The WA & G was wholly owned by the Wachula Manufacturing & Timber Company and was located in southern Florida among 60,000 acres of De Soto County timber. The railroad ran from Wauchula a distance of 8 miles to a junction with the Charlotte Harbor & Northern. The #1 was a typical Baldwin short-line, wood-burning Ten-wheeler design that came in two driver sizes; the 50" was the smaller of the two.
In addition to the large stands of timber, only 10% had been cut-over by the time of the 1912 assessment, the company's land held promising phosphate deposits. Once all of the resources had been extracted, the survey noted, the territory would "...have one of the most inviting fields in the State for a big colonization enterprise. Its boundaries embrace soil of the best type for agricultural purposesùstrong, rich, fertile. The soil is adapted to the production of every kind of fruit or vegetable grown in Florida, and brings forth most of them in the greatest abundance and in their highest state of perfection. There is very little wet land that cannot be easily drained, and none so dry that water cannot be easily secured by driven wells."
How could anything go wrong? Certainly in 1912, the prospects were bright: "When these lands are opened up to sale and settlement, and when farms, groves and truck fields line either side of the railroad that will run through the tract from end to end the long way, it will make one of the richest and most prosperous sections of the State, and the town of Wauchula, the central business, manufacturing, banking and shipping point, will be one of the most prosperous of the State's many prosperous towns."
When De Soto County was subdivided in 1921,Wauchula was named county seat of the newly created Hardee County. Phosphate mining remained a key industry in Hardee County for the rest of the century and into the 21st. In 2004, Hurricane Charley swept over the area and damaged or destroyed 85% of Wauchula's buildings and homes.
At some point, the WA & G sold the 1 to American Cynamid, probably to support the phosphate mining in Brewster, Florida area. It sold the engine to locomotive rebuilder/reseller Birmingham Rail & Locomotive in May 1926. BR & L reduced the cylinder diameter to 15" and sold the engine to Stewart Jones of Archer, Florida who immediately sent it on to Maddox Foundry & Machine Corporation.
|Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media|
|Railroad||Wauchula, Atlantic & Gulf|
|Number in Class||1|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.56|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)||45.33'|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)|
|Weight on Drivers||72000 lbs|
|Engine Weight||95000 lbs|
|Tender Light Weight||60000 lbs|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight||155000 lbs|
|Tender Water Capacity||3000 gals|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated)||40 lb/yard|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Boiler Pressure||160 psi|
|Cylinders (dia x stroke)||16" x 24"|
|Tractive Effort||16712 lbs|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||4.31|
|Firebox Area||90 sq. ft|
|Grate Area||15.50 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface||1222 sq. ft|
|Combined Heating Surface||1222 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||218.80|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||2480|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||2480|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||14400|