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Record Group Number: 900000
Series/Collection Number: N2007- 6
Creator: Zeiller, Warren, 1929-
Title, Dates: Florida Keys Overseas Railway manuscript and photographs, 1902-2006.
Amount: 0.25 cubic ft.
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Biographical/Historical:     Warren Zeiller was a Florida author and General Manager of the Miami Seaquarium until his retirement in 1985.  He lived with his wife Chardy in Miami.  Born in 1929, Zeiller held a B.S. degree from Colorado State University and a M.A. in Business from Michigan State University.  He also served in the U.S. Navy submarine service during the Korean War and worked for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau as Director of the Tropical Everglades Visitor Association from 1987 to 1997.  Zeiller's books include Tropical Marine Invertebrates of Southern Florida and the Bahama Islands (1974), Tropical Marine Fishes of Southern Florida and the Bahama Islands (1975), Introducing the Manatee (1992), and A Prehistory of South Florida (2005).  He also published several articles and  appeared often on television, including Jacques Cousteau specials as well as the children's show, Arthur & Company.  In May 2006, Zeiller published The Florida Keys Overseas Railway through Signature Press, detailing the extension of the Florida East Coast Railway from the Florida mainland to Key West. The book was primarily based upon the photographs of engineer William Asa Glass and the memories of Glass' daughter Jo Willis Mahoney, who gave her father's photographs to Zeiller.
  William Asa Glass, engineer, was born at Edwardsville, Illinois, on June 11, 1884.  He was twice married, to Viola Buchanan and in 1911 to Perle Jenkins. Glass died on October 23, 1965.

    The Key West Extension was a length of railroad from Homestead to Key West built and owned by the Florida East Coast Railway.  The Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) was formed in1895 from as many as twenty Florida railway lines and companies bought by land developer Henry Flagler (1830-1913) between 1885 and 1895.  Flagler extended the railroad south, creating a continuous route down the east coast of Florida, paving the way for the development of the southeast part of the state.  The railway reached Miami in 1896 and Homestead in 1904.  In 1902, the Florida East Coast Railway began surveying areas for the construction of an extension of the railway to Key West.  Originally called "Flagler's Folly," the Overseas Extension took seven years and employed over 4,000 men.  The 127-mile railway opened January 22, 1912and was abandoned in 1935 after that year's Labor Day hurricane badly damaged the rail.  Today's Overseas Highway uses portions of the FEC's original Overseas Extension Rail.
Summary:     This collection consists of Warren Zeiller's original 136-page manuscript for his book, The Florida Keys Overseas Railway.  The manuscript contains 166 photographic prints, including copies of 129 of project engineer William Asa Glass's railway construction photographs, and 24 color images of remnants of the railway taken by Zeiller in 2006.  All of the images are also available in digital format on a compact disk.
Finding Aids: Folder listing available. 0
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Associated Materials: The original William Glass photographs are housed at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida in Miami, Florida.
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Subject Access Fields: Flagler, Henry Morrison, 1830-1913
Zeiller, Warren, 1929-
Glass, William Asa, 1884-1965.
Florida East Coast Railway.
Railroads Design and construction Florida.
Authors Florida.
Photographs. aat
Manuscripts. aat
Key West (Fla.)
Key West Extension (Fla. : Railroad)
Added Entries
Glass, William Asa, 1884-1965.