The Old Spanish Sugar Mill
is a unique restaurant located inside the DeLeon Springs State - Park Recreation Area . Opened in 1961 by Peter and Marjorie Schwarze, we have been serving in the same unusual style ever since.
Each of our tables are equipped with a griddle and we bring you pitchers of homemade pancake batters (both a stone ground mixture of five different flours and an unbleached white) and you pour them on and flip them over right at the table.
You may order blueberries, bananas, peanut butter, pecans, chocolate chips, apples or apple sauce to create whatever sort of pancakes you choose. We have sausage, bacon, ham, eggs, homemade breads and an assortment of other treats to accompany your pancakes.
Where are you located?
- We are about one hour north of Orlando and about 1/2hour west of Daytona Beach off of 17-92 approx. 7 miles north of DeLand. We are inside the DeLeon Springs State Park.
When are you open?
- The restaurant serves everyday except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Monday thru Friday 9 - 4 / Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 8 - 4. We close at 5 PM daily.
Do you serve breakfast all day?
- Yes! Until 4 PM.
Are there other things on the menu beside pancakes?
- Yes! We have sandwiches and salads in addition to other breakfast items such as French Toast & Eggs. We serve the full menu all day long till 4 PM.
Do you take reservations?
- We take reservations on a very limited basis for parties of 10 or more. We can accommodate groups of up to thirty on weekends and fifty during the week. Because we are so small we take only three reservations per day and your entire party must be present in order to be seated. We hold these reservations only ten minutes so be realistic when you make your reservations. No reservations are accepted on holidays The Fountain of Youth boat tour operates on Spring Garden RUN from DeLeon Springs to Lake Woodruff in the Woodruff Federal Wildlife Refuge and operates 10, 11 12 and 1pm, (minimum of 8 passengers ), trips with special charters available.
What does it cost?
- Pancakes are $4.95 per person. Side orders of meats, eggs, fruits, beverages range in price from $1.85 to $2.50 depending on what you order. Sandwiches and salads range from $4.00 to $9.00.
Do we have to pay to get into the park?
- Entry fee to the park is $6.00 per car (up to 2 to 8 persons), (additional folks are $2.00 each). Your admission to the park allows you to hike, swim, picnic and enjoy all of the facilities of the State Park.
What else is there to do at the State Park while visiting the restaurant?
Paddle a canoe or kayak down Spring Garden Run into the Woodruff Federal Wildlife Refuge. The 19,500 acre refuge boasts an incredible 212 species of birds, many of which may be seen along the Run. Alligators abound and the occasional manatee may wonder by.
Swim in the refreshing 72 degree waters of our spring fed pool. Legend has it that this is Ponce De Leon's fabled Fountain of Youth. Tube rentals are also available for use in the Spring Pool area.
Walk the nature trail or explore the Wild Persimmon hiking trail as it winds along the edge of the swamp.
Stroll the grounds or simply sit on a bench and watch the herons, egrets and osprey along the spring run.
Ride the Fountain of Youth Echo History Tour Boat and let Captain Frank fill you in on the history, flora and fauna of our area. Watch closely and you're sure to see wildlife along Spring Garden Run. Tour boat excursions into the Woodruff Refuge on Spring Garden Road available everyday for 50 minutes at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm.
The Old Spanish Sugar Mill , sits beside the spring named for the legendary explorer Ponce DeLeon.
Originally constructed to crush sugar cane utilizing the power of the 16 – 18 million gallons of water flowing from the spring daily, the mill boasts a 100 ft. undershot waterwheel. The actual construction date of the mill is a source of much debate.
A chimney which remains on the site was part of the original sugar mill operation displays a DAR plaque proclaiming the date of 1570 as the year of mill construction. Florida historians and archaeologists disagree and feel that evidence would better support an early 1800's construction.
The mill was destroyed at least twice and possibly three times over the years. Again, historians are not in agreement. It is known that it was destroyed during the Second Seminole War (1835 – 42) and again during the fighting of the Civil War when the mill was being used to grind corn for the confederate troops.
Legend tells of mill stones being thrown into the spring although none have ever been recovered. In 1961 the mill was again scheduled for destruction. Just an old building to many, Peter Schwarze felt quite differently.
A fifth generation grist miller newly arrived in Florida, Peter saw a treasure that must be saved. He arranged to lease and restore the mill, moved his wife and daughter to the 'Fountain of Youth' and began once again grinding flour in the mill building. His gristmill was of his own design, an adjustable underrunner mill with small French buhr stones that was electrically powered.
The setting was perfect and the restaurant and bakery utilizing his flours began. The park in which the mill is situated and the mill building itself are now owned by the state of Florida and are part of the Florida State Park system.
Boat Rental Agreement
(.pdf) - General Release