Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vanished place: Old South Bar-B-Q Ranch in Clewiston, Florida

Here's a vintage postcard featuring a place that is no more. It's an unused, undated Curteichcolor card featuring Old South Bar-B-Q Ranch on U.S. Route 27 in Clewiston, Florida.1

The advertising copy on the back of the postcard states:
"Eatin's real fun at the world famous Old South. Best real Pit Bar B Q in the South. Enjoy the rustic, informal atmosphere that's loaded with Southern Hospitality, which leads you to reminisce of days gone by."
Alas, the reminiscing of days gone by at Old South are now, themselves, days gone by. According to the fabulous website RoadsideAmerica.com2, the "fondly recalled barbeque tourist attraction" is now "gone."

Fond memories do remain. Several people shared stories and thoughts on RoadsideAmerica. Here are some short excerpts:

  • "Boy, this was the place. Every time we would go fishing on Lake Okeechobee we would stop at the Ranch for lunch on our way home. IT WAS THE BEST! ... We used to climb on the fiberglass horses and cows and play on their outside decor forever and the food was great too."
  • "This place had all of that plus an outside ambience beyond description. The roadside signs started 50 miles north of Clewiston on HWY 27. I knew that we were almost home when we started seeing the signs."
  • "The outside was full of fiberglass 'old west' characters, wagon wheels, and punny signs adorning the building and parking lot. The inside was full of old west decor and bric-a-brac, and the waitresses wore Dale Evans-style cowgirl costumes with toy holsters."

For more memories of Old South Bar-B-Q Ranch, check out RoadsideAmerica. And if you have memories of your own, share them with future generations by leaving them on that website or in the comments section below.

1. Clewiston is known as "America's Sweetest Town" (as opposed to "The Sweetest Place on Earth" in Hershey, Pennsylvania) because of its surrounding sugar plantations. It is the home of professional angler Roland Martin.
2. Not to be confused with Roadside America in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania, which is itself a treasured roadside attraction.


  1. Ah yes. I remember always chuckling at the funny epitaphs on the tombstones of the little graveyard near the parking lot.

  2. In the 50's and 60's rollin down old road 27 from Hialeah to Dover,to Grandma and Grandaddys house. the cypress signs with funny southern phrases went on for miles.The old south bar b que ranch signs of course.What a memory!

  3. Jim Mcarvy was the creator of this Restaurant. He was taught by Joe Culpepper of Plantation Barbeques in Miami, circa 1958. Joe also Taught the owner of Carboys Barbecue and many others. Joe was a kind and giving Christian man. My Dad

  4. never visited but will always remember the road signs they placed on US-27 in the manner of the old Burma Shave signs