25 September 2016

Tri-state (TN-GA-AL) Railway Stops


Introduction

Lying awake in bed one night a few months, my then-wife next to me sound asleep, our son in his crib next to out bed, my ears still ringing from the comparative quiet after four years in Manila, Philippines (Ryall Springs at the time was still partially rural), I suddenly sat bolt upright in bed and announced, “That’s it!”.

When I was over there, I knew I missed mountains, just as I had at bootcamp in San Diego, language school in Monterey, A school in San Angelo, and tech school in Pensacola.  The smell of carabao dung made me miss the smell of cow dung, but I didn’t really realize that until returning and driving through the countryside.  There was still some of that in Hamilton County in the spring and summer of 1992. 

So, that’s two of three background features that framed my picture of home.  The third, the one that made me sit upright in bed and wake my sleeping family, was a train whistle, and the sounds of the clickety-clack of its wheels on steel, in this case along the old Western and Atlantic railway through Swanson Hollow.


(Photo of q Mogul 2-6-0 locomotive from Wikimedia, the type to which the original Chattanooga Choo-Choo of the Cincinnati Southern Railway belonged.)

Not until that night did I realize how much of a part of the background of my world trains had been nearly all my life.  Sure, the old W&A was close, but the old East Tennessee and Georgia’s Chattanooga Extension was not much further.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that most bands in the Philippines played “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” (all of them played “Tennessee Waltz”, mind you, and some even knew “Rocky Top”).  Or that I’d worn out my Arlo Guthrie cassette tape playing “City of New Orleans”.  Or that “Midnight Train to Georgia” was on the juke box of my favorite nightclub in Angeles City.  Nor did it hurt that the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was released just a couple of weeks after we landed at the Lovell Field airport across the tracks from the former Chickamauga Station.

I have been interested in railway stops, especially smaller ones, and the communities that grew up around them, since watching the movie Fried Green Tomatoes in 1992.  I hadn’t really thought about doing anything with that until John Wilson’s excellent “Chattanooga Railroad Series” began appearing on The Chattanoogan, but the real push came after Cora Lanier, president of the Boyce Station Neighborhood Association, asked me to give a talk at the East Chattanooga Reunion this past August.  Since much of the history of East Chattanooga is bound up with three different railroads, I was not only immersed, but hooked.

Before I started research for this, I had known vaguely that the railroads played a part in both the establishment and dissolution of communities, but not really how big.

For example, before the railroad was planned, nothing existed at what is now Atlanta, no city, town, or hamlet, nothing more than widely-separated farms which did not even have a community designation.  The community of Thrasherville grew up around Zero Mile Post beginning in 1839, which soon became known as Terminus (sounds like an episode of The Walking Dead).  Zero Mile Post was moved four blocks in 1842, and the growing community renamed itself Marthasville.  The community finally incorporated as the town of Atlanta in 1847. 

Atlanta was not the only town owing its existence almost solely to the railroads; there were many such towns, and others owed their demise to the railroads, or rather the lack thereof.

While the railroads were responsible for the creation of the town that later became the capital of the State of Georgia and one of the biggest in the South, they were also responsible for the disappearance of some towns, even county seats. 

To cite a few regional cases:

(1) Harrison, bereft of railroads entirely, found itself no longer the seat of Hamilton County when that was moved to Chattanooga in 1870 and so instigated the creation of James County, only to lose out to the railroad town of Ooltewah, and ultimately returning to Hamilton County in 1883 and fading into almost nonexistence;

(2) Washington, seat of Rhea County, losing out to Smith’s Crossroads after the Cincinnati Southern built their line through that community, and is now barely a hamlet; and,

(3) Bellefonte, the seat of Jackson County, Alabama, refused the offer to build the town a depot by the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, resulting in the establishment of Scottsboro, the loss to it of the county court in 1868, the loss of its post office in 1895, and all of its citizens by the 1920s, leaving it a ghost town.

Scottsboro and Atlanta were far from the only towns whose sole reason for coming into existence were the railroads, and many others changed their names when the railroads came.

In the beginning, I intended to limit the scope to railway stations in Hamilton County, but being that I’m a big fan of context, it wasn’t long before the territory I covered grew to include all of the surrounding counties, at least out to the stations that were most significant for various reasons (coupon station, county seat, terminus of a section, etc.).  Along the way I learned something about different types of railroad stations, though I’m sure my knowledge is incomplete.

A station is the railroad stop, but not necessarily the facility there.  Depending on traffic, that maybe a shed, a platform, or a full depot.  Sometimes there are separate stations for passengers and freight; most of those here included service for both.

A coupon station is one where passengers can buy tickets at a counter.  Otherwise, they must purchase them from the conductor en route.  Coupon stations on these lines were rare, and sometimes the reasons certains stops were coupon stations is not obvious.

A schedule stop is one on the regular schedule of the railway, nearly all of which are listed in the various editions of the Official Railway Guide.

A request stop is one not on the schedule at which trains only stop by request.  These are also called a signal stop.  Two more terms refer to the different types of signals for the train before the days of radio communication.  A whistle-stop refers to a signal from one of the passengers or conductor pulling a cord to a whistle in the engine room.  A flag-stop refers to a flag put up by a station to signal the train.

For freight traffic, an agency station has on site a railroad agent to accept payment from customers wanting to load cargo.  A nonagency station means that fees for freight must be prepaid elsewhere.

In direction, “up” and “down” refer to travel from any given point anywhere on a given line.  By contrast, “above” and “below” refer to directions from a single stationary point, almost always a terminus, in this case Chattanooga.

Now we can turn to the various railroads which came into Chattanooga and the various stations along the way in the tri-state (TN-GA-AL) area.  Stations on or at the terminus of a spur line are marked with an asterisk.

WESTERN AND ATLANTIC RAILROAD, 1850

This is the railroad that gave birth to Atlanta and other towns and spearheaded the making of Chattanooga into the great railroad center it became.

The Western and Atlantic Railroad (W&A) started life as the Georgia State Railroad, which was leased to the company bearing this name in 1870.  The railroad was built from Zero Mile Post in what is now Atlanta to Chetoogeta Mountain in Whitfield County, and from Chattanooga to the west side of the mountain.  The Chattanooga to Tunnelsville branch was completed in 1849, with service beginning the same year.  Passengers past Tunnelsville, however, had to carry themselves and their belongings across Chetoogeta Mountain to hop another train on the other side.  But then the Chetoogeta Tunnel was finished, track laid, and and the two lines joined in 1850.

As part of the U.S. Military Rail Roads during the Civil War, the line was known as the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad.

When the lease of the Western and Atlantic with the State of Georgia ran out in 1890, the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway (NC&StL) leased the rights to the railroad, and there was then a complete line from Atlanta to Nashville.  In 1957, the NC&StL merged with its parent company, the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Railroad.  In 1982, the L&N was itself was merged into the successor of its own parent company, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, as part of the Seaboard System Railroad, which merged with the Chessie System railroads to become CSX Transportation in 1986.

The stations on the Chattanooga-Tunnel Hill branch of the Western and Atlantic Railroad and its successors were as follows.

Tunnel Hill

This schedule stop was the southern terminus of the line before the tunnel opened.

The community was called Doe Run until the building of the railroad; the town incorporated as Tunnelsville in 1848.  The town and its station became Tunnel Hill in 1856.  The depot, which still stands, is on the eastern edge of the town a short distance beyond the mouth of the Western and Atlantic Railroad Tunnel through Chetoogeta Mountain. 

During the Civil War, there were encounters here on 11 September 1863; 28 November 1863 (the last of the Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign); 23 February 1864; and, finally, the Battle of Tunnel Hill on 7 May 1864, the first of the Atlanta Campaign.  During the Federal Military Occupation, there was a blockhouse here.

The post office of Tunnelsville was established in 1847, changing to Tunnel Hill in 1858.

Copeland Crossing

Three miles down the line and the first after the W&A enters Catoosa County, this signal stop was near the crossing of the railway by Bandy Road.

Greenwood

About eight-and-a-half miles from Copeland, this signal stop was near the crossing of the railway by Greenwood Road.

Catoosa Station

A mile and a half down the line, this signal stop lay a mile from the eastern mouth of Taylor’s, or Ringgold, Gap at the end of the eponymous road off U.S. Highway 41. 

Its claim to fame is having been the muster point for the (Confederate) Army of Tennessee after its retreat from Chickamauga Station on 26 November 1863, which by coincidence happened to be the first national Thanksgiving Day.

The post office of Catoosa operated here from 1850 until 1853.

Ringgold

Another mile-an-a-half brought the fine stone depot at this schedule stop which still stands at its original location just west of the railway at the eastern edge of the downtown area.

During the Civil War, the Battle of Ringgold Gap took place here on 27 November 1963.  There were also engagements 11 September and 17 September 1863 during the run-up to the Battle of the Chickamauga.  Ringgold was the last station passed by The General during Andrews’ Raid of 12 April 1862 before it ran out of fuel three miles north in Rabbit Valley.  During the Federal Military Occupation, a blockhouse guarded the depot.

In 2009, a bronze statue of Maj. Gen. Patrick Ronayne Cleburne, designed by Ron Tunison, was unveiled and dedicated in the Gap, funded by the Cleburne Society and the Ringgold Telephone Company, to commemorate his victory here.  This came about in large part from the efforts of anthropologist-historian Raymond Evans, who recently passed away.

The post office of Ringgold was established in 1847.

