Century-Old Florida Farmhouse is Dismantled

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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.

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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.

The house and land as it looked in 2013.
As it looked in 2016 after the pines had been cleared.

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.

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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.

Standing here on my last visit in 2016, the sky was perfect as the Spanish Moss in the oak trees billowed above me.

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  1. Amazing photos and story. Why were the pine trees torn down? I am hoping it wasn’t because the land was sold to build cookie cutter homes 🙁

    1. The property was planted to timber many years ago with the plans to harvest and sell the timber. I believe the property has been replanted since then.

  2. I can just imagine the stories that could be shared by the people that lived there . The majestic oaks know them….

    I am saddened that it is no longer there.
    Thank you for sharing your pictures.

  3. I love this! I live about a half hour from Jefferson County, and am so fascinated by all of the older homes and buildings there.
    Thank you for preserving history with the camera lens and your fascinating stories!

  4. Wouldn’t it be fun to know what they salvaged and where it went? I would love to know.if only those walls could have talked.
    Beautiful pictures. Thank you.

  5. Awesome article! Would have loved to seen some pictures of the inside of it.
    I can just see your family living in that little cabin hundred years ago with those beautiful trees surrounding it.
    Thank you so much for sharing the story. Barbara

  6. I love your stories. They are short and sweet and they convey your in depth feelings of the old homes and monuments you write about and I love it. Just reading your stories throws me into a time warp. It makes me so sad to see that most of these old monuments of time are leaving us one by one. It seems that every year I read of another old home that has so much history has had to come down by a wrecking ball for some lame reason or another. It truly grieves me. Keep up the great work!

  7. Thank you for what you do…..taking lovely pictures and researching the history. I have read many books of the Civil War, families in that time and so much enjoy the way they lived and the gorgeous houses. Your pictures and stories bring it all to life.

  8. I love this cute little cabin. What a beautiful spot it was in. I’m sure in the hot long days of summer they were glad to be surrounded by those oaks! Love your stories. Please keep sharing them with us! Thank you.

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