234′ N, 87° 1.853′ 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. Civil War and Reconstruction in Northwest Florida (within shouting distance of this marker); Shipbuilding in Bagdad (within shouting distance of this marker); Native Trees (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Skirmish on the Blackwater (about 300 feet away); The Early History of Bagdad (about 400 feet away); The Ecology of the Blackwater River
Entrance to the Bagdad Mill Site Park image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
3. Entrance to the Bagdad Mill Site Park
(about 400 feet away); Bagdad Lumber Mill / Shipbuilding at Bagdad (about 500 feet away); Bagdad Mill Site Park (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bagdad.
 
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryIndustry & CommerceWar, US Civil
 
Another nearby Bagdad Lumber Mill Marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
4. Another nearby Bagdad Lumber Mill Marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 111 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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