Dunlawton Sugar Mill
Port Orange

The Dunlawton Plantation origin dates back to 1804 when Patrick Dean, an immigrant from the Bahamas, received a grant of 995 acres.  After Dean was murdered by an Indian in 1818, the plantation passed on to his aunt Cecily Bunch.  During the short time the plantation was owned by Cecily since she appeared to have died not too long after Dean, the plantation did not operate and was described as abandoned.  In her will, Cecily left the plantation to John Bonnemaison Bunch McHardy only after the death of her brother John Bunch's death.  John Bunch had received a land grant at the same time as Dean and operated a plantation just North of Dunlawton.

In 1830 shortly after his death and as requested by his sitser in her will, John Bunch gave the plantation to his grandson who a Naval Officer and had no interest in the property.  He promptly sold it to Joseph and Charles Lawton of Charleston, SC for $3,000.  In 1832 Lawton sold the plantation to Sarah Perry Anderson and her sons James and George Anderson for $4,500.  The Anderson brothers imprved the structures and retained ownership the property throughout the Second Seminole War, in which the Dunlawton Plantation figured prominently.

By late November 1835, the settlers within the Territory of Florida were becoming alarmed by the activities of the Seminole Indians.  Some of the Seminole leaders violently protested the policy of Indian removal and the murder of Charley Emathla by Osceola threatened to bring these protests to an armed confrontation.  On December 17, 1835, General Joseph Marion Hernandez ordered the institution of military measures which were designed to protect the plantations in the vicinity of Matanzas, Tomoka, and Mosquito.  Major Benjamin A. Putnam, a St. Augustine lawyer, accompanied a detachment of men to Dunlawton at this time.  Upon arrival, they found that "the Anderson brothers were endeavoring to place the estate in a condition for defense by erecting a stockade.  These efforts were terminated by the impressment of the brothers into service with the detachment".

During the night of December 24, 1835, the Seminole's unrest exploded into massive depredations against the sugar plantations south of St. Augustine.  During the course of the next several weeks, some sixteen plantations were either burned or ransacked by the marauding Indians.
Many of the refugees that fled from the destroyed sugar plantations gathered at Bulow Plantation .  By mid January 1836, most of the necessary provisions at the Bulow Plantation had been exhausted, and an expeditionary force was organized by Major Putnam to secure additional provender.  This force, comprised primarily of poorly trained militia and volunteers, departed for Dunlawton on January 17, 1836. Upon approaching the Dunlawton plantation, it became evident that a number of Indians still occupied the place.
In 1846 South Carolinian John F. Marshall purchased Dunlawton from Sarah Perry Anderson for $8,000 and made a last attempt to re-establish the sugar plantation by installing the machinery from the nearby Cruger-Depeyster mill which was destroyed during the war.  By 1851 his failure signaled the effective demise of Dunlawton Plantation and its involvement with the financial and political history of East Florida. In 1852 Marshall sold the plantation to Charles P. Vaux also from Charleston but due to unpaid dedbt it reverted back to Marshall in 1855. Finally Marshall ended selling the plantation in 1870 to William Dougherty, a lawyer and politician but not a farmer.  After Dougherty's death, the plantation was inherited by his son Charles, after Charles death it passed on to his niece Mrs. Austin Smith who sold it to H. B. Simmons.

By 1890 the plantation was abandoned.  Prominent area businessman J. Saxton Lloyd, owned Dunlawton after the Doughertys.  Lloyd and Dr. Perry Sperber created a theme park called Bongoland, he ended donating the property to Volusia County in 1936. 
Remains of the sugar mill include structural ruins of coquina block and brick, and an assortment of sugar processing equipment which includes the gear mechanisms of the rolling sugar cane press, the iron boiling kettles, and the steam furnace and piston mechanisms used in operating the cane press.  All or part of the equipment here used to belong to the Cruger-dePeyster Sugar Mill .  This remaining equipment represents one-of the first extant examples of the types of machinery required in the processing of sugar, molasses, and rum.

The Dunalwton remains were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.