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[FlaRRHistory] Former Right of Ways: What are they now?

Donnie Hensley
 

Greene Cove Springs was the home of quite a few railroads and loggers and the abandon lines radiated from all directions.
The narrow gauge common carrier Green Cove Springs & Melrose ran SW to Melrose with logging branches stretching to the south.  The standard gauge Dowling-Shands Lumber Co. logged towards the East and NE. When they logged out about 1920 the Florida Farms & Industries bought the railroad and the logged out land and they operated lines to Longbranch, Bordenville & Taterville. They sold farms and operated a dairy and cannery. 

I have a timetable and map here of the GCS&M:
 
 
image
 
 
 
 
 
The Lake Santa Fe Route
The Lake Santa Fe Route A short history of the narrow gauge Western Railway of Florida By Donald R. Hensley, Jr. Copyright May, 2009 Narrow gauge train at Melro...
Preview by Yahoo
 
 
I can send you some vintage maps if you email me direct.

Don
 
Taplines...o o o o Don Hensley
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SE Shortline, Industrial & Narrow Gauge History


From: "James S fla077ipn@... [FlaRRHistory]"
To: FlaRRHistory@...
Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2014 8:17 AM
Subject: [FlaRRHistory] Former Right of Ways: What are they now?

 
Hello,

I have spent many hours looking at Google Earth maps noticing how many of the state and county roads appear as though they may have been, in a former time, railroad track beds which have long since been converted to the aforementioned roads. For instance a quick glance at Keystone Heights, FL in Clay County will reveal a few roads which contain those lazy railroad-friendly curves. It isn't hard to imagine a time around the end of the 1800's before cars came on the scene where everything and everybody basically traveled by rail. These roads could have been where trains once roamed. But since the advent of cars many of these right of ways may have been given back to the state for the purpose of vehicular travel. My problem has been trying to prove this.

I am aware of the Rails-to-Trails efforts in more "recent" times such as the Palatka Lake Butler State Trail which runs through Keystone Heights but this isn't exactly what I am referring to. There was a railroad in the late 1800's which ran from Green Cove Springs, FL to Melrose, FL which I discovered a time-table for online. I can't seem to locate it at the moment but the stops basically demonstrate the route ran South out of GCS in a Southwesterly direction towards an area now known as McRae passing near Goldhead State Park then roughly State Road 21 into Keystone and onward. It may have been known as Green Cove Springs & Melrose RR. Additionally, there may have been many roads used for logging and such which have disappeared but may have also become roads. 

As I've stated I am having difficulty proving my theory. Any help in this area will be greatly appreciated. As an aside I feel this method of right of ways becoming state and county roads seems to be something which occurred nationwide. But naturally my home state is more the focus yet I won't reject any proof for other states

Thanks, 
--
James "Gracebeliever077"