Sunday, July 18, 2021

Oxford and Pine Level

“Todays club ride is going to Wawa” – no it’s not – it’s going to Oxford or what’s left of it. That is to say what’s not been buried under Walmart, Wawa, Aldi, a self storage company, Murphy Express and numerous other businesses. But hidden behind and between all the new stuff are traces of the old Oxford and even the settlement of Pine Level of which only the cemetery remains.

Pine Level is a ghost town. The only records of its existence are that it had postal service from 1855-1860 and the sign over the entry to the cemetery “Pine Level Cemetery 1865”.

Oxford was settled around 1870, the railroad came through in 1885 and by 1900 it had a town hall, a newspaper and was known especially for its cantaloupe and a rich variety of agricultural products.
These old homes in Oxford are south east of the 466/301 crossroads
There are old stores on CR 106 and Jennings Citrus at 466/301 has been packing fruit since 1949.
Follow the canopy road behind Wawa past the church and you will find Pine Level cemetery.
The word “Level” in Pine Level piqued my interest as I had seen it before at Spark Level church to the east of of Cherry Lake, aka Lake Sumter. It indicates a tract of flat land.

Sunday, July 4, 2021


 Last week I was riding south on the Chitty Chatty Trail on my way to Adamsville via Meggison and Warm Springs Road when it occurred to me to wonder how we rode to Adamsville before Morse Boulevard went through to 44. To find out, click on my Strava activity below from September 6, 2014.

 The original Methodist, now Baptist Church at Adamsville was built in 1852 and is the oldest church in Sumter County which is hardly surprising as the county wasn’t created until 1853! John Adams was the first pioneer to settle on the old Andrew Jackson Highway which was also called the Fort King Road and served as a stage coach route. In 1860 there were 1,549 settlers around Adamsville who grew oranges and vegetables, and raised cattle, hogs and chickens. Adams donated an acre of land for the church and the cemetery which is his last resting place.
 From the historical marker by the roadside one learns “Sumter County was created by an act of the Florida Legislature on January 8 1853. The new county was created from the southern part of Marion County and a contained a large segment of what is now Lake County. The community of Adamsville was selected as the first county seat. Near this site was erected a log building to serve as the county courthouse until the county seat was moved to Sumterville in 1858.”
Well I got my pictures then dodged between the stage coaches on the the Andrew Jackson Highway to cross to Marsh Bend Trail via the gap in the fence by the utility boxes opposite the church – a great shortcut but one that that was not available way back in 2014.