Gaines Quarry

A little less than four miles from Ringgold, this signal stop was primarily to load out limestone quarried on the Hale Property by Graysville Mining and Manufacturing, but occasionally there were passengers.

Graysville

One-and-a-half miles further, this town was laid out by John D. Gray in 1849 in the postal village known as Opelika after the Cherokee settlement in the vicinity, itself named after the town of the “Napochi” Indians burned by Coosa Indians and Spanish soldiers under Tristan de Luna in 1560.  Once a thriving town with several industries, this station was for a long time a schedule stop.  The tiny depot, scaled down from Graysville’s glory days, stood between Front Street and the railway in front of the old post office in the middle of the block between Vaughn and Grove Streets.

There was an engagement here between the retreating Army of the Tennessee against its Union pursuers on 26 November 1863, and another nearby at the Lafayette road and Ringgold road crossroads that same night.  There was also a skirmish here involving units of Wheeler’s Cavalry on 16 August 1864.  During the Federal Military Occupation, a blockhouse guarded the station and another the far end of the railway bridge over the Chickamauga River.

The post office  was established here in 1850 as Opalika, changing to Graysville in 1856.

Johnson

A mile down the tracks, the first station in Hamilton Co., Tennessee, was a signal stop in the southeast corner of the Concord community (now East Brainerd).

On 26 November 1863, the Battle of Cat Creek, as Sam Watkins called it, or of Shepherd’s Run, as two Union accounts refer to it, took place nearby.  It was the biggest engagement fought that day between retreating Confederates and pursuing Union forces.  The action only lasted an hour because it was so near sundown.

Concord Woodstation

Not a scheduled stop, this was a station to provide wood for steam locomotives in the days before coal-burning.  It stood at the foot of North Sanctuary Road at the modern Audobon Acres facility, serviced in antebellum days by a slave who lived in what's now called Spring Frog's Cabin.

Whorley Switch

This signal stop stood three-and-a-half miles down at Ellis’ Crossing of the Chattanooga-Graysville Pike (or Bird’s Mill Road) of the railway, west of the tracks and north of East Brainerd Road.  Its main purpose was to service the switch, or side-track, here.

The building which formerly housed the Masonic Lodge to which my grandfather belonged, Whorley Lodge, may be the sole reminder of Whorley, now known as Brainerd Hills.  The lodge was organized at the nearby Concord Baptist Church, one of the oldest continuing Baptist congregations in the county.

The post office of Whorley operated from 1898 until 1907.

Chickamauga Station

A mile-and-a-quarter down, this is the railway station talked about in Civil War reports from or of “Chickamauga Station”.  The depot at this schedule stop sat on the east side of the tracks just south of Chickamauga Road, now across the street from Lovell Field.  The locals called the section in which the station  was built Pull Tight.  Union maps from the Civil War sometimes refer to it as Campbell’s Station, which was originally the name of the station, but the name of the post office here was eventually adopted by the railroad.

When Cleburne’s Division was stationed in the area during the summer of 1863 between the Tullahoma Campaign and the Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign, two of the redoubts he built guarded Chickamauga and its depot from Milliken Ridge.  Later that year, Chickamauga Station was the muster point of the Army of Tennessee after Missionary Ridge on 25 November 1863.  The first engagements between Union and Confederate forces on 26 November began north of here and continued across Milliken Ridge into Hickory Valley.  Another engagement took place here on 30 January 1864.  During the Federal Military Occupation, a blockhouse guarded the depot and village.

The post office of Chickamauga was established here in 1850, but service went by the wayside during the war.  By the time service reopened in 1867, another  community had a post office under the name Chickamauga (see Daisy, in the section on the Cincinnati Southern), so it adopted the name Chickamauga Station.  The name reverted to Chickamauga in 1882 when the other became Melville in 1878.  The name of the post office changed to Shepherd in 1898 over confusion with Chickamauga, Georgia, which was given priority due to its proximity to the National Park, but the depot’s name remained the same well into the 20th century, when it was also changed to Shepherd.  The L&N closed Shepherd depot and the USPS its post office in 1955.  The new USPS site in Brainerd Hills adopted the name Chickamauga Station; in the 1980s it moved down East Brainerd Road to a spot near the old Rains place under that name.

Col. Lewis Shepherd, father of the well-known judge, operated a post office called Hickory Valley at his nearby home named Altamede from 1840 until 1842.

Holmes Station

This signal stop used to stand where Stein Paving and Sealing now sits on Quintus Loop.

During the Civil War, the bridge immediately after this stop and one of the two beyond on the W&A line were two of the three bridges burned 9 November 1861 in the “Little Rebellion” by Unionist sympathizers.  Hamilton County had twice voted a majority against secesssion.  While the two bridges were being repaired (there were three in all on its tracks between Chickamauga Station and Chattanooga), the W&A detoured to go over the bridge of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad (ET&G).

Chickamauga Junction

After the Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign, Union engineers built a junction of the W&A and the ET&G just west of Chickamauga River.  This cut ten miles out of the W&A’s mileage, which was the intention.  The junction was so important it was guarded by two blockhouses in the immediate vicinity and another one-third mile down track.  After the war, the two railways returned to their original routes, with the ET&G building an overpass bridge above the W&A.  The junction remained a station into the 20th century.

McCarty

Serving both the ET&G and the W&A, this signal stop stood where Allied Shipping now operates on Lightfoot Mill Road in a diamond formed by the tracks of the former (now part of the Tennessee Valley Railway) and of the latter.  CSX Railroad still has a presence there.

A post office of McCarty operated here in the late 19th and possibly early 20th centuries.

Old Boyce

The original Boyce Station stood five miles below the later site at the Harrison Pike crossing just east of Sivley Ford through South Chickamauga Creek.  Both the depot and the village around it were destroyed during the war, and the community dispersed.  When rebuilt after the war, Boyce Station was several miles distant.  Later in the 19th century, the W&A established a signal station they named Kings Bridge after the eponymous bridge which now crossed the creek.

Boyce Station

After being released from the U.S. Rail Road in 1865, the W&A rebuilt Boyce Station four-and-a-half miles above its previous location, west of the railway opposite the end of Cushman Street.  It remained a schedule stop and in its later years was a coupon station.  When the Cincinnatti Southern Railway came to town in 1880, the name changed from Boyce to Boyce Junction.  In the early 1880s, the W&A changed the name of its station to Amnicola, probably to match the name of the post office at the time.  Later in the decade, the depot moved a half mile above to a spot north of Wilder Street between the tracks, shared with the Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific Railroad (CNO&TP), under the original name of Boyce, although Amnicola was still sometimes used until the end of the century.  The Union Railway of Chattanooga later extended its tracks from Sherman Heights to Boyce Station, crossing those of both the NC&StL and the CNO&TP.

After the depot burned in 1912, Southern Railway (SOU)—which then controlled the Alabama Great Southern Railway (AGS), which in turn controlled the CNO&TP and the Belt Line—rebuilt it, the new facility opening in 1913.  The Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis ceased passenger serivce here in the early 1930s and Southern in 1938, after which it was torn down.

The post office of Boyce Junction was established in 1879.  It changed to Amnicola a month later, to Boyce for three weeks, back to Amnicola for eight years, then back to Boyce for a year-and-a-half before settling on East Chattanooga in 1889.  Postal service moved to Chattanooga in 1905.  The town of Boyce, between Bachman and Sims Streets and between the railroads and Chamberlain Avenue, merged with Sherman Heights as the town of East Chattanooga in 1905.

Winters Spur

According to at least one map, this signal stop stood about halfway between the stations at Boyce and Citicio Junction, and was undoubtedly obliterated with the expansion of the Citico (DeButts) Yards.

Citico Junction

The first junction of this railroad with the ET&G coming into town, it gave its name to the Afro-American community of Citico City which is now called after its recreation area, Lincoln Park.  The two railroads shared a depot at this schedule stop before and during the war, and probably for at least several decades after. 

The Citico Yards which grew exponentially along the tracks here are now called the DeButts Yards, but “Citico Junction” remains a geographic point.

King Street Junction

The second junction of this railroad with the ET&G.

For more information, see the section on the Chattanooga Extension Railroad, ET&G.

Union Junction

This was originally the junction of the W&A (and later the merged railways) with the tracks of the Nashville and Chattanooga and its successors at the south end of the yards of Union Depot.

Chattanooga

The northern terminus of the W&A, and the main terminal in Chattanooga of its successors the NC&StL and the L&N, was the Union Depot on what is now Martin Luther King Boulevard until it closed in 1971.  It was not only a schedule stop but a coupon station.

The passenger station and freight depot both stood across from the Read House.  Both were torn down in 1972 along with the Car Shed, despite efforts to save them.  The Car Shed was built first, a cooperative venture of the W&A with the Nashville and Chattanooga (N&C) and the Memphis and Charleston (M&C) Railroads.  The freight and passenger head stations were built in 1882.

During the Civil War, the town served as the headquarters for Confederate Department No. 2 and its successor the Department of the West, and later for the District of the Etowah of the Union Department of the Cumberland.  The Confederate Army of the Mississippi (forerunner of the Army of Tennessee) occupied the region 23 July-28 August 1862.  The Confederate Army of Tennessee occupied the region 4 July-9 September 1863.  The Union Army of the Cumberland was besieged here 22 September-25 November 1863.  Chattanooga also served as the main rear base for Sherman’s Military Division of the Mississippi during the Atlanta Campaign.

The town was the focus of the Chattanooga Campaign, which included two of the bloodiest battles of the war, the Battle of the Chickamauga (or of Mud Flats) and the (Third) Battle of Chattanooga, forming the most decisive series of encounters in the western theater.

