Polk museum unveils phosphate locomotive - FOX 13 News

Polk museum unveils phosphate locomotive

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The Mulberry Phosphate Museum is known for its collection of old dinosaur bones. It just got a new relic, but it's not from something that was once living. It is an old steam engine from the 1880's that was discovered by chance.

About a year and a half ago, workers were cleaning up property just off State Road 60 that was once owned by the new defunct Mulberry Phosphates Company.

It was a wet day. There were mud holes all over. One guy had the job of determining if any areas were unsafe to work on.

"He was taking a stick or a rod or something and jamming it down to the mud to make sure their lawnmowers wouldn't get stuck," Elly South, a museum employee told FOX 13. "Then it went clunk. They knew they had found something."

That something was the locomotive. They used heavy equipment to pull it up.

The engine had been stripped of its brass parts and bell, but most of it was still there , covered by mud from top to bottom. After it was donated to the museum, they decided to not remove the mud because it acts as a preservative.

The train was just moved to the museum this week. It is expected to be officially unveiled to the public the first week in November.

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