Beyond Tourism: Florida's Yesteryear

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The Celestial Railroad of Jupiter and Lake Worth February 6, 2010

This railroad connected Jupiter and Juno a distance of only 7.5 miles

According to Allen Morris in his book, Florida Place Names: Alachua to Zolfo Springs, the Celestial railroad served the cities of Galaxy, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Juno and was in operation from 1889-1895. At only seven and a half miles long it was the smallest railroad in the world. It was a narrow gauge railroad at only eight feet wide. It serviced a population of 861 residents and 134 Indians and linked steamboat landings on the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Worth. Due to the names of the cities the railway service it was soon dubbed by passengers the Celestial Railroad and replaced the original name, Jupiter and Lake Worth Railroad. It was sold at public auction in 1896. It eventually fell out of use and all that is left now according to Jupiter Kids History are some railroad spikes left in the sand dunes of Jupiter and Juno.

Nearly 100 residents showed up for the grand opening and given a free train ride from Jupiter to Juno which took a half-hour. Once the train reached Juno it had to go backwards the whole seven and a half miles since there was no way for it turn around. It enjoyed six years of service hauling freight and passengers.

According to William G. Crawford, Jr. who wrote, Florida’s Big Dig: The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Jacksonville to Miami 1881-1935, when Flagler decided to build the Royal Poinciana Hotel in Palm Beach County he used the Celestial railroad to haul his building materials and other freight. When Flagler tried to buy the railroad the owners set the asking price so high that eventually he bypassed the railroad by building a bridge across the Loxahatchee River. This led to the railroad’s end in 1895 and was sold at public auction in Jacksonville.

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4 Responses to “The Celestial Railroad of Jupiter and Lake Worth”

  1. Lyra,

    Very interesting post. I love learning historical facts like that.

    • Lyra Says:

      gypsyscarlett, my favorite fact about this post is that the train couldn’t turn around and had to go the whole 7.5 miles backwards. I can only imagine how much that would be for a little kid riding on the train.

  2. Vincent Says:

    The narrow gauge Celestial Railroad was 3 feet wide, not eight feet.

    The “towns” of Galaxy, Venus and Mars were largely fictitious. I’ve never seen Galaxy mentioned anywhere and Venus and Mars were just little stops along the 7.5 mile route.

  3. Lyra Says:

    What is your source that says it is 3 feet wide. Do you have a link or a source?


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