The First Battle of Chattanooga occurred 7-8 June 1862.  The Second Battle of Chattanooga took place 21 August-8 September 1863.  The Third Battle of Chattanooga, also known as the Battles of Chattanooga, happened 23-25 November 1863.

The Federal Military Occupation officially began 29 September 1863 during the siege, and lasted until April 1866.  After the campaign, in addition to the system of walls, redoubts, and trenches (then called “rifle pits”) which guarded the town, a huge two-story multi-sided blockhouse stood south of Union Depot.

The post office was established as Ross’ Landing in 1837.  The name changed in 1838 when the new town adopted the name Chattanooga.

EAST TENNESSEE AND GEORGIA RAILROAD, 1851

This railroad began existence as the Hiwassee Railroad Company in Tennessee in 1836, intending to link up with the Georgia State Railroad (Western and Atlantic, or W&A) at Dalton extending to Knoxville, Tennessee.  The Red Clay and Cross Plains Branch Railroad Company was chartered in 1840 to meet the former company at Red Clay.  After reorganizing into a single entity, the two became the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad (ET&G).  The first section opened between the southern terminus at Dalton, Georgia, to which the community of Cross Plains had renamed itself, and Loudon, Tennessee, in 1851.  The second section, from Loudon to Knoxville, opened in 1855.

During the Civil War, the U.S. Military Rail Roads operated the railway from Cleveland south under the name Cleveland and Dalton Railroad.

In 1869, the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad merged with the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad (from Knoxville to Bristol) to form the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad.  In 1883, it became part of Baron d’Erlanger’s Queen and Crescent Route. 

After J.P. Morgan merged this railway with the Richmond and Danville Railroad in 1894 as the Southern Railway (SOU), the stations formed part of SOU’s Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Brunswick Division.  Most of these also formed the Cleveland and Dalton Division, in which they were all schedule stops.

The stations from Calhoun to Dalton on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad and its successors were as follows.

Calhoun

The last station in McMinn County coming from Knoxville was the site of the Hiwassee Garrison before Removal in 1838.  Before the the Civil War, it was a schedule stop but afterwards downgraded to a signal stop.

During the Civil War, Unionist sympathizers burned the railway bridge over the Hiwassee River linking this town with Charleston on 8 November 1861.  There was a military engagement here on 26 September 1863 and again on 26 November 1863.  During the Federal Military Occupation, a blockhouse guarded this side of the railway bridge.

The post office of Calhoun operated from 1820 until 1869.

Charleston

The depot at this schedule stop stood beside the Hiwassee River south of the railway.

Before the Removal, this was the last location of the Cherokee Agency in the East.  Many prominent Cherokee lived here, including Lewis Ross, brother of John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation East.  The Removal-era Fort Cass stood here guarding the various camps into which the Cherokee were interned; it was built on the site of the former agency.

Interesting fact: In the late 19th century, the Eastern Cherokee Agency was located in Charleston, Swain County, North Carolina.

During the Civil War, there was an engagement here 26 November 1863, in the aftermath of the Battles of Chattanooga, and another on 16 December 1863.  The Union army built a redoubt and two blockhouses to guard the bridge from this side of the Hiwassee, which marked the eastern boundary of the Union District of the Etowah based in Chattanooga.

The post office of Charleston was established in 1840.

Tasso

Originally called Herndon then McMillan Station, this signal stop was in Dry Valley halfway between Charleston and Cleveland.  The depot is long gone, but a small community is still there.

The post office of Tasso operated from 1903 until 1953.

Cleveland

Seat of Bradley County, Tennessee, this town was a schedule stop and coupon station on the first major railroad line in East Tennessee.  Its latest passenger station, built by Southern Railway in the early 20th century, still stands at 175 Edwards Street, now serving the town’s bus service.

During the Civil War, there was an engagement here 25 November 1863, in the aftermath of the Battles of Chattanooga.  Another took place 17 August 1864 during Wheeler’s cavalry raid behind Union lines.  A blockhouse guarded the depot during the Federal Military Occupation, supported by two redoubts, Fort McPherson and Fort Sedgwick.

The post office of Cleveland was established in 1836.

Blue Springs

This schedule stop stood east of the tracks in Blue Springs Valley four miles south of Cleveland at a crossing of the railway by Blue Springs Road.

The post office of Blue Springs Station operated from 1874 until 1906.

Marble Switch

This signal stop stood three miles south, near another crossing by Blue Springs Road.  Its main purpose was to service the switch, or side-track, here.

The post office of Marble Switch operated from 1891 until 1906.

Weatherly Switch

This signal stop stood two miles south, at the crossing of Weatherly Switch Road.  There was also a side track here.

Red Clay

Originally called State Line Station, this schedule stop was just inside Whitfield County, Georgia, in the community that adopted the name Red Clay after the Cherokee council grounds just over the state line in Bradley County.

During the Civil War, troops from Union cavalry raided the depot here 27 November 1863.

The post office of Red Clay operated from 1840 until 1905.

Cohutta

Two miles from Red Clay, this schedule stop was first known as Parker’s Woodyard, renamed Cohutta after it became the junction point for the Ooltewah Cut-off with the main line of the ETV&G.  The layout of the well-planned town is readily apparent.

The post office of Cohutta was established in 1882.

Varnell

This schedule stop four miles from Cohutta gave its name to the community originally known as Red Hill.  Today the community is best known for its large spring and for Prater’s Mill.

The post office was established as Red Hill in 1834.  The name changed to Varnell’s Station in 1856, and to Varnell in 1929.

Waring

This schedule stop five miles from Varnell lay at the crossing of the railway by Waring Road NW.

The post office of Waring operated from 1890 until 1906.

Dalton

After five more miles, we reach the southern terminus of the ET&G, and the junction of that railway with the Western and Atlantic.  Known as Cross Plains before the railroad came, the community adopted the name Dalton at that time.  In addition to being a schedule stop, it was also a coupon station.

During the Civil War, the First Battle of Dalton was fought here 27 February 1864.  The Battles of Dug Gap, Buzzard’s Roost, and Rocky Face took place immediately to the northwest 8-12 May 1864 at the start of the Atlanta Campaign, just after the Battle of Tunnel Hill.  The Second Battle of Dalton occurred 14-15 August during Wheeler’s cavalry raid behind Union lines.  The Third Battle of Dalton happened early in the Nashville Campaign on 13 October 1864.

During the Federal Military Occupation, Union troops built two redoubts here, Fort Miller and Fort Hill, the latter of which gave its name to the hill it was on.  A blockhouse guarded the depot and railyard, and another at nearby Buzzard’s Roost guarded the line of the railway.

Dalton is fortunate to have not one but two surviving railroad depots.  The Western and Atlantic Depot was built in 1852 to provide both passenger and freight service.  The Southern Railway Freight Depot was built in 1911.  The first now houses a restaurant and the second the city’s convention and visitors’ bureau.

The post office was established here as Cross Plains in 1837, changing to Dalton in 1847.

NASHVILLE AND CHATTANOOGA RAILROAD, 1854

Nicknamed “The Dixie Line” in its subsequent incarnation, the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad (N&C) completed its line into Chattanooga in 1854.

During the Civil War, the U.S. Military Rail Roads operated the line of the N&C under the name Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, though under complete control of the Union army.

After purchasing two more railways, the N&C reincorporated as the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway (NC&StL) in 1873.  In 1880, the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Railroad took control in a hostile takeover, but continued to operate it as a separate entity.  The NC&StL leased the Western and Atlantic (W&A) line from the State of Georgia in 1890.  It merged with its parent company in 1957, and the latter ultimately became part of CSX Transportation in 1985.

The stations on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad its successors from Stevenson, Alabama, to Chattanooga were as follows.

Stevenson

The N&C completed its line to this city, town then, in Jackson County, Alabama, in 1852.  The surviving depot, the fourth, at this schedule stop and coupon station was built in a joint-venture with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad (M&C) in 1872 and includes an eight-room hotel.  The L&N, parent company of the NC&StL, closed it in 1976.  It is now the Stevenson Railway Depot and Hotel in the center of downtown.

During the Civil War, Stevenson was occupied in April 1862 without a fight by Union forces who later abandoned it to Confederate reoccupation.  The Army of Tennessee withdrew after the Tullahoma Campaign, and Union forces reoccupied it, this time permanently.  There were engagements here on 18 July 1862 and 7 September 1863.  The Union built Fort Harker in 1862 and enlarged it in 1864; it was restored and opened as a city park in 1985.  Another redoubt named Fort Mitchell guarded town from the north, and seven blockhouses surrounded the town.

The post office of Stevenson was established in 1832.

Willow Tree

Not even surviving as a place-name, this ante-bellum station, probably a signal stop, stood three miles down the line from Stevenson and was probably destroyed during the war.

Bolivar

This schedule stop and the village that grew around it stood five miles down the line from Stevenson and two from Willow Tree, at the former site in modern times of the North Alabama Hospital in Jackson Co. on Alabama Highway 227.

The post office of Bolivar operated from 1835 until 1904.

Bridgeport

This schedule stop and coupon station was originally called Jonesville, after the town.  Both names changed to the present in 1854.  For a time, the town hosted two Bridgeport depots, one serving the two initial railroads and their successors and the other the Sequatchie Valley Branch Railroad (SVB).  In 1917, the L&N, parent of the NC&StL which controlled the SVB, built a joint depot consolidating passenger and freight service areas and company offices for both companies.  The freight area burned, but the passenger section remains, has been restored, and is now a museum.

