Friday, January 2, 2009

New Smyrna Beach Sugar Mill

Located just off Highway 44 in New Smyrna Beach are the remains of the Cruger-dePeyester Sugar Mill. The remains of the mill date to the 1830's. What is left is mostly some coquina walls and a couple small pieces of machinery the rest having been carted off either to the Dunlawton Sugar Mill just north in Port Orange or taken away by those dealing in scrap metal. There are some interpretive signs but no literature for the visitor to take with them. According to one of the signs during the 1890's a story in the Atlantic Monthly hypothesized that these were the remains of a chapel. Some even suggested that Christopher Columbus had been in the area. Of course these were just romantic dreams.

According to the signs sugar cane was made in the following fashion: 1) A steam powered cane crusher extracted juice 2) The juice was then heated until it thickened and then ladeled into cooling troughs 3) The crystalized sugar was then packed in barrels to dry in a storage room called the purgery. 4) Once dry it was ready for sale.

Also on property is a short and rather disapointing nature trail. Plan on the walk taking about 5 minutes at most and don't get your hopes up for seeing anything too interesting. The property also has some picnic tables and facilities. It would be a nice area to have a picnic lunch. Overall if you stop to see the ruins plan on spending no more than half an hour. The park is free and closes at dusk.


World of Kris said...

hey, this isn't the same suger mill ruins that we went to is it? I thought the ones we went to were in port orange? but it sounds like a similar description with the little nature trail.

Redd Family History said...

No this is a different one. You are correct the one we went to is in Port Orange. It has the concerte dinosaur sculptures and is much larger. The sugar mill ruins are also bigger in Port Orange and from what I can tell are probably close to 50 years newer.