The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House
closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Questions please call 386.985.5644 *Park admission is required to visit and dine at the restaurant*
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The Old Spanish Sugar Mill , sits beside the spring named for the legendary explorer Ponce De Leon. Originally constructed in the 1830’s to crush sugar cane utilizing the power of the 16 – 18 million gallons of water flowing from the spring daily, the mill features a 30 foot. undershot waterwheel. The mill was rebuilt around 1900. A chimney, which remains on the site, was part of the original sugar mill operation, and displays a 1931 DAR plaque proclaiming the date of 1570 as the year of mill construction. This was based on inaccurate information. The mill was destroyed twice over the years. It was destroyed during the Second Seminole War in 1835 and again during the Civil War in 1864 when the mill was being used to provide corn for the Confederate troops. Legend tells of mill stones being thrown into the spring although none have ever been recovered.
In 1961 the mill was again scheduled for destruction. Just an old building to many, but Peter Schwarze felt quite differently. A fifth generation grist miller newly arrived in Florida. Peter saw treasure that must be saved. He arranged to lease and restore the mill, moved his wife and daughter to the “Fountain of Youth” and began once again grinding flour in the mill building. His gristmill was of his own design, an adjustable under runner mill with small French Buhr stones that were electrically powered. The setting was perfect and the restaurant and bakery utilizing his flours began. The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House restaurant continues under family operation today. Customers sit at tables with electric griddles in the center and make their own pancakes right on the griddles. They are served two different types of homemade pancake batters, one containing stone-