Mining in Bone Valley began in 1890. A railroad,
originally built to transport the lumber and
turpentine produced in the region, ran through
the heart of Bone Valley. A convenient location to
drop off and pick up goods was a mid-point on this
railway, near a large Mulberry tree. This site was
centrally located among several phosphate mining
companies and soon became the hub of the land
pebble mining operations. A town sprang up near
the Mulberry tree and naturally took the name
Mulberry was a mining boom town, with all the
wildness of a frontier town. Several hangings
took place from the Mulberry tree and later, the
Canal Street bridge. The town grew rapidly,
getting its first doctor, A. F. Fletcher, in 1895. By
1896, it was the fifth largest voting district in Polk
County. Businesses to support the burgeoning
phosphate mining industry came to Mulberry, and
in 1899, the Juanita Hotel opened. On February
12, 1901, Mulberry was incorporated into the
Town of Mulberry.
Mulberry businesses prospered. The W. S.
Badcock Corporation, now one of the nation’s
largest privately-owned home furniture retailers,
started in Mulberry in 1904. Its national
headquarters and center of operations is still
located in Mulberry. The Mine & Mill Supply
Company, begun in Mulberry in 1909, is one
of the oldest continually operating companies
in Polk County.
For the next 70 years, Mulberry, despite setbacks
like the town fires of 1902, remained the center
of the Bone Valley phosphate mining industry.
The eponymous Mulberry tree survived until the
late 1960’s. Around that same time, phosphate
mining began moving south, as the nearby mines
While Mulberry is still home to many
companies supporting the phosphate mining
industry, Mulberry has re-invented itself. It is
now home to many thriving businesses, such as
Food Technology Services, Inc. and Clark
Environmental, Inc. The Mosaic Company has
developed Streamsong, a 16,000 acres resort,
golf and spa community south of Mulberry.
Mulberry’s future is bright indeed.
FUTURE IS BRIGHT