The Archer Depot
We're settling into Archer, Florida, population of 1,118. Archer was founded in the 1840's as a frontier village named Deer Hammock or Darden's Hammock. When the Florida Railroad reached the village in 1858, the town shifted eastward and began to grow.
From the town's website:
In the 1840's through the 1850's the town now known as Archer was called Deer Hammock, and later Darden's Hammock. Early settlers lived in small cabins and grew fruits and vegetables and hunted for their food. Their drinking water was supplied from a sinkhole in the area.
David Levy Yulee changed the name of the town to Archer, in honor of his recently deceased friend James T. Archer, Florida's first Secretary of State.
Yulee was the owner of the railroad and was responsible for bringing it to Archer. The town's businesses grew up around the depot, which was then located on McDowell Street.
New settlers and businesses continued to arrive in Archer.
According to Rance Braley's book Nineteenth Century Archer, by 1844, Archer had nine general stores, a sawmill, three saloons, a hotel, and many other businesses. In the mid 1890's, Henry Plant built a rail line through Archer to Tampa.
After the Civil War, the Confederate governments documents and treasury were bought to Archer by a group of men hoping to join up with Jefferson Davis and rebuild the Confederacy in Texas. Upon learning of Jefferson's capture in Georgia they decided to give Mrs. Davis a portion of the gold and divide the rest among themselves. Rumor has it that one man buried his share somewhere in Archer!
Every year, around the first Saturday in June, Archer celebrates Yulee Railroad Days in honor of David Levy Yulee, who named our town and bought the first trains here.
Since so much of Archer's growth and history is based around the trains, we thought our first few pictures of Archer should be of the Depot.