The Cedar Keys: Pencils, Lumber, Palm Fiber and Brushes
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 29° 08.140 W 083° 02.182
17R E 301895 N 3224731
Quick Description: A historical marker about the Cedar Keys in Cedar Key, Florida.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 7/25/2008 4:26:17 PM
Waymark Code: WM49HA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member tiki-4
Views: 82

Long Description:
The marker on the text reads as follows: "Harvesting redcedars (a form of juniper) for pencil manufacturing, along with pines and baldcypress for lumber, was of great importance to the Cedar Keys and the early development of North Florida in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In 1849, German entrepreneur J. Eberhard Faber (1830-1884) arrived in New York hunting splinter-free wood for pencils. He found abundant redcedar in Florida's Gulf Hammock/Waccasassa Bay area between the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers. He bought land and timber, floated logs to the Keys, and shipped logs to the family factory in Germany. In 1858, Faber built a slat mill on Atsena Otie (Depot Key), directly south of this location, and shipped slats instead of logs. In 1862, he built the Faber pencil factory on New York's East River (near the current site of the United Nations) and supplied it with slats from his Cedar Keys mill, a practice facilitated by the 1861 completion of David Levy Yulee's (1810-1886) Florida Railroad connecting the Keys and Fernandina Beach. The Eagle Pencil Company followed Faber's lead, building its New York factory in 1868 and supplying it with redcedar slats from its own mill built on this site in 1876. This industry flourished on the Cedar Keys until the local resources were depleted and the slat mills were destroyed by a hurricane in 1896. Augmenting Cedar Key's redcedar-for-pencils industry of the era were other forest-based products. Yellow pine and baldcypress lumber was milled on the Keys by Suwannee Lumber and Fenimore Steam and Planing mills on Atsena Otie and Way Key, respectively. Cabbage (sabal) palms were harvested and used for dock pilings locally and as far away as Key West. Later (1910-1952), the Standard Manufacturing Company developed a process, established a mill, and produced brush fibers and Donax® whisk brushes from young cabbage palms. Palm fibers were shipped nationwide and as far as Canada, Germany, and Australia. The rich and diverse forest resources of the Cedar Keys and surrounding area, and the entrepreneurial energy of many were central to the settlement and development of the "Cedar Keys." They provided homes and livelihood for thousands, products needed and enjoyed around the world, and a proud legacy for Florida."
Marker Number: F-584

Date: 2006

County: Levy

Marker Type: Roadside

Sponsored or placed by: The Florida Society of American Foresters and the Florida Department of State

Website: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
In your log, please say if you learned something new, and if you took any extra time to explore the area once you stopped at the historic marker waymark.

Please post a photo at the marker location.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
hart612 visited The Cedar Keys: Pencils, Lumber, Palm Fiber and Brushes 10/23/2018 hart612 visited it
ad4re1 visited The Cedar Keys: Pencils, Lumber, Palm Fiber and Brushes 6/17/2016 ad4re1 visited it
Pnerissa visited The Cedar Keys: Pencils, Lumber, Palm Fiber and Brushes 5/4/2012 Pnerissa visited it
Markerman62 visited The Cedar Keys: Pencils, Lumber, Palm Fiber and Brushes 12/17/2011 Markerman62 visited it
debbado visited The Cedar Keys: Pencils, Lumber, Palm Fiber and Brushes 11/7/2011 debbado visited it
Marine Biologist visited The Cedar Keys: Pencils, Lumber, Palm Fiber and Brushes 7/25/2008 Marine Biologist visited it

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