Nikon D90 35mm DX Nikkor Lens
Fort Myers Museum of Hostory, Ft Myers, FL
A piece of railroad nostalgia! On bord the Esperanza Pullman car circa 1930’s vintage. The Esperanza is one of the largest Pullman cars ever made. While George Pullman’s personal car measured 67 feet, the Esperanza is 83 feet 11 and 1/2 inches long and 11 feet wide. It is 101 tons of steel, a total of 202,900 pounds. This is the view from the main dinning room to the end lounge area. Cuban mahogany is used throughout for the walls and doors. In addition to the end platforms, it has a 10 foot lounge there are four staterooms ranging from 6 feet 4 inches to the master suite at 8 feet 6 inches on the left side of the corridor.
Filigree brass railings on dressers, sinks, and commodes in each sleeping
compartment, electric outlets, steward bells, and outside stair railings give
the car an added feeling of luxury.
Harry S. Black originally ordered the Esperanza from the Pullman Standard Car and Manufacturing Co. on March 5, 1929, but he died before completion, and A.C. Burrage took possession and immediately changed the name to the Ailcia. When Bruce Dodson (an insurance executive from Kansas City) bought the car in 1948, he re-outfitted the car and changed the name to Helma, his wife’s name. Dan Taylor, president of the West India Fruit Steamship Line, next assumed ownership, changing the name to the Sea Level to honor his birthplace – Sea Level, North Carolina. In January 1964, the Seaboard Coastline Railroad purchased the car, naming it the Miami, a name retained by Florida Southern College on its acquisition of the car in 1976.
Reverting to its original name in 1985, the car settled in a fitting resting place
- a spot where trains and Pullman cars once stood. The Esperanza, a gift to
the City of Fort Myers by the Fort Myers Centennial Committee on the occasion of the City’s 100th birthday, will continue to stand as a monument to the past
for future generations.