Dunlawton's Building Blocks

Dunlawton's Building Blocks (HMVBT)

Location: Port Orange, FL 32129 Volusia County
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Country: United States of America
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N 29° 8.476', W 81° 0.352'

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coquina up close

The ruins here include chimneys and other structures made of coquina, Spanish for "tiny shell." Quarried locally (and elsewhere in the Southeast), this native stone contains mollusk shell fragments and quartz sand, bound together by calcium carbonate. Centuries after the Spanish first used coquina in Florida, frontier Americans chose it for their sugar factory.

Visitors to this mill in the 1830s would have found tightly mortared blocks that looked white or pastel-colored. That's because coquina workers (likely free craftsmen and slaves) applied lime plaster to Dunlawton's structures. After Seminoles burned the Anderson plantation, this coating largely dropped off, leaving the blocks we see today.

By the 1850's, Dunlawton had a new owner and a new look. John Marshall acquired the lands in 1846, then enlarged his sugar works, adding limestone boulders (called bog rock) and slathering them with thicker mortar than the coquina masons had used. Cobbling together buildings and machines was a tradition here.

For your safety and Dunlawton's survival as a historic site, please stay off the ruins and avoid touching the coquina. Future visitors will appreciate your help, and so will Volusia County.

[ Illustration ]
A coquina quarry in Florida.

Detail from a print in Picturesque America, 1872.

[ Photos ]
Early twentieth-century snapshots of the ruins: a coquina machine base and a wall with bog rock. Builders also used brick for the sugar factory's boiler cradles, fireboxes, kettle bases, and more.

Photos courtesy of the Halifax Historical Museum, Daytona Beach

Feel free to touch this piece of cut coquina, and notice the shells that form it. Below the interpretive panel is a lime-plastered block.

These building remains and archaeological resources are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. They represent a rare surviving example of a nineteenth-century agricultural-industrial venture in Florida.
Placed ByVolusia County and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 8:59am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 499429 N 3223636
Decimal Degrees29.14126667, -81.00586667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 8.476', W 81° 0.352'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 8' 28.56" N, 81° 0' 21.12" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)386
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 852-898 Old Sugar Mill Rd, Port Orange FL 32129, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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