Rickety houses and abandoned building surround South Florida. What once was a town full of people now is surrounded by ghosts and the memories of what was South Florida.
Some people have stayed in these towns and others roam the area. But, a day of discovery will give you the chills and make you wonder what happened at towns such as Hopewell and Zion.
Florida is considered popular for its beaches and party scene, but it was not always like this. Most of Florida was used for farming and sawmill production. People moved here because they were interested in agriculture and work. But some environmental events erased the towns from the map. Discover the ghost towns of Florida and get ready for ghost hunting.
Hopewell // Hillsborough County, FL
The community was originally known as Callsville in 1870 but then it was changed to Hopewell. Everyone hoped that everything went well. The area now is surrounded by citrus groves. The Turner Plantation was one of the earliest settlements. Once the slaves were freed, the plantation was divided into small homesteads. The only things that remain are the McDonald house, Hopewell cemetery and church, and the Hull House. You can also find citrus groves in the area.
White City // Saint Lucie County, FL
This city was founded by Danish settlers around 1893. A man called Myers came into town and tricked people in town by taking down payments for land and later disappearing. The Great Freeze of 1894-1895 damaged the crops and many farmers decided to leave town. There are some old houses that continue to be part of the town. But, everything is inhabited.
Hague // Alachua County, FL
This place was a railroad town in the 1880's but the timber usage and the boll weevil destroyed the early industries. The town had a post office, community school, sawmill, commissary, and cotton mills. It seems like everything they did in the early days was work and no fun. The Methodist church was built in 1880 and restored 1892. It still has the original benches and wide board.
Anona // Pinellas County, FL
Start to notice how many towns had no bars. The town received its name from the Anona sweet apples brought from Key West. What remains now is the Lowe house and barn, the Anona cemetery and school. In 1873, John Wells established the first church that is now considered the Methodist church. The area now belongs to Randolph Farms and the pioneers are buried at the Anona cemetery.
Slavia // Seminole County, FL
This town was settled by immigrants from Slovakia. The industrial workers wanted their children to be raised in farms and away from wicked and large cities. Members of the Holy Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church bought 1,200 acres for $17,400. The settlers lived in old shacks while the land was being prepared. The Slavia Colony Company disappeared in 1920 and the remaining acres were divided between the stockholders. Today, nobody lives in Slavia.
Zion // Palm Beach County, FL
The place was built on the East Coast of Florida by the beach. This town had a small house with several rooms for the refugees. Maybe they arrived through boat or by land. All we know is that the area is empty and maybe it's cool to take your girl on a picnic after ghost hunting. Zion had a small post office that was discontinued in 1892. The house burned down in 1927 and many of the settlers disappeared.
Holopaw // Osceola County, FL
Imagine yourself working and living at your job? Well, this town was all about keeping your workers closer. Holopaw means "walkway" or "pavement" in Creek Indian. The town was owned by a company and most of the employees rented their homes from their boss. The JM Griffin Lumber Company became the largest operation employing over 500 people. The company featured one of the first electric sawmills. The mill closed during the Great Depression and many of the workers left town to seek employment somewhere else.
Olympia // Martin County, FL
The town was built with a Greek style with the purpose of producing motion pictures. The Hobe Sound area was renamed to "The Picture City" and the town had plans to be the next Hollywood of the east coast. But let's be honest, Florida has never been able to establish a real production company. The streets of Olympia had Greek names such as Zeus, Olympus, Mercury, and Saturn. In 1928, a hurricane devastated the entire city. Maybe you will see some ghosts roaming the streets too.
Quay // Indian River County, FL
The town was known as Woodley but changed its name in honor of Senator Matthew Quay. This town didn't last long on the map. There is an old wooden bridge that crossed the Intracoastal. Later the town was named Winter Beach. Maybe, they could not decide on a name.
Fort Dade // Hillsborough County, FL
The place is in ruins and is just accessible by boat. The original town of Fort Dade is located on an island by Tampa Bay called Egmont Key. The troops lived here and it was considered a military outpost. The only bad thing? mosquitoes. It made life unbearable. there is a lighthouse that is 137 years old and many of the walls from the forts are destroyed. If you are really looking to a real ghost town experience, grab a ferry a visit Fort Dade. The population used to be over 300 but not a soul lives there today.
Kerr City // Marion County, FL
Only 100 people used to live here. The town had a post office, sawmill, general store, pharmacy, and school. They had a cotton plantation during the civil war, but the Freeze of 1894-1895 was too rough for the residents. They left town and some of the houses remained. Floridians are not used to the cold. There was a hotel that burned in 1907 and the post office operated until 1941.
Hall City // Glades County, FL
In the 1900s a preacher from Chicago tried to build this town. There were around 100 people living here but not much happened. There was not a real development and most of the things were far away. It was completely abandoned by the 1920s. If there are no jobs there isn't a reason to stay here, right?
Pine Level // DeSoto County, FL
Let's call this the ghost gang town. The Sarasota Gang made Pine Level their headquarters. There were always gunfights and gambling around the town. It was like the wild wild west. People attended the saloons and drinking was a pastime. After a while, the gang was captured. The only thing that remains is the Pine Level Methodist Church.
Ellaville // Suwannee County, FL
During the 1800's Ellaville was one of the most popular towns. There was a lot of business going like a sawmill, logging, railroad car building, and turpentine. If you were a job seeker, Ellaville was the place. But like any ghost towns, something bad happened and people left. Two negro men were lynched in Ellaville in the spring of 1985. It was not a safe town anymore. Eventually, one of the houses burned and the other building like the post office declined.
Sisco // Putnam County, FL
This is a completely deserted area. The town was founded by a colony of 7th Day Adventists. The past residents had to leave because of the Freeze of 1895. That freeze not only scared people away but it always destroyed most of the vegetation. Without food, people can't survive.
Bean City // Palm beach County, FL
Today looks like an empty land but it was a farming community. The farmers grew string beans and the population was mainly farmers and workers. Like any good farm in Florida, a hurricane always wipes it out. The hurricane of 1928 demolished most of the houses. Today is a sugarcane field but no person lives there.
Romeo // Marion County, FL
You might think this is a romantic town given its name. But no. The old town was a farming community built in the 1850's. Apparently, there was a prison in the area. It's a little creepy if you go around the area. You would never think there were a post office and people living there. Unfortunately, most farmers left Florida.
Ghost towns in Florida are very hidden. Sometimes these towns can be in your house's backyard. It is hard to spot them as most of what remains are few wood houses, lighthouses, and a bunch of abandon buildings.
Florida is growing at such a fast speed that its history is getting buried. Some books do not explain the railroad history of Florida. A trip to one of these ghost towns will make you look to your city in a different perspective.
So, who are you taking out on your expedition?