Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site
American Territorial Period (1821 - 1845) - Early Statehood & Antebellum Period (1845 - 1860)
Milton, Santa Rosa County
The Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site represents the largest 19th-century water-powered industrial complex in Northwest Florida. Between 1817 and 1855 this was the site of a multi-faceted operation that included a sawmill, lumber mill, grist mill, shingle mill, and cotton textile mill. Additional buildings rounded out this complex, including housing for enslaved female workers, a kitchen, storehouse, blacksmith shop, and community well. Arcadia Mill offers the visitor an historical experience as well as the opportunity to visit a unique wetland ecosystem. Today the site is open to the public and managed by the UWF Historic Trust. It includes a visitor center, museum, and outdoor exhibits. Free guided tours are available.
Did You Know...
- The University of West Florida Department of Anthropology and Archaeology Institute holds field schools at the site every summer.
- Elevated board walk with interpretive waysides leads visitors through the archaeological remains of the mills, across Pond Creek, and through adjacent swamps.
- Historical newspapers indicate that in 1840 forty female slaves were purchased from Virginia to work in the textile mill. By 1850 African American men and children lived and worked at the site.