Near Naples in Collier County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Walking Dredge
The first highway from Tampa to Miami, called the Tamiami Trail, was built in the 1920's. The "walking dredge” was a piece of specialized equipment used to dig a canal, which provided rock fill for the roadbed and drainage for the completed road.
It could walk over rough, swampy or slippery ground and among close-cut stumps, where other types of earth excavators would find it difficult or impossible to work.
Built in Bay City, Michigan, these dredges followed the drilling and blasting rigs, averaging 80 feet per 10 hour shift.
Camp on Wheels
Portable bunk houses followed close behind the workers, providing good food and shelter. Each worker carried a small fan made from saw palmetto fronds to swat the swarms of bugs during the day and slept in individual mosquito nets at night.
Harsh, wet conditions caused painful foot irritations So most workers wore knee high, lacing leather boots without socks so their feet would dry faster. Despite the hard work and extreme climate, salaries ranged from only $75.00 to $150.00 a month.
Drilling and Blasting
(photo captions, top to bottom)
- Camp on Wheels
- Drilling Holes for Blasting
- Tamiami Trail Builders
- The Walking Dredge
- Tamiami Trail 1927
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1926.
Location. 25° 59.511′ N, 81° 35.591′ W. Marker is near Naples, Florida, in Collier County. Marker can be reached from Unnamed trail west of Tamiami Trail East (Florida Route 41), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Naples FL 34114, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. This Bay City Walking Wedge (a few steps from this marker); Bay City Walking Dredge No. 489 (a few steps from this marker); Bay City Walking Dredge (a few steps from this marker); How the Dredge Walks Big Cypress Swamp (within shouting distance of this marker); The Blockhouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Crayton Cove (approx. 15.9 miles away); The Naples Canal (approx. 15.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Naples.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 19, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 5, 2022, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 93 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 5, 2022, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.