how railroads helped florida grow in the early 1900's : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

could you please help....looking to find how the railroads helped florida grow in the early 1900's

-- glenn kirschner (, April 18, 2002


Actually, by the early 1900s, the rail net in Florida was pretty well established. The big spurt of grwoth came after 1880, when Hamilton Disston paid off the state's Internal Improvement Bonds, which had been issued in the 1850s for the establishment of several mainlines throughout the state. Florida nearly defaulted on the bonds after the Civil War, and as state land was encumbered by the un-serviced debt, no major railroad construction could take place until Governor William Bloxham worked out the swap of land for payment of debt with D

-- Larry Brennan (, April 22, 2002.


The railroads made transportation easier, and less expensive. They brought goods to towns, as well as people. This made the area more attractive to newcomers. With more people, more products were needed, such as food, raw materials, and basic staples of everyday living.

Before the railroads that were to make up the Seaboard and Atlantic Coast Line were built, the area was a wilderness so to speak. Miami was still a small town. It took days to reach Jacksonville if you went by land, much faster if by sea. Traveling in the interior parts of the state required horses and buggys. The roads that were in the state were mostly dirt roads, and after a good rain or hurricane these roads could be almost impossible to travel.

Railroads could run day or night, rain or shine. It became easier for people to plan ahead their trips up and down the state. They were no longer dependent on the elements for travel.

Towns were able to grow and prosper, and that helped Florida become the great state that it is today.

I hope this helps, Daniel

-- Daniel T. Edwards (, April 19, 2002.

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