P.O. Box 653
Titusville, FL 32796-0653
December 10, 2010
RAILWAY DEPOT BEING RELOCATED FROM SEBASTIAN TO FORT PIERCEWho: Steam Locomotive Association #253 (SLA #253) & Museum
What: Relocation of 1916 Florida East Coast Railway Freight Depot from Sebastian to Fort Pierce
When: Sunday morning, Dec. 12, 2010
Where: 25 miles south along U.S.1
How: Tom Youngblood & Sons Movers
Tom Youngblood & Sons Movers will relocate the 1916 Florida East Coast Railway Freight Depot from Sebastian to Fort Pierce on Sunday morning, Dec. 12, 2010 via a planned route along U.S. 1. The 25-mile journey should provide for some spectacular photo opportunities.
Backstory: When Roz Foster, a Brevard County historian, heard a circa 1916 railway depot in Sebastian, Florida was slated for demolition, she did what she does best: Move fast to preserve history!
Given time constraints and too many hurdles to haul the depot north to Brevard, Foster contacted the non-profit Steam Locomotive Association #253 to see if it could help by adding the depot to a growing museum collection of rail equipment in Fort Pierce. The centerpiece of SLA's effort involves restoring a 1924 Alco steam locomotive.
The depot – long ago moved from the FEC Railway property – had languished for decades in citrus groves surrounding the town of Sebastian. (As a side note; the passenger half of the depot was burned by vagrants and later was reduced to ashes as a training exercise by the Sebastian Fire Department.)
When grove property ownership was transferred to the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), it appeared the old depot's days were numbered. Yet David Roach, FIND Executive Director, thought bulldozing it into oblivion would be a huge loss in Florida history.
Foster and Roach, with assistance of Jon Ward, executive director of the Fort Pierce Redevelopment Agency, the City of Fort Pierce Engineering Department, and members of the SLA #253, were determined the old depot indeed could be saved.
To that end, Tom Youngblood & Sons Movers is set to relocate the 1916 Florida East Coast Railway Freight Depot from Sebastian to Fort Pierce on Sunday morning, Dec. 12, 2010. The spectacle along a 25 mile route along U.S. 1 should provide for some prime photo opportunities.
Once on-site at its new temporary location, the depot will be restored to former glory for housing museum interpretive displays helping tell the story of Florida east coast development from the early 1900's onward.
The SLA #253's hope is that this restored depot once again can be used to welcome visitors and returning residents alike to the City of Fort Pierce. (When now proposed Amtrak service is re-implemented along the FEC tracks, presence of the restored depot is intended to enhance efforts of Fort Pierce to highlight its historic downtown and surrounding areas.)
For details, contact John Rude of the Steam Locomotive Association #253 at 954-270-7766.