Visitors learned the history of the mill, which provided lumber and ironstone for the barracks that troops slept in during the Civil War.

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MILTON — Arcadia Mill, an archaeological park in Milton, on Saturday hosted “Sawmills and Skirmishes,” a Civil War tour.

Krystal Johnson, the educational coordinator for Arcadia Mill, led the tour. Beforehand, guests participated in activities including candle making and creating cloth dolls. According to Johnson, candle making was a task many children did in the 1800s; it kept them occupied for long period and it wasn’t dangerous.

Johnson led the group down a trail, shared some history and pointed out artifacts on the way.

“Florida had a minimal impact in the [Civil] War but was greatly impacted by the war,” Johnson said.

Visitors learned the history of the mill, which provided lumber and ironstone for the barracks that troops slept in during the Civil War. The area was home to a sawmill, a grist mill and a cotton textile mill, which were all powered by water wheels. According to Johnson, the community was a chief supplier of lumber and other cash crops during the war, but not food; residents had to find resources in nature to survive.

The Yaupon plant was the only natural source of caffeine in North America, so residents brewed it as an alternative to coffee. The residents also discovered the medicinal purpose behind willow bark, which contained salicin, an anti-inflammatory agent that helps with aches and pains; salicin is found in aspirin today. Sphagnum moss was used as a substitute for cotton bandages and had antiseptic properties that helped clean wounds.

Union soldiers burned down the mill during the war, along with all surrounding mills in Bagdad and Milton. The Simpson family, who owned Arcadia Mill, eventually returned after the war and rebuilt, this time calling the land Arcadia Farms; they farmed luxury goods to sell to local businesses.

The surrounding mills rebuilt, too, and the area was a large mill hub until the 1930s.