What Happened To Bongoland?
Just a few blocks west of U.S. 1 in Port Orange you’ll find the Dunlawton Sugar Mill ruins. It was here in 1948 that M. D. Lawrence constructed several life size concrete dinosaurs for an early tourist attraction called Bongoland. The theme park was named for a baboon and had a train converted from an old truck which hauled visitors around the park’s perimeter. The main features were a replica of a Seminole Indian village, a few animals, the historic sugar mill ruins, a human sun dial that you stood on and looked at your shadow, and the collection prehistoric monsters. Compared to modern amusement parks, it may have lacked excitement but it was never crowded, which why it closed in 1952. In recent years the County purchased the park and turned it into the Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens. It’s a free attraction and best of all, most of the realistic looking dinosaurs are still scattered about the nature walks within the gardens.