The Osceola County Historical Society had a very busy year in 2016 and was awarded a grant from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs to continue the expansion of the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, and was able to present a new addition: a late 1800s replica Train Depot! The Train Depot made it's grand debut on November 11, 2016 during the 25th Annual Pioneer Day event, which was their largest event to date.
The replica is based on the Narcoossee Train Depot, a simple, rectangular, single story structure with a gable-roof. The Train Depot is divided into two rooms – the passenger waiting room and a larger freight room with sliding door access. The building was built at train- level and is surrounded by a platform.
The first train arrived in Narcoossee in July of 1889. The depot was created upon the completion of a spur of the Sugar Belt Railroad that connected Kissimmee to Narcoossee. The railroad was put in place to facilitate shipping between Hamilton Disston’s Sugar Mill and Kissimmee. The Narcoossee Train Depot had a turntable, making the return to Kissimmee manageable. As of today the turntable still exists in Narcoossee. Visit The History of Rail Transportation of Osceola County to learn more about the important role rail systems played in Osceola County.
The completion of the Train Depot is one of the many reasons to make a trip to the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek. Learning about the history of Osceola County is more hands on and visual than ever before. Stroll back in time to the late 1800s and imagine waiting in line at the train depot to catch the train to your next adventure.
Sources: Osceola County Historical Society Expansion Project, Historical Structures Report
Photo Courtesy: Cadman Collection Orange Country Historical 1902; Krystal McIntee