Sanford in Seminole County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Sanford Railroad Historical Data
Sanford railroading had its physical beginning January 10, 1880 when former President U. S. Grant broke ground near this spot for the South Florida RR. The South Florida RR operated from 1880-1886, its name successively changed to Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Ry, 1886-1899, the Plant System 1899-1902, the Atlantic Coast Line RR 1902-1967, the Seaboard Coast Line RR 1967-1980, and in 1980 becoming the CSX Corporation, a union of the Seaboard and the Chessie Systems. With at least 25 railroad trains a day positioned along these facilities, Sanford became an important early railroad center. A 12 mile loop route around the celery farms east of Sanford made it Florida's first city with an integrated rail system. The state's largest railroad ice plant a the Rand Yard allowed farmers to ship celery and other produce nation-wide, making Sanford the "Celery Capital of the World." Today, in 1995 Sanford is the southern terminus of Auto Train. The other side of the marker shows locations of important transportation sites of the 1890s.
[ Map - (Labeled features are listed below) ]
[ Legend ]
1. South Florida RR - Steamboat Wharf (1885)
2. South Florida RR - Depot
3. Plant Investment Co. Bldg. (PICO) (still standing)
4. RR - Ice plant in Rand Yard
5. RR - Shops, Roundhouse & RR Hospital
6. to Jacksonville
7. to Eustis (Sanford & Lake Eustis Ry.)
8. to St. Petersburg (Orange Belt Ry.)
9. to Tampa
10. to Oviedo (Sanford & Indian River RR)
Erected by the Seminole County Historical Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Railroads & Streetcars • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 28° 48.709′ N, 81° 16.2′ W. Marker is in Sanford, Florida, in Seminole County. Marker is at the intersection of West First Street and Myrtle Avenue, on the right when traveling west on West First Street. The marker is in downtown Sanford. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sanford FL 32771, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The PICO Block (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The PICO Hotel, Restaurant, and Stores (about 600 feet away); The First National Bank No. 1 (about 600 feet away); Rollins College (about 600 feet away); The Henry B. Lord Building (about 600 feet away); The First National Bank No. 2 (about 700 feet away); The Brumley - Puleston Building (about 700 feet away); The DeForest Building (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sanford.
More about this marker. The double-sided marker is capped on both sides with the Seminole County Historic Marker logo.
Regarding Sanford Railroad Historical Data. Sanford has lost much of the extensive, 1890s-era rail system detailed on the marker's map. Railroad facilities like the depot, maintenance shops, roundhouse, hospital, etc., are gone, along with the old steamboat wharf. The train tracks indicated on the map that once wove their way throughout the city have shrunk considerably, with large sections of railway removed once the various railroad companies consolidated and the tracks were deemed unnecessary or undesirable.
Not all the buildings from Sanford's railroad heyday are gone. As noted on the map, the office building built by Henry B. Plant's investment company still stands, and is known as the "PICO block". It is joined by other Plant projects, the PICO Hotel and its adjacent
Sanford still holds a prominent role in rail transportation as the home of Amtrak's Auto Train. The Sanford Amtrak station is the southern terminus for Auto Train, which carries passengers and their automobiles north on an overnight, non-stop trip to Lorton, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 12, 2018. It was originally submitted on April 1, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 925 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 1, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on April 2, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.