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Gulf Hammock Church | Photo © 2016 Bullet, www.abandonedfl.com

Gulf Hammock Church

Location Class:
Built: N/A | Abandoned: N/A
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: David Bulit

Early History of Gulf Hammock, Florida

Gulf Hammock is an extremely small community located near the west coast of Florida that once rivaled Gainesville in terms of size. According to residents, the town was spread out throughout the woods and was run by the Paterson-McInnis Lumber Company.

On the side of the highway today, you can find “Three-Spot“, an old steam locomotive that often pulled 30 to 40 cars as it transported logs from area woodlands to the Patterson-McInnis Sawmill. Originally a wood-burning engine built around 1915, it was converted to steam during its service and was used up until World War II. It was donated in 1969 by the Paterson-McInnis Lumber Company and is now maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation. When the sawmill burned down, the lumber company decided to not reinvest in the community.

Gulf Hammock Church

Down one of the dusty roads is the old abandoned school and church, not surprisingly known as the Gulf Hammock School or the Gulf Hammock Church, depending on who you ask. After its use as a school, it was used as a community center and voting polling center. The county would receive grants to keep the building functioning, but it’s unclear how long the building has remained unused.

The school area in the back has since collapsed, and the pews have been re-purposed by some local residents who have used them as benches for their porches. On my visit, the neighbors across the street warned me to be careful as the walls were on the verge of collapsing. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the building collapses along with the rest of it.

FB IMG 1566785327763
Gulf Hammock Church. c. 1920s

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David Bulit is a photographer, author, and historian from Miami, Florida. He has published a number of books on abandoned and forgotten locales throughout the United States and continues to advocate for preserving these historic landmarks. His work has been featured throughout the world in news outlets such as the Miami New Times, the Florida Times-Union, the Orlando Sentinel, NPR, Yahoo News, MSN, the Daily Mail, UK Sun, and many others. You can find more of his work at davidbulit.com as well as amazon.com/author/davidbulit.

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