Historic Markers Across Florida

The "Luraville Locomotive"

Marker ID: FLHM F-709
Location: at the Department of Agriculture building on Conner Blvd Tallahassee, FL
County: Leon
Coordinates: N 30° 26.347    W 084° 13.398
  30.43911666    -84.2233
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMGYBQ


Its specific identity lost to time and the Suwannee River, the Luraville Locomotive is one of the nation's oldest "iron horse" steam locomotives. Most likely built between 1850 and 1855, the oft-modified 10-ton, wood-burning American 4-4-0 steam locomotive played a role in Florida's early logging history. At one time the engine may have sported a cowcatcher and perhaps was used to pull passenger cars. It became a tram engine c. 1890 and was used to haul logs for the Bache Brothers Lumber Company to its sawmill near Luraville, Suwannee County. The locomotive's working career ended sometime around 1900 when the engine sank to the bottom of the Suwannee River while being loaded onto a barge at or near the Live Oak & Gulf Railroad's Suwannee River terminus in Peek. In 1979, a team headed by Luraville resident James Lancaster hoisted the remains of the locomotive and two sets of iron wheels from the river bottom. The locomotive was subsequently purchased and presented to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for safekeeping and preservation. The partially restored engine now rests in front of a load of bald-cypress logs, a fitting monument to an important era in Florida's history.

The Florida Society of American Foresters, The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, The Florida Division of Forestry, The Generosity of Jack and Peggy Goyke and the Florida Department of State