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Driving Day Clewiston, Florida to Valdosta, Georgia 1/23/2023

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I awoke at the Holiday Inn in Clewiston, had the hotel's breakfast and saw Bart and Sarah Jennings there. Following our Internet duties, we left with Elizabeth driving west out of Clewiston. She received a text message from Ellen Scott about an accident on the highway ahead of us so we detoured via La Belle and returned to our route at Palmdale, where she drove until Lake Placid where we stopped for petrol. After that I drove us west to Zolfo Springs then north to Bowling Green to our first station and surprise.

Altantic Coast Line Bowling Green station built in 1925.

Seaboard Coast Line caboose 0964 built by the railroad in 1969 painted as Atlantic Coast Line 0964.

Bowling Green scene. Next I drove to Fort Meade to a station and another surprise.

Altantic Coast Line Fort Meade station built circa 1911.

The display train in this town.

Mosaic Company (International Mining Corporation) RS1 207, ex. Tennessee Railroad 6, nee New York, Susquehanna and Western 246 built by American Locomotive Company in 1947, painted as Atlantic Coast Line 1849.

CSX baggage car 982905 heavyweight maintenance-of-way bunk car rebuilt from a baggage express car and marked "Cargill Fertilizer Incorporated".

CSX modified heavyweight coach 991049.

Atlantic Coast Line caboose 0769 built by the railroad in 1967. Next I drove us to Mulberry where the surprises continued.

Mulberry Mystery 4-4-0 Locomotive built by Manchester Locomotive Works in the 1880's. This locomotive was buried underground at Mosiac Phosphate and was discovered by accident in 2012 when they were digging. I think that this locomotive is very fortunate to even be here.

Information about the Mulberry Mystery Locomotive.

Seaboard Coast Line caboose 01093 built by international Car, originally Seaboard Air Line 56xx.

United States Army 45 ton switcher 1, ex. Mobil 2, exx. Colorado Fuel and Iron company 0, nee United States Army 1, built by H.K. Porter in 1942.

Seaboard Airline Mulberry station is now the Phosphate Museum. We continued our drive north to Dade City.

Atlantic Coast Line Dade City station built in 1912.

Two displays board at the Dade City station. Next we went to the Pioneer Florida Museum and parked ouside a locked gate.

Here they have the depot from Trilby built in 1896.

W.W. Cummer & Sons Cypress 4-6-0 5 built by H.K. Porter in 1913. At a later date, it was re-numbered 3. A plentiful supply of virgin cypress and pine trees in the Green Swamp area led to creation of the Cummer Sons Cypress Company in 1922 in the town of Lacoochee, Florida. A railroad was built through the middle of the swamp to transport the timber to the mill in Lacoochee. The company employed over one thousand working at the mill or in the logging woods. It built houses for its employees rented at 50 cents a room per week including water and garbage collection. Electricity cost 5 cents a room per week. The company ceased operations in 1959 and 3 was donated to the Pasco County Fair Association in 1961 and is on display at the Pioneer Florida Museum in Dade City.

Our next stop was in Coleman.

Seaboard Air Line Coleman station. Finally I drove us to Wildwood.

Seaboard Air Lines Wildwood station built in 1947. From here we made our way to Interstate 75 which I drove to Gainsville and we had dinner at the Texas Roundhouse where I enjoyed a top sirloin. After dinner Elizabeth drove us north into Georgia to Valdosta, where we checked into the Drury Inn for the night.