Lealman (Lellman incorrectly spelled) Station

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The ACL tracks that are now of course CSX leaving St. Petersburg, Fla. run through an area known as Lealman. Either ACL or the Orange Belt Railroad that first ran on the line incorrectly spelled it Lellman long ago it. There has been a siding or home track that used to serve a cement plant back in the late 70's, early to mid 80's. It ran from about 50th Avenue N. to almost 54th Avenue N. and the only street that crossed the mainline and siding was 52nd Ave. N. Recently, about March of 2002, the siding/home track was removed simply because of deteriorating ties and everything metal was now rust. There is a debate as to when the siding was installed. From what we found from going to CSX in Tampa was that it was supposed to have been laid in the early 70's, about '72 to '74. This is reasonable but ... in the early 1900's, there was supposed to have been a loading area, not a station or maybe even as much as a platform, for the local farmers to load their citrus on the train and there was a turpentine distillery that would also use the loading area. It is also told to have been a flag stop to pick up passengers, as back in the early days, it was a long ride from Lealman to St. Petersburg. In general, I am trying to establish if the siding was installed in the early 70's or perhaps earlier. What was there as far as a platform/station/flag stop etc? ANY and ALL history about this particular area is what I am seeking. Lealman is currently undergoing revitalization with support from Pinellas County. There is a chance that with the history of the siding etc., that a reconstruction of the area to match what was in the 1900's would be a good possibility. If you know anything about this area that can be documented, or you know of anyone who would be familiar with what the area was like in the 20ís to 1959, I would really appreciate hearing from you or them. The money is there to restore the area if it can be done historically correct. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time to read my request. FH

-- Fred Harriman (snowshu@gte.net), April 14, 2002

Answers

lealman is approximately where 54th avenue N crosses the tracks

-- troy nolen (tnolen12@tampabay.rr.com), April 15, 2002.

The following may not be of much help to you, but is offered none the less. The original railroad company into St.Petersburg, Fla., was the Orange Belt RR, coming down from Sanford via Trilby. It was opened to Tarpon Springs in January 1888, and completed to St. Petersburg on May 1st, 1888. A November 1889 passenger timetable shows a stop at Lellman, four miles north of the St.Petersburg station, so would suspect that Lellman was a stop from the opening, or shortly thereafter. While passenger trains continued to stop at Lellman until sometime between August and October 1964, from at least 1935 the station is listed as "No agent. Only carload freight handled." A January 1958 listing indicates the same situation, and adds "Public(team) track holding 6 cars." Lellman was a flagstop from at least prior to World War I.

-- Tom Underwood (tlunder@attglobal.net), April 15, 2002.

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