Boyd Farm Tenant House | Jefferson County, FL | c. 1800s
Nestled peacefully beneath a collection of ancient oaks was this stoic reminder of a time long ago. On the edge of an expansive farm, this cabin is thought to have been built in the days before the Civil War and according to one local story, may have housed a family of enslaved people on the plantation of the Boyd Family.
But for most of its years, it served as a shelter for sharecroppers who farmed the land in exchange for housing. The tenants who worked here farmed cotton until the 1920s when boll weevil decimated crops and tobacco was planted in its place. I wasn’t able to confirm many details about its history from this point, but one local told me that they remembered people living there in the 1950s before it was turned into storage for farm equipment.
This modest cabin had become a favorite stop of mine on each of my trips north from Florida into Georgia. And as majestic as these oaks may seem in the photos, I still don’t think images can properly convey the feeling I felt, standing here.
On my first visit in 2013, the land behind the house was planted with young pines and you can see in these images below the difference from the visit I made in 2016 after the land had been cleared of its trees.
I can’t count how many times I stopped here to make photographs of this humble place. Something about it intrigued me and no matter how many photos I already had of it, I figured I always had an extra few minutes to stop and make a few more.
In 2017, I found myself very grateful for this collection of images when I drove by this old friend to find that it was gone. This was the first structure I ever documented that was lost. It taught me an important lesson to take as many photos as I could of other endangered sites that might be lost one day too. I can’t say them all but marking their place in history with photos and research will help ensure they’re aren’t completely lost forever.
As it turns out, it was dismantled shortly after my last visit there. A local salvage company took the house apart piece by piece with the hopes of saving any materials that might be repurposed.