Sunday, May 24, 2009

Old Cabbagehead

Here's a local landmark that I haven't shot in a long time and I don't think I've ever shared here at the blog. This is Old Cabbagehead, a steam locomotive that has sat in Bradenton, Florida, for many years. It used to be on the downtown waterfront, but they moved it some years ago to the local historical village where it sat in back for quite a while, and where I last saw it. More recently, they put a coat of thick black paint on it and moved it to a nice spot out front, which is where these pictures came from. You can climb up in it if you want, and pretend you're highballin' it down the Eastern Seaboard toward the Seven Mile Bridge and Key West.

I think this locomotive has been on display now longer than it was in active service. Let me check out that assumption. I know she was built in 1913, but when was she pulled out of service and put on display? Ah, November, 1954. So she was in service for 41 years and has now been out of service for 55 years, so I was correct.

Just in case you wonder why it's called Old Cabbagehead, take a look at the main smokestack on the front. Many smokestacks were just a straight pipe, but this one has the odd shape that reminded someone of a cabbage. I assume the shape has something to do with a spark arresting device, but I'm just guessing here. If you want to go see her, pay a visit to the Manatee Village Historical Park sometime. They've got plenty of other neat old stuff to look at as well.

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