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Jupiter’s Historic 1915 FEC Train Depot

Posted by Lorea Thomson on Thursday, October 18th, 2018 at 4:11pm.

 

Later to become known as the Florida East Coast Railway, Henry Flagler's railroad is one of the most well-known aspects of South Florida history. Population growth eventually led to an FEC railroad depot built in 1984 on the south shore of Jupiter's Loxahatchee River. In 1915 a new FEC passenger and freight depot was opened in Jupiter where Johnston Park is today.  Passengers weren’t the only riders. Fruits and plants were shipped on the trains, as was the daily mail. Live animals were shipped to northern zoos by Trapper Nelson, who set up a homestead-turned-zoo on the shore of the Loxahatchee River in the 1940s.

A train depot is a small railway station between the principal stations or a station where the train stops.  The older depot was moved a short distance next to offshoot tracks where freight could be loaded and offloaded at the river.  The depot aided the public well for many years. It was eventually closed in the 1960's and relocated to the Village of Tequesta where it became a private residence.  Many local little children learned to swim behind the depot residence pool.

The historic FEC Depot was moved in the early morning hours back to where it was built in 1916 on the east side of Alternate A.1.A. in Jupiter, very near to its original setting. The 22 x 53 square foot historic train depot is situated at Sawfish Bay Park, Jupiter.  This site is in close juxtaposition to the depot’s original location.  It was a well-known stopping point throughout the early days of Flagler’s railroad.

The charming, bright yellow train depot serves to highlight the history of Flagler’s presence in Florida.  All of Flagler's depots were painted yellow.  It was his favorite color.  The relocation and restoration allow visitors to walk through the original structure of the depot and learn more about Jupiter’s unique history during this period. One key fact to note is that out of the original 28 depots that were located from Jacksonville to Key West, there are only eight left, one being here in our area.

Thanks to the hard work of many people from the Town of Jupiter and Village of Tequesta, the Loxahatchee Guild, the FEC Railway, and the Florida East Coast Railway Society, the 1915 Historic FEC Train Depot was moved to Sawfish Bay Park for all to enjoy and travel back in time.

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