Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site in Milton, Florida, represents the first and largest 19th century water-powered industrial complex in northwest Florida.

Welcome to Historic Arcadia

Set among the pine forests of Santa Rosa County, Florida, our 42 acre property will take you through 200 years of history.

Between 1817 and 1855, the mill site developed into a multi-faceted operation that included a sawmill, a lumber mill with planing and lathing machines, the Arcadia Pail Factory, a shingle mill, textile mill, an experimental silk operation, and one of the first railroads chartered in territorial Florida. Arcadia also included a thriving industrial village of mixed ethnicity including enslaved African Americans, Anglo-American laborers, and Anglo-American owners and managers. The site’s historical significance extends beyond its antebellum roots including a few small Civil War skirmishes, the Arcadia Farms period during the late 19th to early 20th century, the Great Depression, and the historic preservation movement that protected the site during the 1960s.

Historic Arcadia seeks to promote life-long learning, community engagement, critical thinking, and historical and cultural understanding within a broad context. Visit Arcadia to explore and enhance your local educational experience beyond UWF campus borders. 

Are you related to Arcadia?

Historic photograph from Arcadia Homestead

Aunt Mary with Simpson children, date unknown

We are compiling a database for the descendant community of Arcadia! We are looking for people related to those who lived and worked at the mill including descendants of the enslaved African-Americans, overseers, and owners. Common names for Arcadia include Simpson, Forsyth, Overman, Bushnell, Twitchell, Willis, Ahrens, and Creary.

If you know or think you might be related to our site, please fill out this form and let us know!

 

Trivia
What plant is nicknamed Old Man's Beard?

Spanish moss is nicknamed Old Man's Beard after a legend about a Spanish explorer getting stuck climbing a tree.