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Green Cove Springs & Melrose Railroads

“Among other improvident grants of land from which the State received no corresponding benefit, we may mention in passing, the gift of seven thousand, seven hundred and eight-one and 48-100 acres of heavily timbered land, in Clay county, to the Green Cove Springs & Melrose railroad. When the timber was removed from this land, the railroad which was very little, if any, more than a lumber road, gave back the land largely denuded of its then chief value, for permission to remove its rails, doubtless to be sued in the construction of another lumber road somewhere else.” (FL Senate, Appendix to the Journal, Report of the Joint Commission, 1907, pg 349)


The derisive language of the Senate might explain why we can’t find photos of the depots — if the owners knew or suspected it would be temporary; they wouldn’t have invested in stations.


The terminus and office. Just south of Green Cove Springs. Intersected the JT&KW.

Wilkinson’s (or Wilkerson’s)

Novella (Florence Mills, or Novilla)

Sharon (East Sharon and West Sharon)

Belmore (Belmore City)

The line only ran as far as Belmore from Clinch for quite a while.

The Belmore Land Co. offered lots in 1884.

Wilderness (Thomasville)



Lake View (Lakeview, on Kingsley Lake)

The Tropical Land Co. offered lots in 1885. R. Fulton Cutting was the president of the Tropical Land Co., and his brother, W. Bayard Cutting, was on the board of directors of the Florida Central & Peninsula Railway.

B&W Junction

Springlake (Spring Lake)

Newburg (Florence)

Smaile’s Switch (may be Newburg)

Hunters Mill (may be Smaile’s Switch)



Melrose was the end of the line, except that transportation continued by use of the Santa Fe canal.

JC Penney’s Line to Penney Farms

Long Branch

Florida Farms & Industries first developed the Long Branch area, owning as much as 1/3 of the county. Predecessor to Penney Farms. A beautiful “Pecan” brochure is available at the Archives.

The Florida Railroad Stations

The Florida Railroad in 1864, just before Civil War hostilities — showing the Trail Ridge Station, the first RR station in Clay County.


Georgia Southern & Florida Railroad Stations


Books at the Archives

  • Bulletin 86: The Story of the Florida Railroads
  • Focus: The Railroad in Transition, by Robert S. Carper
  • Golden Years of Trains, by Hamlyn
  • History of Railroads in America, by Oliver Jensen
  • Iron Horses, by E. P. Alexander
  • Locomotives Colin Garratt