Sunday, December 27, 2020

Leesburg Moss Yard

Unloading moss at the Leesburg Moss Yard 1946 (photo:

 In Leesburg on 3rd St where I turned onto the bike trail there was a moss yard. Spanish moss was collected from trees and when cured went to furniture and upholstery companies or by train to Detroit where it was used in car seats.
Spanish moss is not actually a moss but an epiphyte, meaning it grows on other plants but is not parasitic. Native Americans weaved dried moss into clothing, and early white settlers braided it into ropes and netting and stuffed mattresses with it.
Curing the moss was known as ginning, the gray outer bark of the moss had to be removed by soaking it in water until it rotted away. The longer the moss soaked, the tougher and cleaner the inner fiber would become with the most valuable moss taking six months to cure. State officials in the 1950s estimated the overall value of the Florida moss crop to be about $500,000 per year but all this ended with the advent of synthetic materials.
 Boy delivering moss to Leesburg Moss Yard 1946 (photo:

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