Historic Markers Across Florida



Union Cypress Railway



Marker ID: FLHM F-619
Location: on Hollywood Boulevard, West Melbourne, FL
County: Brevard
Coordinates: N 28° 4.086    W 080° 39.22
  28.0681    -80.65366666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMP5M4
 



Text:

This 18.5-mile standard-gauge railway was built to carry logs from the large cypress/pine holdings of George W. Hopkins, at Deer Park, to the Union Cypress sawmill just south of Melbourne. Two new and seven used steam locomotives would eventually ride the 50-lb. rails, crossing the St. Johns River on a 2,850-foot wooden trestle south of Lake Sawgrass. This was the first direct route across the St. Johns for 80 miles south of Enterprise, preceding the Kissimmee Highway (U.S. 192) by 6 years. Melbourne to Kissimmee travel was now only 53 miles, compared to a previous 128 miles by rail or 153 miles by road. The railway opened up the vast prairie lands along the St. Johns for settlement and carried much of the regional commerce: cut timber, naval stores, livestock, and farm produce as well as people and the materiel of their daily lives. Trains ferried automobiles across the marsh on flat cars when floods closed the Kissimmee Highway. Logging and railway operations ceased after Hopkins died in January, 1925. Foshee Manufacturing Co. took over in March, 1928, and operated until forced to quit in late 1932 due to a declining lumber market in the Great Depression. Only the skeletal St. Johns River trestle remains today.Sponsors: The Brevard County Historical Commission, The Brevard County Tourist Development Council And the Florida Department of State


Notes:

City: Melbourne, FL