Brian Rucker


Industrial development in antebellum Florida was rare; the new state’s economy was based primarily on agriculture, as were the other southern states. Two exceptions, however, are the interconnected industrial complexes of Arcadia and Bagdad, located in northwest Florida approximately twenty-five miles from Pensacola. Arcadia had its origins in 1817 and operated as an industrial site until 1855. Bagdad began in 1840 and became one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of yellow pine lumber until its lumber mill closed in 1939.