"Map Showing the Lands & Waterway of the Florida Coast Line Canal & Transportation Co.", Matthews-Northrup Co
Period: 1889-93 (circa)
Color: Printed Color
7 x 36.6 inches
17.8 x 93 cm
Material related to the Florida Coast Line Canal & Transportation Co. (FCLCT) is quite scarce. This map shows the canal network and land for sale along the entire east coast from the border with Georgia south past Miami along Biscayne Bay and to Buck Key. The map uses orange overprinting to indicate sections of land available for sale. On a scale of 10 miles to the inch it provides great detail of railroads, wagon roads, obscure Florida towns, forts and camps, proposed canals, and old landmarks ("Ruins of Sam Joes Old Town"). The train on the short Jupiter and Lake Worth Railway couldn’t turn around so it ran forward one way, then backwards on the return! The canal company, chartered in 1881, has as it objective the construction of a series of canals connecting existing lakes and rivers in order to provide a navigable inland waterway between St. Augustine and Lake Worth. FCLCT's charter was amended in 1882 to extend the waterway from Lake Worth to Biscayne Bay and from St. Augustine to the St. Johns River. This canal would later become part of the Intercostal Waterway running from Virginia to Key West. In return for opening the area to agriculture and development, the company received from the state a grant of 3,840 acres of land for each mile of waterway built. This was the first major commercial enterprise to link the Miami area with the outside world.
The source of this map is unknown but it likely was from a land promotional booklet or perhaps an annual report. The map is undated but the upper date range was derived from the presence of the Jacksonville Tampa and Key West RR (bankrupt and sold in 1893) and the lack of RR lines extending south from Daytona Beach (extended southward beginning in 1892). The St. Cloud and Sugar Belt Railway, incorporated in 1888, is shown extending from Kissimmee to Narcoosee. The short and isolated Jupiter and Lake Worth Railway stretching between Juno and Jupiter is shown but not labeled (started 1889/1890). We locate no other examples of this map online or on OCLC.
The map is fine less occasional toning in portion of right side. Folding as issued with full margins and fine color.