Skip to main content

Florida Friday; Old Florida State Road 50 in the Green Swamp

Back in 2014 I spent time tracking down former alignments of what is now Florida State Road 50 on the north side of the Green Swamp in Hernando County and Sumter County.






Prior to the 1945 Florida State Road renumbering FL 50 east of Ridge Manor to Mabel was part of FL 210.  Whereas the modern route of FL 50 is quite good through the Green Swamp and one of the few two-lane roadways in the state with 60 MPH speed limits the original alignment was much different.  This 1936 Road Map of eastern Hernando County shows FL 210 heading into the Green Swamp via Richloam-Clay Sink Road to the Atlantic Coast Line siding of Richloam.

1936 Eastern Hernando County Map 

FL 210 and later FL 50 turned east towards the Little Withlacoochee River on Riverland Road towards the siding of Riverland.  From Richloam looking eastward this is what former FL 50 looks like today.





At the Sumter County Line the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and FL 50 split from each other on separate crossings of the Little Withlacoochee River.  Riverland Road on the Sumter Side becomes County Road 757 and would have crossed the Atlantic Coast Railroad one more time.  Today the bridge connecting Riverland Road and County Road 757 is apparently gone but the general area can be accessed on the Sumter County side.  These photos below look on what was westbound FL 50 towards the Little Withlacoochee River.






County Road 757 ends at modern FL 50.  Apparently the route of FL 50 was shifted to the modern alignment sometime between 1945 and 1960 by comparing topographical maps on Historicaerials.com.


East of the former Green Swamp of FL 50 there are various sidings of the Atlantic Coast Line that still exist.  The Atlantic Coast Line was removed at some point in the past three decades and much of the former grade is now occupied east of FL 471 as Sumter County Road 772.

Some of the sidings are notable due to some historic structures that are still present.  An older railroad building in Tarrytown at the intersection of FL 50 and FL 471 still stands as of 2014.  At the time the building had just been reopened as a business and painted orange.  Tarrytown apparently predates the Atlantic Coast Line as a local sawmill out of the Green Swamp.


East of Tarrytown there is a large cemetery marque on County Road 772 in Linden showing the community was formed in 1842.


Linden still has a large church and a single commercial building on FL 50.






As stated above County Road 772 is the former grade of the Atlantic Coast Railroad.  I'm almost certain that FL 50 through Linden and Mabel was always routed north of the railroad lines to the left in the picture below.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Vague Original Southern Terminus of US Route 91 in the Californian Mojave Desert

One of the more intriguing mysteries of the early US Route System in California is where the original south terminus of US Route 91 was intended to be located in the Mojave Desert.  This blog is a little different than my usual behind the wheel fare and explores why US Route 91 ultimately ended at US Route 66 in Daggett instead of Bannock. What ultimately became the US Route System was first discussed during the American Association of State Highway Officials ("AASHO") during their annual 1924 meeting.  Ultimately the AASHO recommended to the Department of Agriculture to work with the States to develop a system of Interstate Highways to replace the many Auto Trails in use.  The Joint Board on Interstate Highways was ultimately commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and it's branch agency the Bureau of Public Roads in March of 1925.  The Joint Board on Interstate Highways first met in April of 1925 and decided on the new interstate road network would be known a

Where the hell is Hill Valley? (US Route 8 south/US Route 395 east)

Recently I made a visit to Universal Studios near Los Angeles.  While on the back lot tour I came across a piece of infamous movie-borne fictional highway infamy; the location of town square of Hill Valley, California on US Route 8/US Route 395. The above photo is part of the intro scene to the first Back-to-the-Future movie which was set in 1985. To anyone who follows roadways the signage error of US 8 meeting US 395 in California is an immediately notable error.  For one; US 8 doesn't even exist anywhere near California with present alignment being signed as an east/west highway between Norway, Michigan and Forest Lake, Minnesota.  To make matters worse US 8 is signed as a southbound route and US 395 (a north/south highway) is signed as an eastbound route.  At minimum the cut-out US 8 and US 395 shields somewhat resemble what Caltrans used in the 1980s. Assuming Hill Valley is located on what would have been US 395 by 1985 what locales would be a viable real world analog? 

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  The Ridge Route is a 44 mile section of highway which was completed in 1915.  The Ridge Route originally stretched from Castaic Junction north over Liebre Summit and Tejon Pass to the tiny community of Grapevine.  In spite of a roadway that once utilized nearly 700 curves the Ridge Route is generally considered far ahead of it's time and one of the first modern highways constructed for automotive use.