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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.


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