The historic site has celebrated the area’s railroad history annually for more than 20 years with a Depot Days Celebration that encompasses Santa Rosa’s history, natural resources, and family fun. Model trains, arts, live music and historical demonstrations will bring the history of the depot to life.
As passenger train travel fell by the wayside, many area depots were destroyed, repurposed or allowed to fall into decay. But at more than 100 years old, the Milton depot stands as a tribute to the thriving days of railroad.
The Museum occupies the L&N Milton combination freight and passenger depot that was built in 1907-09 on the site of the original 1882 P&A depot. The Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad was chartered on March 4, 1881 to connect Pensacola with the parts of Florida east of the Apalachicola River.
In the sparsely-populated Panhandle, the only two areas that initially warranted a depot were Milton and Marianna. As train travel grew, a total of sixteen depots were built in the area. Passenger service peaked in the 1920′s with six trains a day calling at Milton.
The station was closed in 1973, bought by the Santa Rosa Historical Society, and partially restored with a 1976 Bicentennial grant. The Museum moved into the building in 1989 and completed the restoration.
Visitors can view and tour several vintage train cars, including the L&N Dining Car 2722, Globe Coffee House, L&N Dining Car, two former Pullman sleeper cars, renovated into L&N baggage-dormitory cars, the L&N caboose, the Frisco caboose, an L&N box car and L&N flat car.
Outbuildings include a bridge tender’s house from the Escambia Bay trestle and a section shed with motor car.
But of course the big draw is the trains. The museum, including the train cars, will be open and three different scale model trains will be running throughout the property, including the elaborate set housed in the bridge tender’s house, the garden railroad outside, and the riding train.
The Museum is staffed by volunteer members and it and the model railroad gift shop are open every Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and other times by appointment for group tours.
The museum is located at 5003 Henry St. in Milton. For more information on the museum, call 850-623-3645 or visit www.wfrm.org.
Want to go?
Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
West Florida Railroad Museum
5003 Henry St. Milton FL 32570
For more information, visit http://wfrm.org