Phosphate historical marker.

Discovery of Phosphate in Florida

Field review by the editors.

Dunnellon, Florida

If you've ever driven on a crappy limerock back road in The Sunshine State, direct your irritation here. That's because limerock is a waste product of phosphate mining, and phosphate mining is the third largest industry in Florida. The industry makes money by having its waste mixed into asphalt as a paving material.

Phosphate was discovered in Florida in 1889 by Albertus Vogt, while he was sinking a well. Its principal use was as a fertilizer. For a few years Dunnellon was a boomtown of phosphate surface strip mines. But by 1900 the mines were played out and, as the plaque notes, "the center of production has shifted elsewhere."

The self-proclaimed "Phosphate Center of the World" is now in Mulberry, about three hours south of here.

Discovery of Phosphate in Florida

Hwy 484, Dunnellon, FL
I-75 exit 341. West on Hwy 484 about 20 miles to Dunnellon. Cross US 41, then drive another 1.3 miles. On the south side of the road.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Inglis Lock: Canal RelicInglis Lock: Canal Relic, Inglis, FL - 9 mi.
Sign: Elvis Movie Filmed HereSign: Elvis Movie Filmed Here, Inglis, FL - 12 mi.
Big Gorilla StatueBig Gorilla Statue, Crystal River, FL - 13 mi.
In the region:
Manatee Tours - Weird Statues, Homosassa, FL - 23 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Florida

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Florida.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Florida Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

World's Largest Fire Hydrant, Columbia, South Carolina (Dec 6-12, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now