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.