Historic Markers Across Florida

Bagdad Lumber Mill

Marker ID: FLHM F-882
Location: at the end of east Main St, Bagdad, FL
County: Santa Rosa
Coordinates: N 30° 36.319    W 087° 01.882
  30.60531666    -87.03136666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMTGBN


Bagdad Lumber Mill

In 1829, Joseph Forsyth saw economic potential in the vast pine forest of North Florida. Old growth yellow pine was one of the world's most prized building materials and the deepwater juncture of Pond Creek and the Blackwater River was an open door to the world market. By the early 1830s, Forsyth and his partner Ezekiel Simpson produced 250,000 feet of lumber yearly at Arcadia Mill on Pond Creek. The lumber was moved by flatboat down to the Blackwater River, loaded on larger vessels and shipped to buyers. In 1835 the Florida territorial legislature granted a charter to the Arcadia partners for Florida's third railroad, The Pond Creek and Blackwater River Canal Company. The railway used mule-drawn carts on iron-covered wood rails to transport lumber from Arcadia to the Bagdad Mill here. A steam-powered sawmill installed at Bagdad in the early 1840s expanded production. Eventually Bagdad's shipping market reached beyond the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean to North and South Atlantic ports and to Western European, Mediterranean, and Scandinavian countries. When the mill closed in 1939, trade journals recalled the Bagdad Mill as home to one of the most successful lumber organizations in the Western Hemisphere.
A Florida Heritage Site

F-882 Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership,
Blackwater Pyrates, Florida Public Archeology Network
and the Florida Department of State