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

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