Strawn Citrus Packing House

Bob White Brand Citrus Label

Theodore Strawn, an Illinois native, settled in western Volusia County in 1882 and began an orange packing operation. Though the Great Freeze of 1894-95 largely eradicated neighboring groves, Strawn's grove of 'Bob White' oranges survived and gained widespread infamy. As a result, the business continued to prosper.

In 1921, the original wooden packing house was destroyed by fire. It was quickly replaced by a new state-of-the-art metal structure with a distinctive sawtooth roofline. The walls were built of stamped copper-alloy steel, and designed to be fireproof.

For decades, the Strawn family enjoyed prosperity. Only their best oranges were given the 'Bob White' label and shipped north, while lower quality oranges were sold at roadside stands and markets in Florida. All of this came to an end, however, on December 23, 1983 when another freeze killed the orange trees down to the stump. The packing house closed, and has been abandoned and victim to the elements and vandalism since. The packing house and surrounding outbuildings were designated the "Strawn Historic Citrus Packing House District" by the National Register of Historic Places on September 13, 1993. Two fires in 2008 and 2010 destroyed at least seven structures.

I Visited the Strawn Citrus Packing House
3.13.2018

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