A Little Bit Of History
Ripley’s Red Train Tours is one of the oldest attractions in the state of Florida and boasts a past as colorful as the trains themselves! Operating continuously since 1953, our trains were born from the “Saint Augustine Trailer Train Wars” between H.L. “Slim” McDaniel and Joseph “Joe” McClure. The trains were incorporated in 1967 and later became the property of another St. Augustine legend, Mr. A.H. “Hoopie” Tebault.
In 2004, Ripley Entertainment, Inc. purchased the trains. St. Augustine had long been a favorite vacation spot of Robert Ripley, who frequently stayed at the Hotel Warden on San Marco Ave. Ripley tried to acquire the hotel as a museum in which to house his collection of oddities in the early 1940’s but was unsuccessful. In 1950, a year after his death, his dream was achieved and the Castle Warden became the first permanent Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Acquiring the Red Trains seemed a natural progression in growing Ripley’s legacy in St. Augustine!