Built in 1913 by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, PA, “Old Cabbage Head” gets its name from the shape of its smoke stack.
Because it had a wood burning boiler, the balloon shaped smoke stack was needed to catch burning embers that flew out of the engine. The train was built for Taylor County Lumber Company in North Florida and used for hauling timber. It is a narrow gauge engine that originally had a wooden cab.
It stayed in North Florida until its arrival in Manatee
County in 1948 at the Manatee Nocatee Crate Mill Company. In 1952, the Crate Mill went out of business and the train was slated for the scrap heap until residents raised $900 for its purchase. For decades, visitors to Bradenton were greeted by Old Cabbage Head with “Welcome to Bradenton” painted on the tender car. In 2002 it was moved to Manatee Village Historical Park and reconditioned.
While visiting Old Cabbage Head, please do not cross barriers. Visiting with energetic little ones who need to “blow off some steam”? See the map to find Junior Junction, our train–themed playground (CLICK HERE).
Old Cabbage Head when the locomotive was part of the Manatee Crate Company, c. 1930-1935, courtesy of the Manatee County Public Library Historical Digital Collection
Old Cabbage Head, 2021
Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by MVHP staff.