Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site

Florida's largest antebellum industrial complex, the Arcadia Mill was the site of a water-powered business that included a sawmill, lumber mill, gristmill, shingle mill, cotton textile mill, and bucket and pail factory. The facility was in operation from 1830 to 1855 when the two-story textile mill burned. The complex included a dam over a quarter of a mile long and about 15 feet high, which formed a 160-acre man-made pond for holding hewn timber and controlling the flow of water to the mills. During the Civil War, several skirmishes were fought in the Arcadia Mill area between Union raiders from Pensacola and local Confederate defenders, and a small Confederate cavalry force frequently used it as its base. Although the mill facilities were abandoned after the 1855 fire, the large dam remained and appears to have been destroyed by the Confederates during the war in order to prevent any use of the site by Union forces. Arcadia Mill contains a visitor center and museum, and an elevated boardwalk through the archaeological remains.


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