During the Civil War, Union forces took the town after the Siege of Bridgeport 23-29 April 1862.  There was another engagement 27 August that same year.  Union forces abandoned the town and the Confederates reoccupied it until the Army of Tennessee withdrew to Chattanooga after the Tullahoma Campaign.  The Union held it for the rest of the war. 

During the Federal Military Occupation, three redoubts were built here, each with a blockhouse inside.  A stand-alone blockhouse guarded the depot, and another the railway bridges over the river.  There was another blockhouse on Long Island and one more on the hill on the left bank overlooking the two railway bridges. 

Starting in late spring 1864, Bridgeport’s riverport hosted the 11th District of the Mississippi Squadron, patrolling from Bridgeport to Muscle Shoals.  The unit consisted of five tin-clads built by Union engineers in Chattanooga.

The post office was established as Jonesville in 1852, changing to Bridgeport in 1854.

Long Island

Two miles down from Bridgeport, still in Jackson County, stood this schedule stop, originally called Carpenter.  The community here, which went by Long Island well before the war, is a mile-and-a-half away from the namesake island itself and still goes by Long Island.

The post office of Long Island operated from 1852 until 1966.

Taylor’s Store

Situated at the stateline was this signal stop halfway between Long Island station and Moore’s Crossing, just inside Marion County, Tennessee.  During the Civil War it served as a muster and departure point for several units from both armies.  It survived the war for at least a decade.

Graham

This signal stop once stood in Moore’s Crossing in Marion County, Tennessee, at the crossing by Shellmound Road which gave its name to the community.  All that remains of the tiny community once there is the McDaniel-Moore Cemetery at the site of the former McDaniel Chapel.  It was about halfway between Carpenter depot and Shellmound depot.

Shellmound

Named for the huge mound of shell midden dating from the Woodland Era (100 BCE-800 CE), this depot at this schedule stop stood at the eastern side of the mouth of Cole City Hollow, beyond where Macedonia Road meets the railway; the exact site is now under water.  It was originally named Nickajack for the community here, which in turn took its name from the Cherokee town dating back to 1782 during the Cherokee-American Wars of 1776-1795.  When the railroad renamed its depot Shellmound, the community became known by that name.

During the Civil War, Nickajack Cave was the primary source of saltpeter for the Confederacy until it fell behind Union lines.

The post office of Nickajack was established here in 1854.  In 1879, it changed to Shellmound, and closed in 1955.

Cole City

The Nickajack Railroad spurred off south from Shellmound to service the Gordon Mines and others of the Dade Coal Company at Cole City in Dade County, Georgia.  The mines here used convict slave labor, leasing prisoners from the state.

The post office of Cole City operated from 1874 until 1911.

Ladd’s Switch

This signal stop was on the western side of the mouth of Running Water Valley where Ladds Switch Road crosses the railway.  Its main purpose was to service the switch, or side-track, here. 

The post office of Ladds operated from 1925 to 1937.

*Guild

This station stood at the end of a spur line from Ladd’s Switch about a mile north of the community of Haletown.  It served the village of Guild inhabited by workers constructing the Hales Bar Dam and the construction of the dam itself.  When that was finished, the workers village merged with its neighbor to the south, and the names are still used interchangeably.

The post office of Guild has operated since 1905.

Vulcan

This signal stop was at the junction of the main line with the spur that serviced the Vulcan Mines at the foot of the spur.

Whiteside

This schedule stop stood in the heart of the community of formerly known Running Water, named for the former Cherokee established in 1782 during the Cherokee-American Wars.  The famous war leader Dragging Canoe made his home and headquarters here, and is buried in one of its hollows.  The depot formerly stood near the current post office.

There were no engagements here during the Civil War, but the (Confederate) Army of Tennessee burned the railroad trestle on their withdrawal in 1863.  Engineers from the (Union) Army of the Cumberland replaced it with a stupendous two-level structure guarded by four of the ten blockhouses between Bridgeport and Chattanooga throughout the Federal Military Occupation.

The post office of Running Water as established in 1847, changing to Whiteside in 1865.

Aetna

This signal stop was at the junction of the main line with the spur that serviced the Aetna Mines at the foot of the spur.

Summit Switch

This signal stop was just inside Tennessee and south of the railway.  The community there straddled the stateline; Summit Cemetery is just inside Dade County, Georgia.

Hooker

This schedule stop was the only station of the N&C and its successors in Dade County, Georgia.  Originally, it was named Lookout Station; the name changed after the war.

The post office of Lookout Station operated here from 1856 until 1867.  In 1881, the post office was reestablished as Lookout, the name changing to Hooker in 1890.  It closed in 1896.

Cross Hollow Switch

This signal stop east of the later Hooker served the side-track here.

Wauhatchie Junction

This schedule stop in Lookout Valley in Hamilton County, Tennessee, stood at the junction of the N&C and the M&C with the Wills Valley Railroad and of their successors.  No longer providing passenger service, a large freight depot services the needs of the large railyards here.  Even before the Civil War it already had quite a number of side-tracks, which in the mid-20th century expanded into the Wauhatchie Yards.

The Battle of Wauhatchie took place here 28-29 October 1863.  During the Federal Military Occupation, a blockhouse guarded the depot and railway junction.

The (second) post office of Wauhatchie operated here from 1866 until 1918.

Lookout

From late 1860s through the early decades of the 20th century, this schedule stop stood next to the railway just east of where Kelly’s Ferry Road-Cummings Highway meets Old Wauhatchie Pike, two miles down from Wauhatchie Junction.  This is in the area of Tiftonia proper; old-time residents will tell you there are three separate areas of Lookout Valley: Brown’s Ferry, Tiftonia, and Wauhatchie.

The Battle of Brown’s Ferry took place a mile-and-a-half north of here on 27 October 1863, and there had been a previous engagement 7 September 1863.  During the Federal Military Occupation, a redoubt probably called Fort Hooker anchored the line of works that protected Brown’s Ferry and Brown’s Landing from a southern approach.

The post office of Lookout Valley operated in the vicinity from 1834 until 1848.  There is a satellite station under that same name operating under the Chattanooga Post Office today.

Cravens

Named for the Civil War famous site on Lookout Mountain above it, this schedule stop stood three miles from Lookout station, at the junction of the old Broad Gauge (Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway) with the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and at the south end of the Cravens Yards.

A few maps from the Civil War era show a station in the same vicinity designated “West Chattanooga”.  That could have been its antebellum name or a Union army designation.

Union Junction

The junction of this railroad with the Western and Atlantic Railroad into Union Depot.

Chattanooga

The N&C and its successors used Union Depot it until it closed in 1971. 

For further Chattanooga information, see the section on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

MEMPHIS AND CHARLESTON RAILROAD, 1857

Chartered in 1846, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad (M&C) junctioned with the line of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad (N&C) at Stevenson, Alabama, in 1857, and through a lease with the latter reached Chattanooga the same year.  At the time, it was the sole east-west railroad existing in the South.  It was also the first railroad to include sleeper cars, and was unique in making more money from passenger service than by hauling freight.

During the Civil War, the U.S. Military Rail Roads operated the line of the M&C that came into Chattanooga as the Memphis and Charleston Railroad (Eastern Division), which ran from Decatur, Alabama, to Chattanooga.  The western portions were almost entirely destroyed, or at lest rendered unusable.

In 1877, the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad leased the M&C but continued to operate it as a separate line.  In 1883, the M&C became part of Baron d’Erlanger’s Queen and Crescent Route.  In 1887, the railway company went into receivership and was purchased by the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railway (ETV&G).  With ETV&G, the M&C became part of Southern Railway (SOU), its assets becoming SOU’s Chattanooga and Memphis Division.

Scottsboro

Scottsboro was both a schedule stop and a coupon station as well as a town literally created for the railroad.  After Bellefonte, the seat of Jackson County, Alabama, refused the railroad’s offer to have a depot in or near its town, one of its more progressively inclined citizens, Robert Scott, moved a few miles away to build a depot called Scott’s Station.  The brick freight depot built by the M&C at the corner of North Houston and East Maple Streets now serves as the Scottsboro Depot Museum.  It is one of three antebellum railroad depots left in Alabama.  The courthouse was moved here from Bellefonte in 1868.

During the Civil War, Scottsboro was established as the headquarters for the 15th Corps of the (Union) Army of the Tennessee.  The only engagement here took place late in the conflict on 8 January 1865, when Confederate forces under Brig. Gen. Hylon Lyon attacked the Union garrison in an attempt to seize the town but were driven off.

Scottsboro became well-known during the Great Depression as the site of the trial of the Scottsboro Boys.  After they had been convicted by an all-white jury of the rape of two white women (who had hopped the same Memphis-bound train) and some sentenced to electrocution, Amy Licht, chairperson of the Unemployed Council in Chattanooga, learned of their plight while in jail awaiting trial for sedition (of which she and her fellow defendants were exonerated).  The Unemployed Councils across the country were set up by the Trade Union Unity League, the labor arm of the Communist Party USA.  Licht contacted the party’s legal arm, the International Labor Defense, and it was the lawyers of that organization who provided the bulk of the legal work which ultimately led to their freedom.

The post office of Scott’s Mill was established here in 1854, changing to Scottsboro in 1859.

Hollywood

In 1857, the M&C established this schedule stop under the name Bellefonte Depot two miles northwest of the county seat by that name, which had voted against the railroad.  In the 1880s, the railroad changed the name of its station to Hollywood.

