by Jeff Blakley
While conducting research in the Model Land Company’s papers at the University of Miami’s J. I. Kislak Archive, I found a very important map of the land holdings of the F.E.C. Railway, the Model Land Co. and the Perrine Land Grant Co., dated December, 1903. The Kislak Archive scanned it for me for a very reasonable price and I am now sharing it with the public. It shows the route of what was then called the Cutler Extension down to Homestead, continuing a short distance past Homestead in a straight southwesterly direction. William J. Krome, who started his survey to Cape Sable in December of 1902, did not complete his work until June of 1903. He concluded that it was not economically feasible to build the railroad down to Cape Sable and then over Florida Bay to Key West. At the time this map was drawn, Flagler still planned to go to Cape Sable.
The map shows all of the area south of Miami, including Cutler, Larkin and Perrine. It names some of the finger glades and shows the route of the rough trail that ran from Miami down to Cutler and the Longview Trail/Homestead Road that ran from Cutler to Camp Longview. Note how that “road” runs from southwest of Homestead to Perrine and then straight east into Cutler, where the early pioneers in this area purchased their supplies from either the Brown & Moody or Tweedell Bros. stores. A close examination of the route shows that it ran through most of the earliest homestead claims in what was then known as the Homestead Country. Camp Longview, the termination of that “road,” was located a short distance southeast of the intersection of Loveland Road (S.W. 217 Ave.) and Palm Drive (S.W. 344 St.)
This is a large file, so be patient while it downloads.
David Torcise, who created the Google Earth Map of Homesteads shows the land holdings of the Key West, Jacksonville & Tampa Railway on his map. Those land holdings correspond to the land shown as belonging to the F.E. C. Railway on the 1903 map. The Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway went bankrupt in 1893 and its holdings south of Titusville were sold to Flagler in 1899. At the time David created his overlay, he did not have any information about the holdings of the F.E.C. in Dade County.