Scare early map of Florida, promoting the South Florida Rail Road Company and the Plant Investment Company.
The focal point of the map is the land owned by the South Florida RR Company, which is noted in orange and widely interspersed throughly the map, especially along the route of the railroad south from Sanford to the Tampa area and a number of larger tracts further south
South Florida Rail Road
The South Florida Railroad was incorporated in 1878 and began operations in 1880 with service between Sanford and Orlando. In 1883, Henry B. Plant acquired majority stock in the Railroad and it became part of the Plant System.
By the end of 1883 the railroad reached Port Tampa, and full service between Sanford and Tampa began in 1884.
In 1892, James E. Ingraham, President of the South Florida Railroad, organized an expedition that traveled across the Everglades from Fort Myers on Florida's west coast to Miami on the east coast. The Expedition was supported by Henry B. Plant, and was referred to in various accounts as the "Everglade Exploring Expedition" or the "Ingraham Everglades Expedition." Expedition members included Sydney O. Chase, owner of Chase and Company, a leading citrus business in the state, and several men who worked for the South Florida Railroad. It was widely reported that the purpose for the Expedition was to survey a route for a railway line across the Everglades. The true purpose of the Expedition, however, was to investigate the Everglades to determine if the land could be drained for agriculture and development. This was not an original idea; people had proposed drainage and "land reclamation" for years, and Hamilton Disston had already invested a considerable amount of money in an attempt to drain the water.
In 1893 the Plant System acquired outright the South Florida Railroad.
The Plant System
The Plant System, named after its owner, Henry B. Plant, was a system of railroads and steamboats in the Southern United States, taken over by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1902.
The original line of the system was the Savannah, Florida and Western Railway, running across southern Georgia.
The Plant Investment Company was formed in 1882 to lease and buy other railroads and expand the system. Other major lines incorporated into the system include the Savannah and Charleston Railroad and the Brunswick and Western Railroad.