As no rivers flowed into St. Joseph Bay, two railroads were built connecting St. Joseph with the Apalachicola River in an attempt to siphon off some of the cotton and lumber being shipped down the river to the port of Apalachicola.
By 1837 St. Joseph had become the most populous place in the Territory of Florida, with approximately 6,000 inhabitants. In 1838 the town hosted the first Constitutional Convention for Florida, which drew up the constitution used when Florida became a state in 1845. Some have called St. Joseph “Constitution City” and even transferred the name to the new Port St. Joe
In 1841 a ship brought yellow fever to St. Joseph. The disease killed many of the town’s inhabitants, and caused the rest to flee. A hurricane in 1843 struck with a large storm surge, destroying the abandoned town. The area remained uninhabited for the rest of the 19th century. In the early 20th century Port St. Joe was founded about two miles north of the site of old St. Joseph.
Florida’s first railroad was constructed fo the Lake Wimico & St. Joseph Canal & Railroad Company. Work began in 1835 and the first train ran in Marck 1836. The line extended nine miles from St. Joseph to Lake Wimico. The state’s first steam locomotive was added in 1837. Economic distress, shallow lake waters, and a yellow fever epidemic combined to cause the abandonment of the line in 1839 and the decline of St. Joseph by 1840. The museum in Port St. Joe contains a full size replica of this train, as well as other exhibits on this “lost” town.
Signed by R.S. Griggs, secretary and N.C. Allen, president. Only 2 known of the $10 denomination. Railroad was discontinued in 1839.
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Notes & Currency
- 18__ Fernandina $3 Obsolete Note
- 1882 $50 Jacksonville Note Charter #3869
- 1902 $10 Punta Gorda Note Charter #10512
- 1882 $5 Palatka Note Charter #3223
- 1902 $5 Key West Note Charter #7942