Historic Markers Across Florida



Georgiana Railway



Marker ID: FLHM F-607
Location: 3925 S Tropical Trail, Merritt Island, FL
County: Brevard
Coordinates: N 28° 17.314    W 080° 40.562
  28.28856666    -80.67603333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMVAHN
 



Text:

Georgiana Railway: 1892-1894


In 1892, Frank Cass Allen, a Georgiana merchant, began building a 0.6-mile standard-gauge railway with steel rail and wood ties across Merritt’s Island at this location, connecting docks on the Indian and Banana Rivers. It was part of his private water/rail venture to accommodate tourists, especially northerners, who began flocking to the Atlantic beaches following the completion of a mainline railroad into Titusville in 1885. Allen wanted to improve upon the one and only 45-mile boat trip around the southern tip of the island to reach the beaches south of the Cape. His 10-mile route across the Indian River to Georgiana by boat, the island by rail, and the Banana River by boat took about an hour. One 10-ton steam locomotive is documented, apparently replacing an earlier one. Allen built an open 50-passenger car using commercial railroad wheels. The line opened in mid-December 1893, and by April 1894, over 700 had visited the beaches. Financial problems and poor maintenance defeated the railway, and, in mid-1894, it was replace by a wagon route at Lotus, two miles farther south. The locomotive and passenger car were sold at public auction on March 2, 1896. Rail and other rolling stock were not part of this sale.

2007 by The Brevard County Historical Commission,
Brevard County Tourist Development Council,
and Florida Department of State.