Point Washington, the bustling lumber town

Point Washington

The Wesley Mansion is the focal point at Eden State Gardens.

Special to The Sun
Published: Friday, June 27, 2014 at 11:54 AM.

Just north of U.S. Highway 98 east is the small community of Point Washington, home to small cottages resting under moss-draped hundred-year-old oaks, alligators, bear, dirt roads, and folks who like it that way.

In some ways, the hamlet has not changed much since the early days when it was settled.

In the late 1800s Point Washington was a bustling lumber town, with a population estimated between 1,0000 and 2,000 people.

William H. Wesley and Simeon Strickland, who later became Wesley's father in law, around 1890 built a sawmill on the edge of Tucker Bayou at Point Washington. The Wesley Lumber Company included a sawmill, planer mill, and dry kiln with a dock for loading barges in Tucker Bayou.

The mill's main product was the prized yellow-heart pine. Yellow heart pine was a prized wood for building because it was a very hard wood.

Wesley operated three sawmills in that location between the 1890s and 1930s where the yellow heart pine was forested locally in at the turn of the century. After the logs were cut they were floated to Pensacola on barge-like structures for shipping nationwide.

Strickland gave land near the thriving sawmill to his daughters for two identical two-story houses between 1895 and 1897.

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