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David Levy Yulee Sugar Mill

Homosassa, Florida

Photos Courtesy of Florida State Archives Photographic Memory Project

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View of Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park Homosassa, Florida.

This picture shows the chimney of the cook furnace and the large wheel and shaft that powers the grinding mill. The furnace would have been a wood burning furnace and the amount of wood needed to keep the two large large kettles boiling for several hours would have kept several men busy splitting wood continuously for days.

Yulee's was a large operation with over a thousand acres in sugar cane and the kettles were probably kept fired up for several weeks each winter. Sugar cane attains its maximum sweetness only after a good frost. Sugaring usually took place between mid-November and Christmas. Below are photos of the kettles each would hold about 100 gallons of juice.

View of Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park Homosassa, Florida.

This photo is a close up of the large cane grinder. Usually the grinder would be powered by mules, horses, oxen or a water wheel. Since this cane mill is not adjacent to a running stream of water and there is no evidence of a water wheel, it was most likely powered by the above mentioned animals.

Cane is fed between the two rotating cylinders crushing the cane stalks, cane juice runs into a trough to the large kettle or into a barrel if the kettles are full. The cane juice is boiled down to one of three consistencies; Syrup, Molasses or until crystallization occurs. The amount of time it takes to reach any stage of the process is entirely dependent on the sugar content of the juice. The sweeter the cane the faster it processes.

David Levy Yulee was a major supplier of sugar to the Confederate States Army.