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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Brooksville in Hernando County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

1885 Train Depot

 
 
1885 Train Depot Marker Side 1 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, September 12, 2022
1. 1885 Train Depot Marker Side 1
Inscription.  
Side 1
In 1885, Brooksville had a population of 500. Residents depended on horse-drawn wagons and stagecoaches to transport goods and passengers to the outside world. Four innovative businessmen formed the Brooksville Railroad Association and paid the Florida Southern Railway Company $20,000 to bring the railroad to Brooksville. The 120x21-foot train depot, made from local cypress, cedar, and yellow pine, included a 40-foot covered back dock and a telegraph office. At first, one railroad track reached Brooksville. The tracks grew to occupy both sides of the building. In 1892, the Henry Plant Railroad System acquired the Florida Southern Railway. Over the years, various railroads owned the depot until use faded away. By 1971, all tracks were gone, and the last owner, CSX, closed the building. The empty depot deteriorated for over twenty years. Homeless people used the back dock as a sleeping platform. In 1986, the Hernando County Historical Museum Association bought the land for $12,600. CSX donated the 101-year-old building for use as a museum. Restoration was completed by volunteers, community organizations, and grants. After years
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of hard work, the 1885 Train Depot Museum opened for the public to enjoy in 1992.
(Continued on other side)

Side 2
(Continued from other side)
The arrival of the railroad to the isolated town of Brooksville changed everything. Racially segregated during the Jim Crow era, the depot became a hub of activity for blacks and whites alike. Farmers, businesses, and residents relied on the railroad. The market for local products such as lumber, turpentine, citrus, phosphate, even livestock expanded, resulting in more wealth for the community. Merchandise like ready-made clothing, chinaware, furniture, medicines, books, and magazines. Books aided in the education of children. Mail arrived in a matter of days, not weeks. The railroad created good jobs. A need for hotels, boarding houses, and restaurants developed. Women and children could travel unescorted on the train to visit family. A trip to the Withlacoochee River to swim and picnic became a popular day excursion for locals. They rode "The Brooksville Short," the train running 10 miles between Brooksville and the town of Croom, near the river. By 1933, automobiles took the place of passenger train service. Freight hauling continued until the late 1960s, when the tracks were removed. The 1885 Train Depot endures as a historical museum.

A Florida Heritage Site
 
Erected
1885 Train Depot Marker Side 2 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, September 12, 2022
2. 1885 Train Depot Marker Side 2
2021 by The Historic Hernando Preservation Society, The Hernando Historical Museum Association, and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-1174.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansAgricultureIndustry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1885.
 
Location. 28° 32.947′ N, 82° 23.132′ W. Marker is in Brooksville, Florida, in Hernando County. Marker is on Russell Street, 0.1 miles west of South Brooksville Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 70 Russell Street, Brooksville FL 34601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Historic Sidewalk (a few steps from this marker); Hernando County Confederate Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hernando County (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hernando County War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hernando County Global War on Terrorism Memorial (approx. half a mile away); City of Brooksville (approx. half a mile away); St. Anthony the Abbot Church (approx. 0.9 miles away); Chocochatti (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brooksville.
 
Also see . . .  Brooksville Train Depot. (Submitted on September 18, 2022, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
 
1885 Train Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, September 12, 2022
3. 1885 Train Depot Marker
1885 Train Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, September 12, 2022
4. 1885 Train Depot Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 18, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 18, 2022, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 381 times since then and 137 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 18, 2022, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.

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Jun. 16, 2024