Florida's Lost Transportation

October 9, 2013 6 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The lost urban railroads of Florida. A brief photo album of the lost rail transit systems in Florida.

Coral Gables: Coral Gables Rapid Transit

Courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/27272

The Coral Gables Rapid Transit Corporation was created by developer George Merrick in 1925 to connect his Coral Gables development with the City of Miami. On November 4, 1935, a hurricane destroyed most of the system’s overhead and left several trolleys stranded out on the line permanently ending the system's operations in the middle of the Great Depression.

Daytona Beach: Central of Florida Railway Company

Courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/28405

The Central of Florida Railway Company was an electric streetcar system that started operation around 1913, connecting the cities of Daytona, Daytona Beach, and Seabreeze (separate cities at the time, before consolidating in 1926) across the Halifax River. Streetcar service ended in 1918.

Everglades City

Image courtesy of Collier County Museum historic archives at http://i.colliergov.net/museum/cache/everglades-city-fl.-historic-archive/88.42.114_595_collier.jpg

In 1923, Barron Collier's Everglades City was incorporated.  Soon, Everglades had it's own streetcar line. However, operations would fail during the Great Depression with service ending for good in 1929.

Fernandina: Fernandina and Amelia Beach Railway

Courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/6040

The Fernandina and Amelia Beach Railway Company was incorporated by Florida state law chapter 3497, approved March 1, 1883, for the purpose of constructing a line of railway from the City of Fernandina Beach to Amelia City on Amelia Beach. The two-mile line was built in 1886 and operated by the Florida Railway & Navigation Company.

Fort Meade: Fort Meade Street Railway

Courtesy of http://swampysflorida.com/?p=6758

The Fort Meade Street Railway was chartered in January 1886. It opened on January 1, 1887, to connect the center of Fort Meade and the new Florida Southern Railway depot. Operations ceased in 1913.

Fort Myers: Streetcar at the Depot

Courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/140514


Green Cove Springs: Magnolia Springs Railway

This streetcar connected Green Cove Springs with Magnolia Springs. Darby & Savage operated a lumber mill on the south side of Governors Creek. A narrow gauge shortline railroad ran across the creek to service it. The lumber tram did double duty as a local transit system connecting Magnolia Springs and Green Cove Springs, as well as a freight connection for the saw mills. The little 'streetcar' line also had a direct physical track connection with the Green Cove Springs and Melrose Railroad, which lasted until 1899. It also had lines which  operated on St. Johns - Houston - Walnut - Myrtle and Magnolia Avenues, serving the Atlantic Coast line Depots in both communities.  Dowling-Shands Lumber Company bought the whole operation in 1911. The mill  continued to make lumber, barrels and shingles. J. C. Penney and his Florida Farms and Industries bought everything but the lumber mill in 1921. The mill was purchased by Farquhar Machingery at it burned in 1925. Oral histories indicate the sawdust continued to burn for many years.

The magnificent Magnolia Hotel, Florida's oldest and most salubrious property closed at the end of World War I. The hotel was sold to Col. Hulvey, who converted the property Florida Military Academy, the historic buildings burned in 1923, the academy moved on becoming Stetson University.  

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