Jefferson County’s Lost Towns
by Anne Haw Holt
What makes a town a town? Does it take a post office to make it official? A church? A store? A graveyard? How about a name on a map?
Someone told me about a town that once existed on the Aucilla River in lower Jefferson County called “Cash Money.” What a wonderful name. I decided to search some old maps for lost towns in our county. I never found the little town of “Cash Money,” but to my astonishment, I found dozens of lost town names on local maps dated from antebellum times until today.
We still recognize Fanlew as a town, although the post office, church and store are gone and only a few houses mark the place. Ashville and Lyndhurst are down to one house a piece. I found town names such as Nash, Drifton, Walker’s Springs and Dills. These towns were once someone’s home—at one time, Lickskillet was someone’s hometown.
People tell me that whatever their name, most towns in Jefferson County were around eight miles from our courthouse in Monticello. We started out just as we are now, a farming county, and this was so a farmer and his family could make it to the county seat and back home in a wagon pulled by mules in one day’s light. Our remaining towns seem to be about eight miles apart.
Lost towns are an intriguing mystery. Why did Pinhook, Beazley, Bailey Mills, Aucilla and Jarrett disappear? It’s easy to understand why Monticello no longer has two hotels and several more large stores—we used to be on a main east-west route for travelers. That traffic has moved to Routes 10 and other routes. Lamont, Lloyd and Drifton were railroad towns, some boasting several saloons. They are naturally smaller now. But what happened to Cash Money, Bunker Hill, Fort Hamilton and so many others?