The town of Bellefonte’s fortunes rapidly declined after their refusal of the railroad.  Citizens such as Robert Scott moved away.  The courthouse burned in the early years of the war, and in 1868 the county seat moved to Scottsboro.  Its post office, established in 1822, closed in 1895.  It is now a noted ghost town.  The town was named after the Removal era internment camp here, Camp Bellefonte.

When the M&C first built their depot, a post office briefly operated in 1857 under the name Bellefonte Depot but did not survive until the end of the year, probably due to its proximity to the town and post office of Bellefonte.  Postal service was reestablished at this station under the name Samples in 1883 when the residents incorporated as a town by that name.  The name of the post office changed to Hollywood along with that of the town in 1887.

Fackler

This schedule stop was at the unincorporated community of Jackson County, Alabama, by that name and was the reason for this community’s beginning.

During the Chattanooga Campaign of the Civil War, the 90th Illinois Volunteer Infantry was based out of here.

The post office of Fackler was established in 1869.

Stevenson

When the M&C made the connection to the N&C here, it joined with the latter to build a larger joint depot.  That depot was destroyed during the Civil War, and the Government House between the tracks of the two railways was used instead.  After the war, it became the official Stevenson Depot until 1872, when the two railways built another joint-effort depot, the one that now stands in the heart of town.

For more information, see the entry for Stevenson under section for the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.

Chattanooga

In Chattanooga, the M&C used Union Depot until coming under the control of the ETV&G.

For more Chattanooga information, see that entry under the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

CHATTANOOGA EXTENSION RAILROAD, 1859

The first effort to build a line connecting Chattanooga to the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad (ET&G) was launched by the Chattanooga, Harrison, and Cleveland Railroad Company in 1850.  This reorganized in 1852 as the Chattanooga, Harrison, Georgetown, and Charleston Railroad Company and began work in 1854.  The company graded some roadbed and began excavating the tunnel through Missionary Ridge, then went bankrupt.  Amalgamation of the company with the ET&G to allow the construction to proceed was hindered temporarily by a lawsuit brought by the Chattanooga, Blue Springs, and Cleveland Railroad Company, which had also been granted a charter for a branch route between the two towns.  In the end, the ET&G won out, redrew the route, completed the tunnel, and finished the branch railroad.  The company officially named the passageway through the ridge Whiteside Tunnel after James Whiteside of Chattanooga, one of the company’s directors and one of the town’s early leaders.  The new section opened for traffic into Chattanooga in 1859.

The official industry name for this section, at least at the time, is the Chattanooga Extension, though on maps of the period, especially Union maps during the war, it appears as Chattanooga and Cleveland Railroad.  For the first few decades of its existence, it appeared in timetables of the Official Railway Guide as the Chattanooga Branch Railroad, though integrated into the main schedule of the ET&G.

As part of the U.S. Military Rail Roads during the Civil War, this section formed part of the Chattanooga and Knoxville Railroad.

In 1869, the ET&G and the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad (Knoxville to Bristol) consolidated to form the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad (ETV&G).  The ETV&G Railroad went under in 1886, and was reorganized as the ETV&G Railway by its new owners.  This company merged with the Richmond and Danville Railroad into Southern Railway (SOU) in 1894; these stations here became part of SOU’s Bristol and Chattanooga Division.  In 1982, SOU  merged with Norfolk and Western Railway to form Norfolk-Southern Railway, and has operated under that name ever since.

The stations on the Chattanooga Extension of the ET&G and its successors were as follows.

Cleveland

This scheduled stop and coupon station was the junction of the Chattanooga Extension to what was then ET&G’s main line.

For more information, see the section on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad.

Black Fox

This initially schedule and later signal stop stood at the little community named for the Cherokee leader who lived in the vicinity after the Cherokee-American Wars.  The community has migrated about a mile northeast of its original location near the station, which stood at the crossing of the railroad by the old Chattanooga-Cleveland Pike.

The post office of Black Fox operated from 1885 until 1915.

Tucker Springs

This tiny community at this signal stop centers around the crossing of the railroad by the old Chattanooga-Cleveland Pike, where its station once stood.  It primarily serviced a resort centered around the Tucker Springs Hotel.

The post office of Tucker Springs operated from 1903 until 1925.

McDonald

Originally called McDonald, then Hinches Station, and finally switched back to McDonald, this schedule stop stood about five-and-a-half miles from Cleveland.  Besides the railway stop, the main attraction was the New Lauderback Springs Hotel.  A small community is still there.

The post office of McDonald was established in 1860.

Mineral Park

At the very western edge of Bradley County, the community grew out of a resort comprised of Mineral Springs Park at which the Mineral Springs Inn was built in 1910.  Being right on the railroad rather than merely near it gave the resort a significant advantage.  The signal stop was built especially to service the resort and its guests.

The post office of Mineral Park operated from 1914 until 1930.

Wells

The first station in Hamilton County was this signal stop at the eastern mouth of Julian, or Dead Man’s Gap opposite the end of Edgemon Road.  Its original antebellum name was Sulphur Springs Station, and it was probably then a schedule stop.

Ooltewah

Seat of James County, Tennessee from 1870 until 1919 when it was reintegrated into Hamilton County.  This depot stood at the town’s eastern edge near the western mouth of Dead Man’s Gap, and the town, laid out in neat squares, grew south of the railroad.  The third James County Courthouse still stands in the eastern part of the town proper. 

Until 1882, this was the only station in Ooltewah and a schedule stop, which it remained into the early 20th century after it neighbor began operating.  In the 1910s, however, it downgraded to a signal stop then closed.  That closure, however, did not leave the town without railroad service.

During the Civil War, there was an engagement 24-25 November 1863; two during the winter bivouac on 21 January 1864 and 18-19 February; and a fourth on 4 February 1865, the last such recorded in Hamilton County.  The region to the north also hosted one of the bigger bushwacker groups (the period term for Confederate guerrillas) in the vicinity active during the occupation, Snow’s Scouts.  During the Federal Military Occupation, a blockhouse guarded the depot here.

The post office was first established here in 1837, but was moved east as Julian Gap in 1843.  It returned to Ooltewah in 1859, and has operated there ever since.

Ooltewah Junction

Between 1882 and the 1910s, the town of Ooltewah was serviced by two railroad depots.  For more information, see the section on the Tennessee State Line Railroad.

Summit

With its railway platform probably located opposite the end of School Street off the old Chattanooga-Cleveland Pike, this signal stop began as a wood station before the steam locomotives started burning coal.

Tyner

Originally called Tynerville, this schedule stop lasted until 1970, and was servicing passengers at least as late as 1960.  The depot was north of the tracks and east of the old stage road from Harrison now known as Hickory Valley Road.  The village grew north towards the Chattanooga-Cleveland Pike (now Bonny Oaks Drive).  After the Civil War, an Afro-American settlement called Hawkinsville grew north of Chattanooga-Cleveland Pike along the old stage road. 

When the U.S. Army established the TNT plant in 1940, the residents of both communities were removed, and my great-grandfather lost his store at the intersection of Hickory Valley Road and Chattanooga-Cleveland Pike.  Residents of Tyner mostly relocated south of the tracks within reach of the still-operating depot, while those of Hawkinsville moved further south to New Hawkinsville along Pinewood Drive (my great-grandparents moved to Ryall Springs).

During the summer of 1863, Cleburne’s Division of the (Confederate) Army of Tennessee was stationed in the area, and in Harrison.  Of the five redoubts they built in the vicinity, two guarded Tyner, one on the hill where Tyner Middle Academy now stands, and the other in the village of Tyner itself, where Cleburne had his headquarters. 

In the retreat of the Army of Tennessee from Chickamauga Station to Ringgold on 26 November 1863, a skirmish took place here between the 55th Ohio Volunteers of Howard’s 11th Corps and the 4th Kentucky Infantry of Lewis’ Kentucky Orphan Brigade.  During the Federal Military Occupation, a blockhouse guarded the depot here.

The second of the Cleburne redoubts mentioned above, the one in the former village of Tyner, is in good enough condition of preservation to be restored to the state of Fort Harker in Stevenson, Alabama, which would be a great attraction for tourists and Civil War buffs.

The post office of Tynersville was established in 1860, changing later that year to just Tyner, operating until 1972.

Jersey

Initially called Carr’s Station then renamed for the primary cargo boarded there for shipping (Jersey cows), this schedule stop stood at the crossing of the railroad by Jersey Pike, the sole remaining witness to this station’s former existence.

The post office of Jersey operated from 1889 until 1904, when it was moved to Sherman Heights (see below).

Chickamauga Creek Branch

According to at least one map, this signal stop stood about halfway between Jersey station and the South Chickamauga Creek.

*Grand Junction

Not a historical depot, but the main station of the Tennessee Valley Railroad (TVR), the steam railway operated by the TVR Museum.  On the Mission Ridge Local, the TVR carries passengers on tracks along the old ETV&G right-of-way, donated by Southern Railway, through the Whiteside Tunnel, stopping at its East Chattanooga Station before proceeding to Terminal Station downtown.  The TVR offers longer trips such as the Chickamauga Turn and the Summerville Steam Specials.  The TVR runs its Hiwassee River Rail Adventure out of its Etowah Station, the original L&N depot which has been restored.  The address for Grand Junction Station is 4119 Cromwell Road.

Chickamauga Junction

The bridge of the ET&G and its successors over the tracks of the Western and Atlantic (W&A), and during the Federal Military Occupation the site of a physical junction of the two railways. 

