Exploring at Triple N Ranch Wildlife Management Area (Old Homestead Site)

Trailhead

Trailhead

I explored at Triple N Ranch Wildlife Management Area located in Osceola County by the small town of Holopaw. It is a large area with around 16,000 acres of property that has many trails to hike and places to roam.

The place has a lot of history as well the area was part of the last large open range in the United States. At the beginning of the twentieth century Florida south of Orlando was the only place east of the Mississippi where the population density was less than two persons per square mile.

Open range ranching continued in Florida until 1949, when the Florida Legislature passed a law requiring all cattle to be fenced. The central Florida palmetto prairie was home to the Florida cow, a small, bony, long-horned descendant of Spanish cattle that was able to survive heat, bugs, and poor forage.

Throughout Triple N Ranch are hammocks where homesteads once stood. I hiked out to an area by Crabgrass Creek where I discovered one such possible homestead site. I found some bricks, fence posts, wood and barrels laying around. Nearby I also found part of an old vehicle on it’s side. I am not sure what model it is but some have suggested it could be a 1930’s Model A Ford. What do you think it could be?

I really enjoyed searching around the area and discovering the history. It has inspired me to learn about and explore this place further to see what else I can possibly uncover. I left all the items I found as they were so that hopefully for a long time to come others will be able to experience this history as well.

My Videos

Old Vehicle

Old Vehicle 2

Exploring The Homestead Site

Crabgrass Creek

Resources

Tom Choma’s Blog Triple N Ranch

Out in The Boonies Triple N Ranch

Triple N Ranch Wildlife Management Area

Hammock by Homestead Site

Hammock by Homestead Site

Hiking towards the Homestead Site

Hiking towards the Homestead Site

Old Vehicle

Old Vehicle at Homestead Site

Old Vehicle

Old Vehicle at Homestead Site

Old Vehicle

Old Vehicle at Homestead Site

Checking out Crabgrass Creek

Checking out Crabgrass Creek

Exploring Holder Mine in Citrus Wildlife Management Area

Shovel Mark at Holder Mine

Shovel Mark from Digging at Holder Mine

I explored around Holder Mine in Citrus Wildlife Management Area located in Withlacoochee State Forest and found some interesting things left over from the old mining operations. At one time phosphate was mined here but long since then nature has reclaimed the area so it’s nice to experience the trails around the mine. Along the way I found some old pillars and a large foundation near one of the pits.

The area where the pillars are seem to link into the old railroad grade that passes by. There were a couple of them left around two feet tall and you could see where something was attached to them. Closer to the area by the railroad grade was a series of larger pyramid-shaped pillars as well. These may have been used as some kind of foundation to something. Maybe a water tower for example but I am not sure.

As I explored near the bottom of the mine where it has filled up with water I saw a large foundation down there. You could see where some kind of structure stood on top of it. If you have any suggestions on what some of this stuff could be feel free to comment. I posted some photos and be sure to watch my videos for a good look around the area.

My Videos

Mining Ruins at Holder Mine

Mining Ruins at Holder Mine 2

Possible Water Tower Foundation

Pillar Remains

Hiking Around The Mine

Resources

Citrus WMA

Withlacoochee State Forest

Florida Hikes! Citrus Hiking Trail

My Hike at Holder Mine

Exploring Holder Mine

Exploring Holder Mine

Dig Mark at Mine

Dig Mark at Mine

Pillar by Mine

Pillar by Mine

Pillar by Mine

Pillar by Mine

Possible Water Tower Foundation

Possible Water Tower Foundation

Foundation by Mine

Foundation by Mine

Foundation by Mine

Foundation by Mine

Relics of Orleans Ghost Town in Withlacoochee State Forest (Water Cistern)

Water Cistern

Water Cistern

In the Citrus Wildlife Management Area at Withlacoochee State Forest is the old townsite of Orleans. Orleans was settled in 1885 by Reverend Young as a farming and citrus community. The population in 1887 was 60 and in 1895, it was 100. Probably wiped out during the big freeze of 1895.

For sometime now I have been exploring areas around what I what think is the townsite to see what I can uncover. Awhile back I got a tip that there was a water cistern out there but didn’t know the location of it. Well I finally was able to make it out to the area where the water cistern is. I found it south of Orleans Cemetery in the woods there. Along the way I even discovered pieces of Herty Cups from the turpentine era in that section of the forest.

The water cistern has a brick lined narrow opening at the top and opens up wider underground. I would say the cistern is around 20 feet deep or so. It was empty and I could only view it from the top as there is now way down into it. The opening is around 2-3 feet wide and stands about a foot off of the ground.

I wondered if there was a homestead nearby at one time but didn’t see anything in the immediate area. I did find an old barrel ring that was about it but who knows what else could be found. I had been searching for this cistern for awhile and am glad to have seen it. It is just one of the interesting things I have found while exploring this area. Check out some of the photos below and my video as well.

My Video

Old Water Cistern

Resources

Withalcoochee State Forest

Citrus WMA

Orleans Cemetery

Water Cistern

Water Cistern

Water Cistern

Water Cistern