Historic Sopchoppy Train Depot
The historic Sopchoppy Depot was built around 1891. Originally the Depot was part of the Carrabelle, Tallahassee & Georgia Railroad Company which was then absorbed by the Georgia, Florida and Alabama Railroad (G. F. & A.), referred to fondly as the “Gopher, Frog & Alligator. ” The line first started running in 1893 and operated until 1946. The GF&A brought tourists to the Gulf Coast and transported lumber, turpentine products, honey, farm goods, and soldiers to the seaport terminal. When ice became available, fish and oysters were packed in barrels and shipped back up to northern markets and towns along the line. From the Sopchoppy River came shipments of caviar from the river sturgeon, frog legs, and catfish.
The Sopchoppy Depot was once a busy railroad hub for both passengers and freight. From the Depot adventuresome passengers could transfer to the mule drawn tramcar to brave the 2½-hour, 7-mile trip down the wooden rail track to Panacea. There they bathed in the highly touted mineral springs and toured the big hotel located about 400 yards south of the springs. Other passengers continued on the train to the coast where they could “enjoy a dip in the brine and drink in the salt air of the Gulf.” The train crossed over the Sopchoppy and Ochlockonee Rivers and travelled through the thick swamps and piney forests of Franklin County before emerging into the open air of the coast. Final destination was the Lanark Inn, a grand hotel boasting a casino, dining, a dance pavilion on the beach, a swimming pool constructed around a sulfur springs, and 2 large bathhouses for ladies and gentlemen, respectively.
The historic Sopchoppy Depot is the only remaining depot still standing in Florida on the G F & A. It was beautifully restored in 2010 and now serves as a museum with historical exhibits and a collection of old photographs, memorabilia and recovered artifacts.
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History & Culture
34 Rose St.