Juniper Springs pool and mill house - Ocala National Forest, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Bon Echo
N 29° 11.031 W 081° 42.730
17R E 430757 N 3228564
Quick Description: 1935-1936
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 2/5/2020 9:39:08 AM
Waymark Code: WM121Z8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member rjmcdonough1
Views: 4

Long Description:

The stone pool and mill house at Juniper Springs were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp between 1935 and 1936. The mill was used to produce electricity to power the resort at Juniper Springs.

Today the wheel continues to be turned by the flowing waters of Juniper Spring. However, it is no longer used to produce electricity. The mill house is now an passive interpretive center, with pictures and plaques revealing the history of the CCC work at Juniper Springs and beyond. Meanwhile, the stone pool with its turquoise waters continues to be a star attraction at the park.

A nice description of the spring pool and mill house is found on the website

Built around a beautiful second magnitude natural spring, the park features nature trails, a swimming area, picnic facilities and a campground, all originally built by CCC workers. The ingenuity of the program's workers and leaders is really demonstrated, however, by the remarkable millhouse they built at the springs.

Juniper Springs was an ideal place for a public recreation area, but there was one problem. The site was located miles from the nearest source of electricity and the cost of running lines out through the national forest to the new park was prohibitive. The millions of gallons of water that rush from the springs each day, however, soon sparked an idea for a solution.

As work went forward on the recreation area in 1935-1936, the CCC came up with a plan to generate electricity while enhancing the scenic beauty of the springs.

They built the structure known today as the millhouse or old mill at the foot of the main pool of Juniper Springs. Water flowing from the springs was channeled into a narrow sluice and then allowed to pour back out to its natural configuration.

The rushing water that poured through the sluice turned an undershot waterwheel (so named because the water ran under instead of over the wheel). That wheel, in turn, powered a generator in the millhouse that produced more than enough electricity to meet the needs of the recreation area.

The concept worked like a charm. Not only did the millhouse create electricity, but the log and stone design of the structure added a beautiful touch to the setting of the springs. It because a much loved part of the site.

As interpretive panels at the old mill explain, the power plant was a good example of a 1930s "green energy" project. It generated electricity without destroying the scenic beauty of the springs and without producing pollution of any kind.

The Juniper Springs Millhouse no longer generates electricity, but the structure has been beautifully preserved. The stone wall at the waterwheel end is a beautiful piece of CCC masonry work.

The structure today houses an exhibit that details the history of the CCC and its role in developing Juniper Springs for public use.
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