The railroad to Miami and bridging the Keys

In this week’s edition of The Florida History Podcast presented by The Florida Squeeze we conclude our two part series on Henry Flagler’s contributions to Florida. We discuss the extension of Flagler’s railroad south from Palm Beach through Fort Lauderdale to Fort Dallas, or the new city of Miami. The birth of Miami, which by the 1920’s was a major American city wasn’t the end of the line for Flagler.

Florida’s first city of the 1890’s, Key West lay 150 miles of daunting Everglades, lakes and open ocean away from Miami. Flagler determined he needed to connect his railroad to Key West, but two different and equally daunting routes were the only ones realistically to be considered. Ultimately Flagler decided to connect his railroad via bridging Jewfish Creek and Lake Surprise rather than the other option which was to plow through the Everglades down to Cape Sable and bridge Florida Bay. We tell the story of Flagler’s trials and tribulations. For additional reading on this subject check out the excellent Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean by Les Standiford.

From Kartik Krishnaiyer

You can listen to the Florida History Podcast on Anchor (which hosts our show), SpotifyGoogleAppleRadio PublicBreakerOvercastCastro or Pocket Casts. Overcast, Castro, Spotify, Radio Public and Breaker have App Store apps for free which enable you to subscribe and listen on your iPhone if you do not use the Apple Podcast app. We release a new episode weekly.

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  1. […] posted by The Florida Squeeze on 2019-08-13 […]


  2. […] posted by The Florida Squeeze on 2019-08-13 […]


  3. ozymandiasssss · ·

    To have taken that trip from from Miami to Key West by railroad! With a white tablecloth dinner, coffee and an after dinner drink. That would be just wow!


  4. […] Mention Florida Keys and Hurricanes and the mind drifts to 1935 – the Labor Day storm that most intense to ever hit the United States. That storm killed several hundred World War I veterans working on the overseas highway and washed out Henry Flager’s overseas railroad. […]


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