John and I love Florida and we love discovering Florida’s unique features and learning the states history. In our journey throughout the state we try to include as many places as we can that will teach us more about this amazing state we call home and today’s Florida history lesson came at the Train Depot Museum in Brooksville.
In the early Florida Pioneer days, being on the train route could make or break a city as the early settlers needed an efficient way to transport their goods to market. Without trains, the early settlers had little or no means to export their crops out of the area and therefore it would be extremely difficult to earn a living.
The Brooksville Train Depot Museum tells the story of a plan put together by 4 business men in the area, that some say came up with questionable schemes and others say they took ingenious measures, to bring the railroad to Brooksville.
This museum however, is just as much of a peek back into the lives of the early settlers as it is a train museum. The building is the original Depot built back in 1885 and other than a new roof and windows, much of everything else remains original. The floors are the original wood that has gaps in it’s layout, allowing airflow to come from beneath, a method that you could say was the original Florida air-conditioning.
The Depot Museum is packed with artifacts not just of the early train days but of items that reflect the way that life was for the early Florida Pioneer. Items like an old stove used in those early days to cook a meal and an ice box used to keep food cold, a cash register used in a general store and an old Sears & Roebuck catalog, are just examples of some of the historic items we had the pleasure of viewing.
A boy never outgrows their love for firetrucks and one of John’s favorite pieces of history at the museum was a restored 1925 fire engine that was the first fire engine ever purchased by the City of Brooksville.
The museum actually sits on the same grounds as when it was built in 1885 by the Brooksville Railroad Association and to our delight there was no shortage of interesting railroad memorabilia in the museum. “The Freight Room” as it is called in the museum, houses historical artifacts, displays and records of the early days of the railroad. In addition there are train models and one in particular that accurately models the early days of the town of Brooksville itself.
The highlight of our visit had to be the 1880’s wooden train car found abandoned and deteriorating in a Florida Swamp. The museum had the car hauled to it’s new home at the Depot Museum in Brooksville where it was completely restored.
Our tour of the Train Depot Museum in Brooksville was completely guided and we got to not only view the history but hear it from a knowledgeable & passionate volunteer. We were able to ask questions and we were fully entertained by the stories of those difficult and totally different early days of the Florida Pioneer. A history lesson well received and well worth the low $5.00 admission charge.
The 1885 Train Depot Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from the hours of 12 noon to 3 pm only and is located at 70 Russel Street in Brooksville Florida.
We hope you enjoyed hearing about our adventure to the Train Depot Museum as we got a glimpse back into the early Florida Pioneer days. To hear more about our adventures into Florida History, fun filled Florida Attractions and great Florida outdoor activities, then subscribe to our website and follow our journey. To get involved with the Florida discussion, meet new Florida loving friends and ask Florida questions, then join our facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/THEVIEWFROMFLORIDA/groups/