Where Gumbo Was #394
Gumbo was found at McIntosh Sugarmill by George G and PortMoresby. It is six miles north of St Mary's, Georgia and located across the street from the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. For years people thought it was the remnants of a Spanish Mission.
The mill was built in the late 1820's by John Houstoun McIntosh. It's an example of 'tabby' architecture and the place is also known as The Tabby Ruins. Tabby is a concrete made by burning oyster shells to create lime. The lime is then mixed with sand, broken oyster shells, ash, and water.
John Houstoun McIntosh was a leader of a group of US citizens who seized part of Spanish Florida in 1812; he was appointed Governor or Director of the 'Republic of Florida' in 1812, supported by U.S. army troops. A year later, the invasion ended and Houstoun went back to Georgia, where he planted sugar on his plantation using slave labor. He bought two other plantations in 1819 and named the enterprise New Canaan. In 1825 he began to seriously cultivate sugar on his plantations. One of the places he built was the mill near St Mary's.
The mill had three rooms in row, each used in a separate process. The eastern room was used to crush the cane to extract the juice. The middle room was where the juice was boiled and clarified into a syrup, and the molasses was drained off. In the last room, the syrup was poured into containers where it was allowed to crystallize into granular sugar. The molasses was then poured on the finished sugar. Both the sugar crystals and molasses were salable goods and residue was used as animal feed and to fuel the boiling room.
After Mcintosh's death in 1836, the mill was sold and was active at least through the Civil War. Then it just sat and deteriorated through the years.