Elliott Sugar Mill
Merritt Island

William Elliott was a London merchant, the second son of Sir Gilbert Elliot, 3rd Baronet of Stobs, and Member of Parliament from Roxburghshire, Scotland.  He became Lord Heathfield, Baron Heathfield of Gibraltar in 1787 before his death in 1779.

In 1767 Elliott received a 1,000 acre land grant from the British government.  After acquiring additional 1,200 acres west of the original tract that extended all the way to the marshes of the Indian River, he constructed a sugar mill described as “a complete sugar works: one large mill house, one boiling and curing house and twenty-eight Negro houses.” It was complete with rollers and crushing machinery, a firebox and chimney with boilers and kettles, and two 120-gallon stills for making rum.  In addition, three dwellings were constructed for the white overseers, along with a kitchen and a wash house, structures for storing the sugar barrels prior to shipment, barns, stables, blacksmith and cooperage shops all of which were necessary for operating a sugar plantation.  An interesting recount of the establishment of this plantation and sugar mill can be read beginning on page 30 in the study titled Canaveral National Seashore   commissioned by the National Park Service.

The sugar factory of William Elliott operated between 1767 and 1779 with more traditional work force of African slaves rather than with indentured workers as Turnbull did.  It ceased operations as a result of a devastating plunder by raiders from a Spanish privateer, following Spain’s declaration of war against Great Britain in June 1779.
Elliotts Sugar Mill was located south of Turnbull's New Smyrna Colony, it was the southernmost plantation along the Atlantic coast during the British occupation of Florida (1763-1783).   According to William Bissett who owned a plantation nearby, sugar was grown in that area with “tolerable success”.   Elliott’s sugar works were the first completed in East Florida during the British occupation and is Florida’s oldest standing sugar processing facility.  Indigo was also grown on the plantation at one point, as evidenced in a letter from Andrew Turnbull to Governor Grant dated August 1769 and stating that Ross (Elliott’s manager) would produce 50 pounds of indigo per acre.

Its ruins lie in the town of Oak Hill and the now extint community of Shiloh, just outside the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.