Three Florida Pine Barrens Ghost Towns to Visit

Florida has a buried past of ghost towns that once flourished in the pine forests, but it is also well-known for its sunny beaches, theme parks, and citrus products. These deserted communities are the remains of several once-thriving but eventually faded industries, including glass, paper, and bog iron. Here are three ghost towns in the pine barrens you might visit if you’re searching for an unusual and daring approach to see the state.


Deep in the Ocala National Forest’s Pinelands, Harrisville is a real ghost town from the late 1800s. There was formerly a post office, a school, a church, and a wealthy paper mill community with roughly 150 residents. But the paper factory closed its doors in 1891, leaving the village abandoned. The mill’s haunting remnants are still visible today, albeit they are gated off for security and preservation purposes. You can also take in the natural splendor of the woodland by hiking along the adjacent trails.


Another abandoned town that was formerly a bustling industrial hub—this time for phosphate mining—is Brewster. At its height, the American Agricultural Chemical Company founded it in 1910, and its population exceeded 1,000. The town featured a power plant, a theater, a hospital, a school, a hotel, and a train station. But the phosphate reserves ran out in 1962, and the business had to close the town. The power plant chimney and some of the foundations are still visible, but the majority of the buildings have been moved or destroyed. To find out more about the local geology and history, you may also pay a visit to the Mulberry Phosphate Museum, which is located nearby.


The Central Cypress Timber Company established Centralia in 1910, and it is now a ghost town that was once a bustling timber town. At the time, it was the biggest cypress sawmill in the world, with a population of roughly 1,500. The village featured a hotel, a commissary, a school, a church, and a railroad. However the lumber company ran out of trees in 1922, and the village was shut down. Some of the concrete foundations and the train tracks are still visible, but most of the structures have been destroyed by fire or removed. You can also take a tour of the nearby Hernando Wildlife Management Area, which is home to a variety of flora and wildlife.

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In Summary

To sum up, the state of Florida is home to amusement parks, sunny beaches, and the ruins of once-thriving industries such bog iron, paper, and glass. However, it also has a hidden past full with ghost towns. A distinctive and daring window into the state’s past is provided by three fascinating ghost towns located in the pine barrens. The ghostly remains of Harrisville, a late 1800s paper mill village in the Ocala National Forest, are visible but walled off for preservation. The town is now abandoned. Brewster was a phosphate mining center that prospered until 1962, leaving only foundations and the chimney of a power plant. When the lumber industry ran out of resources, Centralia, which had previously been the greatest cypress sawmill town in the world, closed its doors in 1922. Even though these abandoned communities are now peaceful, a visit offers an intriguing perspective on Florida’s industrial history and the tenacity of nature’s reclamation of its areas.

By Caleb Anderson

Caleb, a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling, has dedicated his career to bringing the latest news to the public. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to unbiased reporting, He navigates the dynamic world of journalism, covering a wide range of topics from local events to global issues. Caleb's insightful articles reflect his dedication to keeping readers informed and engaged in the ever-evolving landscape of news.

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