Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer of the Florida East Coast Canal. George Francis Miles was born in Cork on 26 June 1863. He studied engineering at Queen's College, Cork, obtaining the BE degree, and then spent a year as a pupil of WILLIAM BARRINGTON [2]  WILLIAM BARRINGTON [2] of Limerick , under whom he acted as resident engineer on the Limerick & Kerry Railway. In 1883 he went to Canada, where he was placed in charge of the Nepigon Bay section of the Lake Superior Division of the Canadian & Pacific Railway with responsibility for the construction of the Nepigon Bridge. He next moved to Florida, where, in 1889, he started work on the East Coast Canal, a 560-mile-long inland waterway from St John's to Key West. The canal was undertaken by the Florida Coast Line Canal and Transportation Company, of which he was both chief engineer and managing director. He died on 18 December 1940 at Palmstrip, Connecticut, and is remembered as a brilliant engineer with a photographic memory.

ICEI: elected member, 1906.


All information in this entry is from ICEI Membership Applications, IV, 8 (NLI Microfilm pos. 9386) and from William G. Crawford, jr., Fort Lauderdale, Florida (via Mrs Siobhan de hOir). For an account of the Florida East Coast Canal, see William G. Crawford, jr., Florida's Big Dig:  the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Jacksonville to Miami 1881 to 1835 (Florida Historical Society, 2006).