For further information, see the section on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

McCarty

This station stood where Allied Shipping now operates used by both this railroad and the W&A. 

For further information, see the section on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

East Chattanooga

Before and during the Civil War, there was a depot at this schedule stop called Glass Station until it burned in the Battle of Tunnel Hill, Tn.  After the war, the ET&G built another depot north of the tracks inside the loop that now connects Awtry Street to Arno Street, called Tunnel from the surrounding community.  The name briefly changed to Arno in the early 1880s.  In 1888, the name again changed, to Sherman Heights.  This depot burned down in 1913, and SOU rebuilt east of the tracks and south of Crutchfield Street but named this one East Chattanooga, at almost the same site of the Tennessee Valley Railroad’s own station of this name.  Sherman Heights was also a stop on the Union Railway of Chattanooga, but not at this depot.

The name Sherman Heights derived from the main action of the Battle of Missionary Ridge on 25 November between the 15th Corps of the Union Army of the Tennessee and Cleburne’s Divison of the Confederate Army of Tennessee lasting from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.  The action devastated the entire area, especially the Glass farm for which the district is now named.  To balance the scales and honor the Confederate victor of the engagement, residents christened the premier guest house and meeting hall on Glass Street as the Cleburne Hotel.

Sherman’s Reservation of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga Park occupies the entire top of Tunnel/Trueblood Hill, and while rivaling Point Park as the crown of the park in Chattanooga with its unparalleled view of the city, is also the most neglected and least easily accessible, especially to the movement-impaired.

The post office of Mission Ridge was established in what was then still called Tunnel in 1884, and renamed Sherman Heights in 1888 after the community adopted that name the previous year.  Like East Chattanooga P.O. in Boyce, it was moved to Chattanooga in 1905.  Sherman Heights merged with Boyce as the town of East Chattanooga later that same year.

Burgess

This signal stop at the Dodson Avenue crossing of the railway, near the intersection of the former with Ruby Street.  

A post office of Burgess operated here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Citico Junction

Initially, the first junction of this railroad with the W&A coming into Chattanooga. 

For further information, see the section on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

King Street Junction

The second junction of this railroad with the W&A on its way to Union Depot was just east of what’s now King Street and south of what would be East 13th Street.  From here, the two railroads used the same tracks to their terminus.  King Street did not exist at the time but I have not been able to discover the name of the junction.  At least before and during the Civil War, a depot stood east of the V of this junction.  The former site of both is now occupied by Docu-Shred LLC at 1208 King Street.

Chattanooga

The ET&G used the Union Depot from 1859 until it became part of the later the ETV&G in 1869, after which the latter used it until 1888, when the Central Depot opened at Market and West 13th Streets.  After it became part of SOU, that use continued until 1909 when the Terminal Station opened on South Market Street.  Terminal Station closed for passenger service in 1970, and in 1973 reopened as the Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

For further Chattanooga information, see the section on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

WILLS VALLEY RAILROAD, 1860

The Wills Valley Railroad (WV) was chartered to link Elyton, Alabama (now part of Birmingham) with Chattanooga, junctioning with the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad at Wauhatchie.  It opened the line from Trenton to Wauhatchie in late 1860.  The Civil War naturally interrupted its growth.  As part of the U.S. Military Rail Roads, it was designated as Trenton Branch of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.  In 1868, the WV merged with its sister railway, the North East and South West Alabama Railroad, that was supposed to link from Elyton to Meridian, Mississippi.  The new venture was known as the Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad (A&C) by 1871, and this company finished the intended railway the same year. 

In 1878, the railway reorganized as the Alabama Great Southern Railway (AGS) under the auspices of a holding company owned by Frederic Emile, Baron d’Erlanger.  Baron d’Erlanger is better known to Chattanoogans as the patron of Baroness Erlanger Hospital, so named on honor of Emile’s American wife, Marguerite Mathilde Slidell, daughter of John Slidell, Confederate Ambassador to the Court of Napoleon III.  In 1883, Baron d’Erlanger organized five railroads including AGS into the Queen and Crescent Route connecting the “Queen City” (Cincinnatti) to the “Crescent City” (New Orleans).

In 1890, the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railway and the Richmond and Danville Railroad gained a joint controlling interest in the AGS; these two became Southern Railway (SOU) in 1894.  Under SOU, these stations became part of the Chattanooga and New Orleans Division.  Though owned by parent companies since 1890, the AGS continues to operate as a separate entity to this day.

The stations on the Wills Valley Railroad and its successors from the Georgia stateline with Alabama to Chattanooga were as follows.

Sulphur Springs

The schedule stop and coupon station in Dade County just inside the Georgia state line coming from Birmingham was originally called Smith.  The name changed due to the popularity of the resort that grew up at the mineral springs in the vicinity of the station.

The post office of Smith operated here from 1862 until 1890, when the name changed to Sulphur Springs, operating until 1955.

Cloverdale

Four miles down the line stood the signal stop originally known as Nisbit’s.

The post office of Cloverdale operated from 1869 until 1889.

Rising Fawn

Another two miles down brought trains to this schedule stop, named for a Cherokee leader living in the vicinity after the Cherokee-American Wars better known to Americans as George Lowery.  The community was originally known as Staunton.  At one time incorporated, Rising Fawn thrived because of nearby mines and manufacturing but is now reduced to a small fraction of its glory.  It is not, however, a ghost town, and several buildings survive from that era, including the 19th century Stewart House (where my grandmother was born) and the Cureton House.  The depot stood next to the tracks across the main road through the valley, at or near the site of the modern Depot Diner.

The Rising Fawn Iron Works Railroad serviced the blast furnace built a mile east of here, junctioning with AGS at this station.

The post office of Rising Fawn was established in 1840.

Dademont

Three more miles brought travellers to this signal stop, originally known as Cureton’s.

Tatum

Two miles down the line, twenty from Chattanooga, stood this signal stop, named for the family which first owned the coal mining operation that brought Rising Fawn’s prosperity.

Trenton

The depot at this schedule stop in the seat of Dade County formerly known as Salem (which explains “New” Salem overlooking the city from atop Lookout Mountain), stands two miles down from the former Tatum Station.  Until the line was completed to Birmingham, Trenton was the southern terminus of the WV.  The restored depot, built by AGS in the 1920s, houses the city’s welcome center and chamber of commerce at 111 Railroad Lane in the north section of the downtown area.

During the Civil War, an engagement took place here on 31 August 1863.  The town and the county as a whole were also subject to guerrilla raids by both jayhawkers and bushwackers, especially from Sand Mountain.

The post office was established as Dade in 1839, changing to Trenton in 1841.

New England City

Originally called Morrison’s, this signal stop three-and-a-half miles down from Trenton sometimes appears on maps as Squirreltown (which was a Cherokee village here before the Removal).  The community was renamed and incorporated in 1891 hoping to attract business and bigger manufacturing, and upgraded briefly to a schedule stop.  The plans for the town included three public parks and several manufacturing sites, but other than Hotel Dade, none of these were ever built.  Though not much survives from its heyday, if you drive through you will notice the planning of the few surviving streets.

The post office of New England operated here from 1889 until 1907.

Morganville

Six miles from Trenton, two-and-a-half down from New England City, this schedule stop gave its name to the community it served.

The post office was established here as Hobbie in 1856, changing its name to Morganville in 1866, operating until 1913.

Wildwood

This schedule stop west of the tracks across from the end of Hooker Road (State Route 299) was first named Lea’s Crossing, then Wildwood by 1870.

The first post office of Wauhatchie (before the one in Hamilton County) was established in the vicinity in 1840 and was closed in 1856.  The post office of Wildwood was established in 1874.

Wauhatchie

The junction of the WV and its successors with the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and its successors. 

For more information, see the section on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.

Lookout

AGS’s use of this station ended in 1917 with the completion of the Wauhatchie Extension Railway to connect the AGS with the main line of the SOU into its tunnel through the side of Lookout Mountain.

For more information, see the section on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.

Cravens

This station was likewise bypassed by the SOU tunnel.

For more information, see the section on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.

Chattanooga

The WV and A&C used the Union Depot, as did their successor the AGS until Central Depot opened in 1888, switching to Terminal Station when that opened in 1909.

For further Chattanooga information, see the sections on the Western and Atlantic Railroad and the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, Chattanooga Extension.


CHATTANOOGA AND KENTUCKY RAILROAD, 1866

This railroad, chartered after the war but never built, was a direct outgrowth of the U.S. Military Rail Roads.  Indeed, military surveyors charted much of the route, at least from Chattanooga to DeArmond's Gap along the base of Walden's Ridge.  The ultimate goal was to meet with another line coming south from Cincinnati, Ohio, at Point Burnside on the Cumberland River.  In 1867, the name changed to Chattanooga and Cincinnati Railroad, but the enterprise never came to fruition.  However, the groundwork laid the way for the Cincinnati Southern Railway, built and owned wholly by the City of Cincinnati.

NEW ORLEANS, MOBILE, AND CHATTANOOGA RAILROAD, 1871

Th New Orleans, Mobile, and Chattanooga Railroad (NOM&C) was the first to serve the City of New Orleans and the Central Gulf Coast.  Chartered to build a railway linking the three cities in their name, the initial intent was to build to a link from the coast with the planned Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad at Elyton, Alabama.  Once the line was complete between New Orleans and Mobile, service began along that section in 1871.

