Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park
by Mary C Miller
A few years ago I moved from South Florida – where tropical gardens and the Everglades were my favorite haunts - to Central Florida. The only things I knew much about here, were Disney and the beautiful hills, lakes and oak trees of Lake County.
Little by little I'm finding new treasures.
I recently had an occasion to go to Bunnell, Florida. The visit wasn't going to be more than a few hours, so I decided to look at the map and see what else may be nearby. I saw a place called Bulow Plantation Ruins just 15 minutes away. I googled it and put it on my list of things to do.
Although easy to find, when I started down the long narrow, packed clay, very straight road I wondered if I had made a wrong turn. About one half mile in, I came upon a sign: "OLD BEACH ROAD". In the early 1800s this was known as the Old Beach Road. It was also the original entrance road to the Bulow's plantation.
I was on the right track. Another half mile later I arrived at the entrance.
Bulowville was the name of the plantation purchased and developed by Charles Wilhelm Bulow, shortly after the United States obtained Florida as a territory in 1821.
1,000 acres of the 6,675 acres were planted in sugar cane. In addition, they grew rice and indigo. The Bulow sugar mill was the largest in east Florida from 1821 until it was burned by the Seminoles in 1836 at the beginning of the Second Seminole War.
The signage around the ruins tells the entire story in the 'voice' of one of the sons. The presentation graphics are well placed and informative.
The stones fallen from the original structure are covered with green moss that adds to the beauty. I spent a almost three hours there soaking up the history and beauty of the place.
If you are a history buff, hiker, boater or just curious, this park is a must see!
There are walking paths and picnic facilities in tons of shade and a boat ramp provides access for canoes, kayaks and small powerboats to scenic Bulow Creek (a designated state canoe trail.) Anglers can fish from the dock or a boat.
Please call Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic Florida State Park for current hours, days open and fees. (386) 517-2084
P.S. The Atlantic Ocean is just 5 minutes away. I spent another hour at Flagler Beach just thinking and enjoying the salt air.