the hurst coontie starch mill
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T he Hurst starch mill in Lemon City, circa early 1900s. Here coontie root was processed into raw starch and shipped, primarily to Key West. Almost every pioneer family, Black and White, dug the roots for their own use or for sale. The root once grew plentifully in the pine woods, but was harvested to extinction in South Florida.

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Native Americans had long ago perfected the technique washing the ground up roots of the small Zamia Palm. In its natural state the plant is poisonous, but when treated properly the flour that is produced is edible. This flour was called coontie starch. The flour could also be used as laundry starch.

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Coontie (pronounced "cumptie") (Seminóle). The starch industry flourished until the 1920s, but plants took up to 30 years to mature and the industry died out when the natural supply was exhausted. The "coontie grounds" near the Cutler and Miami areas furnished an abundant supply.

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The area was first settled in the early 1840s when William English established a coontie starch mill in the area in the 1840s. By the 1850s, William Wagner and a business partner reestablished a coontie mill on a Miami River tributary, which would be named after Wagner. A freshwater spring was found on the tributary in the area, which caused ...

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The Hurst Starch Mill used native Florida coontie roots to make arrowroot starch, which was sold to national baking companies. When the mill opened in 1910, most of the workers were black ...

In addition, the starch of true arrowroot, a rival, was easier to manufacture since that plant is cultivable. In 1926 the A. B. Hurst mill, located in the greater Miami area and the last of the commercial koonti-starch mills still being operated, was demolished by a hurricane.

The finished starch was spread out on canvas driers and kept broken up until completely dry, before it was packed into barrels for shipment. It required one ton of coontie root to make 200 pounds of starch through this process." And another account: Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, on Thursday, February 25, 1836.

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In 1919 the largest coontie mill relocated from along the New River in Ft. Lauderdale to Kendall in Dade County, specifically the southwest corner of U.S. 1 and South Kendall Dr., the present-day SW 104th St. One of the mill's customers was Nabisco. …

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The Hurst starch mill began operating in Lemon City in 1910. The men who dug up the tough roots were black. Thus, a contingent of black laborers were living northwest of what became Miami and were harvesting coontie root and processing it for shipping to Key West for sale before the turn of the century.

ENCLOSURE, SEMINOLE STARCH MAKING [Appendage] (5) Fort Ogden Fla. July 8th, 1879 Capt. R. H. Pratt Dear Sir, According to promise I will ship you a box of coontie (I am not certain about the orthography of this word) by the first boat going from here to Cedar Keys. I cannot [tell] when that will be. The coontie is an article of food among the ...

William Cooley, originally from Maryland, was a farmer who primarily ran an arrowroot (aka coontie) starch mill and whose property was located on the north bank of the New River near the present day 7th Avenue/4th Avenue Bridge.

The foodways approach to archaeobotanical investigation is used in this dissertation for reconstructing lost and forgotten lifeways. Food is a social lubricant that deeply engages with identity. As such, understanding culinary practices contributes

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a large working model of a coontie starch mill (a principal industry of the region in the early days), the rescue of the gravestone of Capt. Jacob Housman (the region's fabulous pioneer), a wire recorder for preservation of the narratives of reminiscences of the older settlers, and a large number

STARCH MAKING: SOUTH FLORIDA'S FIRST INDUSTRY The last commercial coontie starch mill operated in Dade County was owned by Albert Baxter Hurst. Established in 1908 in the vicinity of Little River, the mill was moved in 1919 to a site near this spot where it remained in operation until 1925.

Mr. Hurst used coontie for the subject of a college thesis but other than ... with starch produced at this mill. Starch from this mill was shipped to Italy for the use in the manufacture of spaghetti. During the first World War Mr. Hurst operated his mill 18 hours a day

The Coontie Mill (see pictures of coontie in my set, Woods, weeds and streams.) The Tequestas were the first people to recognize the value of Arch Creek, but they were not the only ones. Around 1858 two ambitious pioneers used the creek and its natural bridge as a …

A scale model of a coontie starch mill of the type used in South Florida prior to 1900 has been presented the Historical Association of Southern Florida by the First National Bank of Miami. The model is presented to Adam G. Adams, left president of the association, by Ralph W. Crum, president of the bank.

Figure 3: Coontie Starch Mill in South Dade. Early families employed makeshift mills to process the root of a cycad plant found in large quantities and which Native Americans in the area called coontie or comptie. The plant yielded, with processing, a starch used in stews, biscuits and breads and represented the area's chief cash crop, with ...

Cooke wrote from what he dubbed "Fort Desolation," at the edge of the Everglades, where he was ordered to guard from the Indians one man making coontie starch. He commented that the mill had been built for a sawmill, and complained about the host of mosquitoes and shaking and noise caused by the machinery.7 The Fergusons returned to find their ...

It is likely that the first structure in today's Spring Garden was a coontie starch mill built on Wagner Creek by William English in the late 1840's. William Wagner and a Captain Sinclair also built a steam-powered coontie mill on Wagner Creek in the late 1850's, perhaps on the same site of English's earlier mill. The area's first known

Native Americans used Coontie as a source of starch. In fact, Coontie is a Seminole word that means "bread" or "white root" because the roots can be made into flour. The short, woody stem and rootstock of the Coontie grows almost completely underground and produces a terminal crown of stiff, evergreen, pinnate leaves up to 3 feet long.

PDF | On Oct 21, 2021, M. Patrick Griffith and others published Genetic Patterns of Zamia in Florida are Consistent with Ancient Human Influence and Recent Near-Extirpation | Find, read and cite ...

The 35 x 15 foot structure was built of Florida pine, roofed with cypress shingles. There were four rooms on the ground floor, a living room, dining room, bedroom and kitchen. The entire first floor was surrounded by a large veranda. Upstairs was a one room dormitory, intended for stranded seafarers.

Publications: Coontie or Comptie South Dade's Last Commercial Starch Mill. by Jean C. Taylor. Update, vol. 3, no. 6 (August 1976) South Florida's First Industry. by Earnest G. Gearhardt Jr. Tequesta, no. xii (1952) Describes the process of collecting comptie roots, making starch, using the starch. Starch Making: A Pioneer Florida Industry