Not long after the start, the company decided to go west instead of east, changing its name to New Orleans, Mobile, and Texas Railroad (NOM&T).  In the mid-1870’s, the NOM&T made an agreement with the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N) to expand its own service into the Ohio Valley while giving L&N access to the Gulf Coast.  L&N bought out the NOM&T in 1880, the same year it gained a controlling interest in the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway (NC&StL).

CINCINNATI SOUTHERN RAILWAY, 1880

The Cincinnati Southern Railway is unique in being a wholly-owned asset of the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, the only such long-distance railroad in the U.S.A.  The complete line to Chattanooga opened in 1880, reaching its intended southern terminus.  The following year, the City of Cincinnati leased the line to the Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific Railway Company (CNO&TP), owned by the Baron d’Erlanger, the same who owned the Alabama Great Southern Railway (AGS).  In 1883, the CNO&TP was one of the five railroads Baron d’Erlanger organized into the Queen and Crescent Route.  CNO&TP was acquired by Southern Railway (SOU) in 1895, under which it ran as the Cincinnati and Chattanooga Division, though it continued as a separate entity, as it does now under Norfolk-Southern Railway (NS).  The City of Cincinnati still owns the entire physical line from there to Chattanooga.

Interest in this route to connect the South with the North began during the Federal Military Occupation of Chattanooga in the Civil War.  As soon as the war ended in 1865, the state began passing out charters to companies to build the railway along the same route.  The Chattanooga and Kentucky Railroad was chartered in 1865 (changed to Chattanooga and Cincinnati Railroad in 1866); the Cincinnati, Southwestern, and Chattanooga Railroad was also chartered in 1865; and the Harrison, Selma, and Cincinnati Railroad was chartered in 1866.  None of these efforts panned out, however, so the City of Cincinnati built the railway itself.

In 1917, CNO&TP bought the spur line constructed by Chattanooga Traction Company (CTC) between the latter’s station at C&D Junction to its own Tenbridge depot.  The existence of this line proved fortuitous for the railroad two years later in August 1919, when inspectors ruled its bridge over the Tennessee River was unsafe and needed to be replaced.  Until January the following year, CNO&TP trains coming into Chattanooga switched to the spur line to the CTC’s tracks at C&D Junction, which it followed to its small temporary depot near the end of the John Ross Bridge.  From there, passengers rode buses into town.

The train engine that inspired the song “Chattanooga Choo Choo” worked Cincinnati Southern Railway.  It was an old wood-burner of the 2-6-0 Mogul type, of which an example can be seen at the Choo Choo Hilton downtown.

The stations on the Cincinnati Southern Railway and its successors from Dayton, Tennessee, to Chattanooga were as follows.

Dayton (also North Dayton)

In 1877, the community of Smith’s Crossroads renamed itself Dayton after the eponymous city in the State of Ohio in honor of the impending arrival of the Cincinnati Southern Railway.  The town was incorporated in 1885 and the county moved its seat here from Washington near the river in 1890.  This schedule stop was also a coupon station.

The main depot, briefly named North Dayton in the early 20th century, was located west of the tracks and north of 2nd Avenue, where City Quick Wash is now.

During the Civil War, the later Dayton was the site of the Crossroads Treaty between Unionist sympathizer Col. William Clift of Hamilton County’s 7th Tennessee Militia and Confederate Col. George Gillespie of the 43rd Tennessee Volunteers.  In 1862, the only all-female cavalry unit of the war organized here as the Rhea County Spartans.  Never an official unit, they performed USO-type services until the Federal Military Occupation began, then they provided spy services and did minor sabotage.

The post office was established here as Smith’s Crossroads in 1822.  The name changed to Dayton in 1878.

South Dayton

In the early 20th century, rail traffic here necessitated two depots, the first redubbed North Dayton and the auxiliary depot South Dayton, also a schedule stop.  The latter ceased operation, or at least downgraded to a signal stop, before the 1920s, leaving the original. 

Graysville

In this town nearly on the county line, the Seventh Day Adventist Church founded its first college in the South, Graysville Academy.  The town and post office were founded in 1875, in anticipation of the railroad.  The school became Southern Industrial School to reflect its shift toward more vocational training in 1897, the name changing again in 1901, under which it operated until closing its doors to move south in 1916.

The area was initially settled by members of the regional ethnic group the Melungeons, whose descendants in the early 20th century contracted Chattanooga Judge Lewis Shepherd to represent them in a civil rights case.  As an ethnic group, the Melungeons originated in the tri-state area of Upper East Tennessee, Southwestern Virginia, and southeastern Kentucky, mainly in the first.

The railway depot at this schedule stop was west of the tracks north the Burnett Street-Dayton Avenue crossing.  Mammy Swearingham was its first agent, a rarity in a field almost entirely dominated at the time by men.

The post office of Graysville, Tennessee, was established in 1878.

Coulterville

This schedule stop was west of the tracks between Swafford Road and Nelson Cemetery Road in the extreme northern section of Hamilton County, a mile-and-a-half down from Graysville.

The post office of Coulterville operated from 1879 until 1916, when it moved to Sale Creek.

Home Stores

This signal stop  lay just over a mile down from Coulterville.

Sale Creek

A mile down the line, the depot  at this schedule stop, originally named Rock Creek until the residents complained enough, stood at the Legget Road crossing opposite the end of Railroad Street.  The stream, then the community, acquired this name from having been the site at which the goods seized from the eleven Cherokee towns in the area destroyed in 1779 by the Shelby expedition were divided and auctioned.

During the Civil War, after Tennessee voted to secede and join the Confederacy in June 1861, Col. William Clift, who owned a large plantation in Soddy, raised Hamilton County’s regiment, the 7th Tennessee Militia, for the Union.  The Cumberland Presbyterian campground here served as their base, though their main activity was limited to drilling and training.  After the East Tennessee bridge burnings in early November, the 6th Alabama Volunteers were sent to offer them the choice between fighting and disbandment.  Clift and the militia chose the latter, most going to Kentucky to enlist in the Union army, Clift and several others taking to the mountains as jayhawkers (the period term for Unionist guerrillas) before following the path of their comrades.

The post office of Sale Creek was established in 1841.

Retro

Three miles down, the depot for this schedule stop stood at Retro-Hughes Road crossing of the railway.  The community was and is known as Bakewell.

The post office was established in 1880 as Retro, after the station.  It became Bakewell in 1914, and was moved to Sale Creek in 1964.

*Retro Coal Mine

This station was reached by a spur of Cincinnati, New Orleans, & Texas Pacific Railroad from Retro Station.

Rathburn

The name of the depot at this schedule stop and coupon station was Soddy Coal Mines until confusion arose with the station in northern Rhea County named Roddy.  Thus it became Rathburn.  The community, of course, has been Soddy, or some version thereof, since the 1780s.  The depot stood west of the tracks at the end of the aptly named Depot Street.

The name Soddy derives from the name of the Cherokee settlement here prior to the Removal and first established during the Cherokee-American Wars.  The name is not Cherokee, but Muskogean.  The Cherokee form is “Itsati”, the same from which we get “Chota”, the famous town formerly on the Little Tennessee River.  According to Charles Hicks, then Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, who pronouced it “Sawtee”, this was the name of the Muskogean (or Creek) town which occupied Dallas and Friar’s Island during the Mississippian era.

William Clift, the Unionist firebrand, operated the post office of Soddy from 1829 until 1845.  The post office was reestablished in 1850, and continues today under the name Soddy-Daisy, to which it was changed when the two communities merged and incorporated in 1972.

*Soddy Landing

The terminus of a spur beginning at Rathburn Station, this line provided access to a landing on the river.

*Big Soddy Coal Mines 

This station stood at the end of a spur from Rathburn Station.

Daisy

This small station was briefly a schedule stop the late 1890s, three miles from Soddy, established primarily as a postal depot after Col. Thomas Parks, operator of the Daisy Coal Mines, donated land and named it for his mines, in order to have the post office closer to his business office.  By the early 20th century, it had downgraded to a signal stop, if it still existed.

Originally, the name of the community of Daisy was Poe’s Crossroads, and it was the first seat of the county court until it was moved to Dallas.  In 1850, the residents changed the name to Chickamauga, which, yes, was also the name of the better known community in southern Hamilton County.  The name changed to Melville in 1878, then to Daisy in 1883, and finally to Soddy-Daisy when it incorporated with its neighbor to the north under that name.

The post office of Poe’s Crossroads operated here from 1846 until 1847.  For information about the current post office and its history, see the station below.

Melville

Just one mile down lay the depot of the schedule stop called Melville, always the main depot of the community even during the existence of its junior discussed above.  The depot stood at west of the tracks at the crossing of Depot Road, now known as Hixson Street-Hyatte Road.  Though the names of the post office and community changed in 1883, this depot retained its original name until sometime between 1921, when it still appears in the Official Railroad Guide under this name, and 1945, when it appears in the publication as Daisy.  Though passenger service ran here, this station’s main function was as a freight depot for Daisy Coal Mines.

Restoration of civilian post service lagged somewhat in the county, and in 1866 the same-named village in the south of the county on the Western and Atlantic Railroad still did not have postal service, so this community seized the opportunity to have a post office of its own under the name Chickamauga.  That’s why when service at the other Chickamauga was restored, it was under the name Chickamauga Station.  Mel Adams donated land for a bigger post office under the condition it be named for him, so the name changed to Melville in 1878.  Col. Parks, owner of the community’s main source of employment (the mines) did the same in 1883 to have the name changed to Daisy.  The post-office merged with its neighbor along with the community in 1972 as Soddy-Daisy.

