Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the Seaboard-All Florida Railway dating back to the 1920's. This document, which is signed by two officers of the Seaboard-All Florida Railway, the Florida Western & Northern Railroad and the East and West Coast Railway, was printed by the International Banknote Company and measures approximately 10" (w) by 15" (h).
This piece features a vignette of a train leaving a city depot.
The Seaboard–All Florida Railway was a subsidiary of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad that oversaw two major extensions of the system in the early 1920s to southern Florida on each coast during the land boom. One line extended the Seaboard's tracks on the east coast from West Palm Beach down to Miami (and later, Homestead), while the other extension on the west coast extended the tracks from Fort Ogden south to Fort Myers and Naples, with branches from Fort Myers to LaBelle and Punta Rassa. These two extensions were heavily championed by Seaboard president S. Davies Warfield (who died months after its completion), and were constructed by Foley Brothers railroad contractors. Both extensions also allowed the Seaboard to better compete with the Florida East Coast Railway and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, who already served the lower east and west coasts of Florida respectively.
Today, only the east coast route survives and is now the state-owned South Florida Rail Corridor (which notably hosts Tri-Rail and Amtrak service for South Florida) and the Homestead Subdivision, which is still owned by CSX Transportation. The west coast route was removed in 1952 though a few related structures from the line still stand.
The Seaboard All-Florida Railway's west coast route commenced operation on January 7, 1927, and the east coast route began service the following day. On each opening day, President S. Davies Warfield rode aboard a special section of the Seaboard's Orange Blossom Special with a number of special guests and dignitaries including Florida Governor John W. Martin. Dorothy Walker Bush, mother of U.S. President George H. W. Bush was also aboard the first train to Miami. The train stopped at points along the lines for public ovation with nearly 20,000 people attending. The two-day celebration is considered to be one of the largest public relations events in the history of American railroads.
The east coast route began in West Palm Beach at the terminus of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad's recently completed Florida Western and Northern Railroad which originated at the Seaboard main line in Coleman. From West Palm Beach, the extension proceeded south, paralleling the Florida East Coast Railway which operated a short distance closer to the coast, through Delray Beach, Boca Raton, and Fort Lauderdale.
South of Fort Lauderdale, the line shifted farther inland, passing through Opa-locka, and Hialeah and then southeast into Downtown Miami, terminating at a now-severed connection with the Florida East Coast Railway. The original Miami passenger depot was built at 2206 NW 7th Ave in the Allapattah neighborhood. A later extension branched off the line in Hialeah (near Miami International Airport) southwest towards Homestead, which was completed in 1927. Some of the north end of Homestead extension was realigned in 1951 to accommodate the expansion of Miami International Airport.