ACL palm trees : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

On the grounds of most Atlantic Coast Line stations were very tall palm trees. They were planted there by landscape firms. Someone once told me they was Washingtonian palms. Is this true? What was the significance of these palms? Why were they picked as part of the landscape?

-- Richard H Kearns (, March 11, 1998


The San Antonio, Florida depot has Sabal Palms; the Dade City depot had Washingtonia. When the Dade City depot was renovated I spoke to the city maintenance crew and was able to get them to put some new palms in to replace the old (dead) ones. The city used Sabal palms. These palms are known as palmetto(e)s in some areas while in our area (Pasco County, and Florida in general) palmetto(e)s are the ground hugging palms of the "flatwoods.

-- Eddie Herrmann (, November 04, 2000.

While not specifically relating to the use of washingtonia palms, the approximate locations of many former ACL depots on the mainline between Charleston & Savannah can be determined by the presence of palmetto trees. During the twenties, an ACL agent/operator planted palmettos beside or across from each depot he worked in order to improve the appearance of the station grounds. The now nameless agent is known (based on palmettos and grandfather's stories) to have worked at Drayton, Johns Island, Ravenel, Jacksonboro, Green Pond, Ridgeland, and Hardeeville, SC. The ACL/C&WC joint station at Yemassee did have washingtonia palms along its platform. This is useless info I guess, but thought it was interesting. Buddy-(no emails please-still using someone else's computer)

-- Buddy Hill (FandR65@AOL.COM), January 05, 1999.

Dick, These are Washingtonia palms(you had it almost right).I did not know that landscape firms planted them.I can't answer your last two questions.Maybe someone can, I would like to know myself. I thank Ron Wright for adding the Q&A,it has generated a lot of hits. J.O. P.S.To Dick. They weren't very tall when they were planted. The palms were also around shops and office buildings.For people who model the ACL don't forget to model these.

-- Joseph Oates (, March 11, 1998.

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