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Posts Tagged ‘State Library and Archives of Florida’

Florida Train Wrecks in Flickr Commons

Posted by Laurie Frost on August 15, 2013

I’ve been trying to figure out how to determine the train route my great-grandmother and the 4 youngest of her 11 kids took in 1918 when she decided she had had enough of living west of the Pecos River in Texas and would join a married daughter in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Her life, I presume, must have reached the metaphorical train wreck stage to have made such a radical move.

Looking through the State Library and Archives of Florida collection in the Flickr Commons, I was surprised by how many images in the Scenes from Florida Railroad History set featured train wrecks. No one, it seems, can help but look.

But first I suppose this was the ideal, a engine blowing coal smoke into the orange groves. Date is estimated as being in the 1910’s.

As we enter the most active part of hurricane season in South Florida, consider the problem of evacuating the Florida Keys or rescuing survivors.

Rescue train swept off the tracks by the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, Sept. 5, 1935.
“The hurricane washed this 11-car special train off the track soon after reaching the stricken area. The train was trying to rescue 683 World War I veterans in a rehabilitation camp, of which around 250 died as a result of the hurricane. The veterans, a remnant of the Bonus Army that marched on Washington, were employed for highway construction in the federal work relief project.”
http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/149572

Remains of a rescue train: Islamorada, Upper Matecumbe Key
http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/149535

Here’s a train headed to the Keys on a better day,

Florida East Coast Railway train traveling along Overseas Extension bridge
http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/27328

 

Here’s one from 1934. Jupiter is on the East Coast of Florida, not far, interestingly, from Cape Canaveral (Cape Kennedy), where NASA launched its rockets,

Florida East Coast Railway train wreck: Jupiter, Florida
http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/33296

How did this happen? The date is noted as “not after 1898.”

Head on collision of steam locomotives near Sanford, Florida
http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/146848

This is a mess. And I can’t figure out how it is possible that the guy standing on the rear of the train car looks so much larger than those on the ground.

Seaboard Air Line Railway train wreck, 1905
http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/146835

There are more pictures of wrecks in this set, as well as a number of shots of trains on their tracks. But I will close with a metaphorical train wreck: the treatment of Indians in the US. I did not know that Geronimo and defeated Apaches were shipped off to Florida:

Geronimo and fellow Apache Indian prisoners on their way to Florida by train, September 10, 1886. http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/26504

 

 

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