railroad comapny in 1900

greenspun.com : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

We have purchased property in Jefferson County, a small area outside of Wacissa on highway 59 heading towards 98 in the now known as Fanlew Preserve Aera and we know that there was a train track that ran through our property and we have part of a lumber machine and we have a pond that was built in 1908 for holding water for the train, and a brick structure that once held the large watering tank for the steam engines to pull up under, we believe. We are always digging up spikes, tracks, you name it, I would just like to find out the history on this place and where the tracks were. There is an old Hotel across from our place that was a home afterwords, but a hotel in the beginning. I would be interested in the history of this place if ou can help me out. Please? Thank you very much, LaNora Adams

-- LaNora Adams (ladaadamss@yahoo.com), November 13, 2002


LaNora: Based on the geographic description of your property, I am assuming that your property is located on the west side of the Wacissa community. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and Seaboard Air Line Railway each had a branch line in the vicinity of Wacissa. A branch line of the Seaboard Air Line extended southeastward from Tallahassee to a place on the Aucilla River named "Covington". This branch passed through Wacissa on an east-west alignment,parallel to C.R. 259 in the Wacissa area. In fact, the old abandoned railroad alignment served as the roadbed for the construction of C.R. 259 to Tallahassee, and the road has been named the Tram Road in the Tallahassee area in reference to its previous use as a railroad line. The alignment of the old railroad line is also preserved southeast of the Thomas City community as a dirt road almost all the distance to the Aucilla River. The railroad line was intended to be extended all of the way to the Suwannee River to a point of connection with a line northwest from the Gainesville area, but economic downturns kept the project from becoming reality. Instead, the railroad served several sawmills and timber loading yards along its route. I don't know the actual date of abandonment, but I believe that it was in the late 1940' or early 1950's. A branch line of the Atlantic Coast Line extended southward from a junction on the main line(Perry Cut-off)at a place named "Fincher" (located about a half-mile south of the Georgia state line) to a large lumber mill at a place named "Fanlew". Fanlew is a ghost town that was located almost a mile west of S.R. 59 and east of the Natural Bridge. The ACL branch line passed through the "Cody" community on a north-south alignment. Cody is located about four miles west of Wacissa on C.R. 259. This ACL branch line was also abandoned in the 1940's/50's. From your description, it doesn't appear that either railroad line may have been located on your property. It is possible that a private railroad owned by one of the sawmills in the area could be the track that you have found. Several sawmills were located in the Thomas City area, and a sawmill was located at Cody, with railroad tracks extending outward from each sawmill to timber harvesting areas for the transport of saw timber to the mill for processing. I also heard some years ago that a branchline of the SAL extended south from Wacissa to the Wacissa Springs, where a hotel was once located, but I have never come across any documentary information in support of the statement. I hope that this information is of help to you. Best wishes! Aaron Dowling (aarondowling@cfl.rr.com)

-- Aaron Dowling (aarondowling@cfl.rr.com), November 13, 2002.

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