Scenes from Florida's Railroad History
Railroads opened Florida to new industry, expanded the tourist economy, and allowed for rapid development of residential and commercial areas. The first rail development authorized in Florida was the Tallahassee-St. Marks line, chartered in 1834. The first train to operate, however, was the Lake Wimico line that connected the boomtown of St. Joseph to the Apalachicola River in 1836. The Tallahassee-St. Marks train, which was initially mule-drawn, connected the highly productive cotton fields of Leon and Jefferson counties with the St. Marks River. These early efforts only hinted at the profound impact that railroads, passenger lines, and freight trains would have on Florida's history. For more information, visit the photographic exhibit Tracks Toward the Future on
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