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The Cutler Extension — 11 Comments

  1. Thanks Jeff, great addition to your previous research. Did your research yield any information as to when the wye was built behind the station and stretching toward Campbell Drive (NE 8th St)? The wye existed until the shopping center was built over it in the late 60’s.

  2. Jeff your work is amazing!! Driving around our area keeps me engaged just thinking of how and why (what’s left) got there to begin with! And the location of all the thin box canals explains what their purpose was for. Draining of the prairies in the map of Perrine, the Falls, Southland areas etc.

    But the Silver Palm/U.S.1 reference doesn’t appear to match Black Creek? Could it be more in reference to the Black Creek canal on US 1 by the new Walmart instead?

    • You are indeed correct, Alexis. Thank you for pointing out my error. I have corrected the article. The intersection of Silver Palm and U.S. 1 was the Caldwell Prairie and also the location of the settlement of Black Point, not to be confused with the location of the Black Point Marina, which is very close to the geographical location of Black Point.

  3. As always an interesting and well researched addition to the history of the Homestead area. Initially, how much land did the FEC own and then how was it developed? Did the railroad sell land to the developers or developers sold it for the railroad. I’m assuming it owned more than it used for the tracks, buildings, etc.? Or, the land was homesteaded before the railroad was built and then the railroad bought it from the homesteaders, hence the need for secrecy so land prices wouldn’t inflate as you mention? Was the railroad granted eminent domain?

    • The short answer is that the Internal Improvement Fund, a State entity, granted railroad companies in Florida who promised to build trackage a varying amount of land per mile of track constructed. The same applied to canal companies. In the case of the F.E.C., Flagler established the Model Land Company in 1898 to manage the vast acreage granted to his company by the IIF. There was a clause in the deeds for homesteads that granted railroads a 200′ wide right-of-way for their tracks and that clause led to more than a few lawsuits, all of which were settled in favor of the railroad companies. The railroad companies were not granted eminent domain – they already had the right to build. To the best of my knowledge, there has not been much written about this, at least as it applied to the F.E.C. Contrary to the current favorable light cast upon the F.E.C., the company was widely despised by many people in the early years. The newspapers printed sarcastic letters and articles about “Uncle Henry” on plenty of occasions. The Florida Railway Commission was established in 1897 to deal with these complaints and cracked down on all of the railroads in Florida. The current picture of railroads in Florida is very biased in favor of the “big boys” as the history of railroad regulation in Florida seems to have been forgotten.

      • Thanks, Jeff. Interesting how government and individuals work together to bring civilization and services to the “wilderness”.

        • Well …. seems like there wasn’t much difference between “government” and “individuals” in those days, either! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thank you, Jeff, for your diligence and most accurate chronicle of Homestead history. My family roots are embedded in the city and your account is enlightening. Curiously, while not directly related, John S. Fredrick appears to have made a contribution including the original plat. Looking forward to further articles.

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