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Naples Railroad Museum 1/28/2022

by Chris Guenzler

We awoke at the Port of the Island Resort and after our morning preparations, we checked out and were ready to start our big day. Since the restaurant did not serve breakfast, we drove into Naples and enjoyed a filling meal at Skillets Restaurant, then I drove us over to the Naples Railroad Museum.

Naples Railroad Museum Information

Long-hidden on the fringe of Florida's Gulf Coast and overlooked by developers until well into the 1880s, Naples' catalyst for settlement finally arrived forty years later when two rival railroads rolled into town within ten days of each other.

Set in Naples' restored Seaboard Air Line Railway passenger station, the Naples Depot Museum welcomes visitors back to the railroading boom days of the Roaring Twenties and explains how generations of Southwest Floridians used technology and transportation to conquer a vast and seemingly impenetrable frontier.

Seminole dugout canoes, a mule wagon, antique swamp buggy, restored rail cars and exciting interactive exhibits tell the story of how trade and travel transformed Naples from a napping village of 300 souls into today's glittering Gulf Coast resort.

The Naples Depot Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is conveniently located in downtown Naples.

Also located on site is the Naples Train Museum. This privately operated museum features an interactive model layout and train ride for children.

Our Visit

We arrived a few minutes early so had time to take a few pictures before they opened.

The Naples Seaboard Air Line passenger station built in 1926.

The plaque of the station.

Southern Railway 500 series baggage car built in 1941.

Atlantic Coast Line wooden caboose 1009 is really Soo Line 99093 built in 1909.

The stove in the caboose.

Seaboard Air Line observation-lounge car 6601 built by Budd in 1947. At 9:00 AM we walked into the museum and found that there was no admission fee. The woman said "Enjoy your visit"!

Altantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Lines posters.

Altantic Coast Line station board.

Building the Naples station picture.

The emblems of the railroads that made up Seaboard Coast Lines and model trains below.

Model trains.

African Americans and the Railroads display board.

Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Lines display boards.

Seaboard Coast Lines display board.

The last train out of Naples display board.

Seaboard Air Line display board.

Gateway to South Florida display board.

A conductor's uniform and tools of a station agent.

The last Station Master display.

Seaboard Air Lines dining car menu display.

Seaboard Air Lines and Atlantic Coast line dining car china.

Pullman dining car silverware.

Seaboard Air Lines and Atlantic Coast line memorablia.

Atlantic Coast Line dining car china.

Building the railroad and its demise.

Track mainentance equipment.

Models of the railroads of Florida.

The Great Train Race of 1926.

A railroad display.

You must always look up train, Naples pictures and a track going into the Everglades.

Those three railroad emblems again.

A Seminole Indian canoe.

Kingdom of Calusa and the First Floridians.

Seminole clothing display.

Cory and Juanita Osceola photographs. Cory Osceola was born on January 15, 1893 as Robert Osceola. He was an actor, known for Wind Across the Everglades in 1958. He died on October 28, 1978 in Naples. A direct descendant of Seminole Indian Chief Osceola and leader of the Independent Seminole Nation until just before his death, he lost his right arm in a railroad accident in Fort Lauderdale in 1922.

Seminole Indian canoe and the Seminole display.

Baggage on display.

A train passing outside the last Station Master display.

Crackers, Yankees and Kentucky Colonels.

Naples Taxi display.

Golfing Display.

The Bon Temps boat display.

The Naples Pier display board.

First newcomers display board.

Tobacco, Tourism and Trains display board.

Selling Naples and the Italy of America display board.

The Naples Company display.

The Grandest Winter display.

Naples Beach Hotel and golf club display boards.

Tools of the bagagge room.

Observation Car 6601 display board.

Naples in the automobile age display.

Private Jackson Gateway Harbor display.

Boat building display board.

A Chevy Belair car on display.

Naples takes flight display.

Airplane propeller.

The airport earns its wings display.

Naples history display board.

Alligator Alley display.

A Zenith radio.

More of Naples History and Alligator Alley display.

Alligator Alley sign.

Airline pilots uniform display.

Naples Airport takes off.

Naples on The Golf picture.

Naples Daily News sign. Next Elizabeth and I headed into the Seaboard Air Line Observation/Lounge Car 6601.

The interior of this well-preserved and restored lounge car.

My last view of this interesting museum. We walked back inside and thanked the woman for having us today. I drove Elizabeth to our next station in Punta Gorda.

The Punta Gorda railroad historical sign.

The Punta Gordon Atlantic Coast Line station built in 1927. From here we drove to Parrish and our next stop but that is for the next story.