Springfield's 1st Railroad: Life After Camp Cuba Libre

May 5, 2016 7 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Most know it as a wide linear green strip of overgrown vegetation serving as the border between Springfield and the Eastside. 125 years ago, this forgotten path was primed to become a major gateway into Florida's largest city. Today, we take a look at the rise and fall of a former Springfield railroad corridor and the buildings and businesses it once served.


Garland Transport Inc., at Phelps and Ionia Streets, was the site of the Bryan & Company contracting yard in 1927. For several years, Wood-Hopkins Inc. operated their contracting yard at this site.


Located at 575 Phelps Street, the Carolina Lumber Company has been in continuous operation at its Springfield site for more than a century. 1913 Sanborn maps indicate the Carolina Portland Cement Company and C.C. Jones, Lumber, Shingles, etc. occupying the site. Located between the two former rail lines, Carolina's main wood frame warehouse dates back to 1927.


The former F&J railroad right-of-way with Carolina Lumber Company's property in the background.Track associated with the former F&J, south of East 8th Street was abandoned by CSX after the closing of the Jacksonville Shipyards. Although much of this property is still owned by CSX, it has the potential to serve as a linear green space that could possibly tie Springfield and the Eastside with downtown Jacksonville's riverfront.


New Eastside residences adjacent to the former F&J railroad right-of-way and Carolina Lumber Company.


Although much of the former F&J line has been removed, remnants of the railroad can be found at former street crossings.

During Springfield's formative years, the block of Ionia Street between East 1st and 2nd Streets, was the site of S.S. Goffin's Kaufman Metal Company and the McGrughey & Lovelace Company planing mill. Kaufman would expand, taking the planing mill's site before becoming the Superior Iron & Metal Company. In 1969, the site was redeveloped for public use.

Clark Street residences with the Superior Iron & Metal Company's scrap yard in the background.


The site of S.S. Goffin's Kaufman Metal Company's scrap yard and foundry today.


Built as a warehouse for the Sears Roebuck & Company, this 73,000 square foot building is the largest in Sprinfield's old industrial district south of East 8th Street. Prior to its construction, the site was occupied by the R.D. Drysdale Lumber Company, the Texas Company oil terminal and Penn Lumber Company's planing mill.


Remnants of the old St. Johns River Terminal track that once served the Sears Roebuck & Company warehouse.

Related Article: Neighborhoods: Springfield Warehouse District

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