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Thread: Balm, Florida

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Balm, Florida

    Balm is a semi ghost in Hillsborough County, FL. I visited the site today and found the Sweat Family, original postmaster's house, demolished with the steps the only remnant remaining.

    The post office in danger of closing. There is a move to save it but the office is so small that it is doubtful that the mail will not be transferred to a neighboring PO.

    ORIGINAL 1907 SWEAT FAMILY HOME, FIRST POSTMASTER
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    SITE AS OF TODAY 2011
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    OLD RAILROAD BUILDING IS STILL THERE AND USED AS A GROCERY.
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    THIS OLD PACKING HOUSE, NO LONGER USED, IS STILL THERE NEXT TO THE RR GRADE.
    Name:  PackingHOuseSm (2).JPG
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  2. #2
    Ghostdancer's Avatar
    Ghostdancer is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Good photos Mike, does Florida have a lot of ghost towns?
    "Here lies Lester Moore; four slugs from A-44. No Les no more." - Grave marker at Tombstone's Boothill Cemetary

  3. #3
    Tsarevna's Avatar
    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Thanks for sharing the pics. That is pretty sad. That old house looked like it was grand in its day.

    I think Florida probably has quite a few ghost towns.
    Everybody thinks of Florida as a touristy-state now, but before the Disneylands and such were there, it was a big agriculture state. So, logically, it must have at least as many agriculture ghosts as any other state.

    The broad trend with agriculture over the 20th century was that of workers/youth abandoning small towns where they were born for the big cities in search of jobs. It is sometimes portrayed that the youth "got bored" of small-town life and looked for opportunity elsewhere. Sure, that is true to some extent, but the main reason is different. After industrialization, a single farm tractor or machine could do the job that it used to take 60 laborers to accomplish with hand tools. Day laborers found their jobs had vanished, and eventually so did the blacksmiths, stable-hands and draft animal handlers. Machines replaced people and animals to such an extent that even to this day it is very difficult to support a small town with basic infrastructure like schools, stores and post offices.

    Florida also has ghost towns unique to the South. Towns abandoned due to hurricane damage (or obliteration,) and towns abandoned due to civil war-era damage or war-time economic disturbance.

    I've only been there a few times, and mainly to the "touristy" spots. But I'd love to go back and explore the real Florida.
    Last edited by Tsarevna; 07-31-2011 at 09:17 AM.

  4. #4
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    Where is it that the old house stood? My husband cannot remember. He has shown me the old PO and he remembers the packing house. Thanks, Marylou Sweat

  5. #5
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    The old Sweat house sat Kati-Cornered (sp) to the current PO building. On the corner lot. Across the street is a large newer home that the Sweat's live in now. If they haven't passed away.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostdancer View Post
    Good photos Mike, does Florida have a lot of ghost towns?
    Florida has tons of ghost towns. However, you won't see too many buildings. I have traveled the State and found many sites with foundations and footprints. There are some with some buildings, however. Check the GT website under FL GT's and check the pics.

  7. #7
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    I was actually planning a trip out there this evening as I have a new hankering for these types of things. My girlfriend and I decided to hunt out Hopewell and Welcome instead. I'm not sure we found the right area in Hopewell, but Welcome was pretty cool.

    The part that throws me off about these ghost towns (I've always lived in Florida, in the Tampa area at that, so I don't know it it's just a Florida thing) is that they're not really ghost towns. Most still have people living there with the older buildings there to district people like me. Then again, we also went at night, so I couldn't really see anything other than the bigger buildings. This is an interesting hobby for sure. And Mike, I see you're from Valrico... I'm from Brandon... Maybe one day we'll catch up at one of these sites.`

  8. #8
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    Alright. i live in balm, and the original sweat home in gone. it was torn down a while back. the later one is located down sweat loop road, across from a house with a green privacy fence. the packing house was recently painted blue. theres also a store called the red white and blue market, which used to be doris's.

    p.s. if ya come to balm ghost hunting, just go out in the groves.

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