Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More Railway Depots Along the Way!

While on our Florida trip, we continued our practice of looking for and photographing railroad depots.  Most of the depots that we find are in small towns as it can be very difficult to locate these older structures in heavily populated areas...unless the depot is being used by Amtrak.

This is the old depot and railway station in Branford Florida. (The population in 2010 population 712) When the structure was in its original location on the banks of the Suwannee River, the town was called Rowland’s Bluff, and the depot served both the railroad and the steamboats plying their trade on the river.  The town was a major port, with cotton, lumber and naval stores being shipped to market. 

The railroad began using this depot as its terminus in 1882, when the Live Oak and Rowland’s Bluff railroad began operations.  Steamboat traffic ended on the Suwannee River before 1920, but the railroad continued to use the depot for many years.  The Seaboard Coast Line eventually took control of the railroad right of way and in 1982 they sold the depot to the Branford Shrine Club.  The Shriners moved the building to its present site for use as a club house and community center.

This is the former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Freight Depot in Live Oak Florida.  The depot was built in 1909.  Its now the home of the Suwannee County Historical Museum.  This depot, along with it’s ‘sister’ Seaboard Airline Railroad passenger depot in Live Oak, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Live Oak was given it’s name when a junction of the railroad terminated near a giant Live Oak, under which the workers ate their lunches and rested in the shade.  The town has about 7,000 residents and, despite the recession, businesses have been growing and the population is booming. 
The Suwannee County Historical Museum is located at 208 North Ohio Street in Live Oak.  Phone: 386-362-1776.  For more information, go to

This is the Seaboard Airline Railroad Passenger Station in Live Oak.  It was built in 1903.  This facility was home to a recent Civil War Exhibition, entitled “The Road to Olustee”.  The nearby Olustee Battlefield was the site of the largest Civil War battle fought in the state of Florida.  The Confederate forces won the battle…

In 1939, Live Oak had 6 tobacco auction houses.  During the first 2 weeks of August those auction houses sold more than 11,000,000 pounds of ‘bright leaf’ tobacco. (Note: 'Bright leaf' tobacco is mild tobacco, flue or fire cured, after which the leaves turn light yellow to dark orange in color) Live Oak is still a center of this once booming business. 
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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