INSIDE THE TRILBY DEPOT: The telegraph was used to communicate between the stations, as there were no telephones in the early days of railroading. The gray cabinet is a test board, used to test the wires between stations. The stool is from the Zephyrhills railroad station.
The wooden loop was used to pass messages to trainmen as the train slowed to pass through a station without stopping. Kerosene lanterns were used at night as signals, and to check the tracks for safety, in the days before battery-powered flashlights.
Hanging from the hook is the first Red Comet fire extinguisher. Cone-shaped fire buckets were used as they were less enticing to thieves, since they could not be set upright on a surface.
The 1913, 35-ton Porter steam engine was used for 50 years by Cummer Sons Cypress Company to haul logs out of the forests and swamps to their Lacoochee sawmill. From this sawmill, the cypress lumber and shingles were shipped across the country and around the world. The three logs displayed on the flatcar behind the engine and tender are cut from cypress trees estimated to be as much as a thousand years old.