Florida Coast Line Canal and Transportation Company – established May 27, 1882
Florida Coast Line Railway and Steamboat Company – established March 8, 1875
The Florida Coast Line Companies hold and manage Land and Natural Resources throughout the State of Florida.
The Florida Coast Line Companies are active in the Preservation and Conservation of our history as part of Florida’s Waterways and Land Development.
In 1881, a group of St. Augustine residents led by Dr. John D. Westcott incorporated the Florida Coast Line Canal and Transportation Company and the Florida legislature authorized the firm to dredge a series of canals to create an inland waterway along the length of the Atlantic coast. As an incentive, the state granted 3,840 acres of land for every mile of canal constructed and gave the company the right to collect tolls on the waterways. The State had millions of acres of public lands, which they frequently deeded to rail, navigation and other companies to spur development. In 1885, the stated deeded the canal company 87,670 acres of public lands. Dredging operations picked up considerably over the next five years moving south, and in 1890 the state deeded 345,972 acres to the company. That same year, the company sold over 1,300 acres to Duncan U. Fletcher, who deeded this land to his Florida Fiber Company to cultivate sisal hemp. In 1891-1892, the company had reached Jupiter and began to work southward to Lake Worth. In 1892, Henry Flagler invested in the firm and a year later became president for a brief time in order to expand his railway. The dredged canals and connected waterways became known as the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, ultimately linking Jacksonville to Miami in 1912. The company and Flagler worked in tandem for a while, but also were in competition as both the railway and canal operations moved south. Over a 30-year period between 1882 and 1912, the company constructed 268 miles of canals, earning more than a million acres of state land. Henry Flagler ended up with a quarter of this land for the Florida East Coast Railway extension to Miami in the 1890s.
Today the company is based in Aventura Florida and directed by David Nepo, it’s President.