Montlake

This signal stop a mile-and-a-half down just north of the Thrasher Pike crossing of the tracks was built in the early years of the 20th century primarily to serve the passenger needs of the resort at the community of this name atop Walden’s Ridge.

*Montlake Coal Mines

This station was reached by a spur from Montlake Station on the main line.

The post office of Montlake operated here from 1909 until 1923, when it moved to Soddy, which makes one wonder, why not to Daisy?

Cave Springs

Two miles south stood a remote schedule stop at the pumping station next to the railway below Cave Springs on top of the eponymous ridge adjacent to the tracks.  There was no access road, so probably little passenger traffic; its main reason for existence was probably water replenishment in the days of steam engines.

Hixson

The depot at this schedule stop one mile from Cave Springs station at the crossing of Old Hixson Pike was originally called Lookout, but was changed to avoid confusion with the same-named station on the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway.  The community, known at the coming of the railroad as Lakeside, soon took on the name of the depot.

The post office of Lakside was established in 1880.  Its postmaster, Ephraim F. Hixson, got the name of the post office changed to Hixson in 1892, as which it still operates.  From 1833 to 1839, his father, Ephraim Hixson, Jr., ran a post office in the vicinity called North Chickamauga.

Tenbridge

Two-and-a-half miles further stood this signal stop originally named Red Bank.  The name was changed to avoid confusion with the community to the north.  It stood just above the wye formed by the junction with the Chattanooga Traction Railway (CTC) spur line from C & D Junction on its Red Bank (the original Red Bank) Line to this point.  The latter was an an electric railway which had intended to use the line mainly for hauling freight to the CNO&TP for shipping, but changed their plans soon after it was finished.  CTC sold the spur line to CNO&TP in 1917; the major (and possibly only) stop between the two stations was at Lupton City.

See also the Hixson Division in the section on the Chattanooga Traction Company.

King’s Point

The railway established a signal stop here and built a depot at the end of North Wilder Road that it operated until at least the beginning of the 20th century.  In the middle 20th century, the railway established another station near here called Hulsey.

The planned community of King’s Point still exists in carefully laid out in squares, now surrounded on three sides by railroads.

The post office of King’s Point operated from 1883 until 1898. 

An earlier post office in the vicinity operated from 1843 until 1844, under the name Toqua, which was the name of the Cherokee town  here first established in late 1776.  It was destroyed and rebuilt in 1779, abandoned in 1782, and restablished after the Cherokee-American Wars.  A post office was again established in this vicnity in 1878 called Sivley, changing its name to Toqua in 1880 until moving to Harrison near the end of 1884.

Boyce

The railway first called its stop at the depot it shared with the Western and Atlantic Railroad (W&A) here Boyce Junction, then switched to Boyce.  When W&A changed the name of its stop to Amnicola, the CNO&TP continued to use Boyce officially, although it was accepted as an alternative, even after W&A reverted back to Boyce, until the end of the century.  For the first decade or so of its service to Chattanooga, the CNO&TP used the tracks of the W&A from Boyce into Chattanooga to get downtown.

For more information, see the section on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

Winters Spur

Halfway between Boyce and Citico Junction.

For more information, see the section on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

Citico Junction

Now the junction for at least three different lines.

For more information, see the section on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

Chattanooga

The terminus of the Cincinnati Southern Railway was Union Depot until 1888, when it began using Central Depot.  When Terminal Station opened n 1909, it switched service there.

For further information, see the sections on the Western and Atlantic Railroad and the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, Chattanooga Extension, 1858.

CHATTANOOGA WESTERN RAILWAY, 1882

This railway was an enterprise launched by C.E. James.  Chartered in 1880, survey work was completed and work begun by 1882.  The plan was to build a bridge over the Tennessee River at Chattanooga from Tannery Flats near the Roane Iron Works west of Cameron Hill to Moccasin Point.  The rail line was intended to go from there to the foot of Walden’s Ridge, then along that to the mouth of Suck Creek, to Kelly’s Ferry, past the mouth of Mullen’s Cove, then to Copenhagen (modern Richard City), bypassing Jasper by at least a mile, where it would cross the stateline.  How much of the railroad was actually built is anyone’s guess, but it never came to fruition.

At around the same time, the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad planned a similar route over much of the same ground, but those plans likewise came to naught.  The same story with an identical plan by the Memphis and Charleston Railroad in the latter 1880s.  The charter of the Chattanooga Western Railway was revived in 1888 and in 1894 but again not much progress was made.

TENNESSEE STATE LINE RAILROAD, 1883

This line is better known as the Ooltewah Cut-Off, even in legal documents at the beginning of the 20th century.

According to A Legal History of the Development of the Railroad System of Southern Railway Company by Fairfax Harrison (1901), after the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad (ETV&G) acquired the Macon and Brunswick Railroad, interested parties decided the railway needed a shorter route to connect with the Cincinnati Southern Railway that had recently begun operations into Chattanooga.  These parties incorporated the Ooltewah and Red Clay Railroad Company in Tennessee in December 1881; the same individuals incorporated the Tennessee and Cohutta Railroad Company in Georgia in January1882.  In May 1882, they won approval to consolidate as the Tennessee State Line Railroad Company.  This was the entity which built the Ooltewah Cut-off.

In the legal proceedings which accompanied the receivership of the ETV&G Railroad which resulted in its being reorganized as the ETV&G Railway, it was discovered the ETV&G did not own the Ooltewah Cut-off.  The Tennessee State Line Railroad Company had merely leased it to them.  The ownership did not get sorted out until Southern Railway (SOU) incorporated the entire holding of ETV&G in 1894.  After that merger, these stations became part of SOU’s Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Brunswick and Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Meridian Divisions.

The stations on the Tennessee State Line Railroad were as follows.

Ooltewah Junction

The northern terminus of the Cut-off, this schedule stop was briefly called Turner’s Station.  It stood at the end of Rail Road Avenue in the V of the railroad junction.  Passenger service moved here, and freight service to the original Ooltewah Depot at the east end of town.  The latter closed sometime in the 1910s, and the name of this station became simply Ooltewah.  Passenger service continued here at least through 1960; SOU closed the depot in 1976.

Thatcher’s Switch

The signal stop here primarily served shipping needs to limestone and lime mined nearby, loaded onto cars on a side-track.  The station stood at the eastern mouth of McDaniel Gap between the tracks and Apison Pike across from the end of Sanborn Drive.

When the Seventh Day Adventist Church decided to close its Southern Training School in Graysville, Tennessee, in 1916, it chose the valley here for its new Southern Junior College.  That institution grew into Southern Missionary College in 1944, which became Southern College of Seventh Day Adventists in 1982 then Southern Adventist University in 1996.

Postal service was established here in 1919 as Collegedale, as which the community incorporated in 1968.

Wooten’s Switch

A mile-and-a-half downtrack, this signal stop primarily serviced a side- track.

Apison

This schedule stop was originally called O’Brian, but was soon changed because of another station by that name in Tennessee.  In the early years of settlement in the 19th century, the area was known as Zion Hill.

The post office of Zion Hill operated in the vicinity from 1848 until 1866.  Postal service was reestablished as Apison in 1882.

Howardville

This schedule stop stood at the Howardville Road crossing of the railway.

The post office of Howardsville operated from 1887 until 1931.

Cohutta

The southern terminus of this line, its junction with the Western and Atlantic Railroad, was originally intended to be State Line Station at Red Clay, Whitfield County, Georgia, but this station proved better suited. 

For further Cohutta information, see the section on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, 1851.

UNION RAILWAY OF CHATTANOOGA, 1886

Better known as the Belt Line, this railroad was built by C.E. James, the entrepeneur for whom the James Building downtown is named.  Service began on its first line in 1886, growing quickly until it circled the entire city.  Though intended at first mainly to ferry cargo between the city’s different railroads, James saw the potential for passenger service, which opened the same year as its freight service.  The passenger cars resembled the later electric trolleys, as did the steam dummy engines designed to resemble the former that the railway used before switching to Forney locomotives.

In the beginning, the railway operated from the Chestnut Street Depot, which actually stood on Fort Street.  Later James moved operations to the Newby Street Depot on the corner of what’s now East 10th Street.  That depot still stands and serves the Alexian Brothers, making it at least two of James’ facilities they own, the other being his former Signal Mountain Inn.  Finally, James built the Georgia Avenue Depot where the Federal Building now stands.

At its peak, the Union Railway operated four passenger routes (its freight routes, of course, were much more extensive).  The Orchard Knob Division and the Ridgedale Division operated out of the Georgia Avenue Depot, while the Radcliff Division and the Mountain Division operated out of the Newby Street Depot.

Besides passenger services, the Belt Line operated in numerous areas strictly for freight purposes, which are detailed in John Wilson’s excellent series.  It connected to or junctioned with all the major long-haul railways coming into Chattanooga.  The Belt Line connected with the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia (ETV&G) and the Memphis and Charleston (M&C) at Citico Junction.  It crossed the ETV&G at Sherman Heights, the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis (NC&StL) and the Alabama Great Southern (AGS) at Cravens, the Chattanooga Southern (CS) and the Western and Atlantic (W&A) at Union Junction, the Chattanooga Southern (CS) at Thurmans, and the Chattanooga, Rome, and Columbus (CR&C) at Lookout Creek.

In addition, two local railways spurred off from the Belt Line: the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway (Incline No. 1, not the one we have today) and the Mission Ridge Incline Railway.

In 1888, the railway underwent a reorganization and came out as the Chattanooga Union Railway.  In 1892, another reorganization made it the Belt Railway of Chattanooga.  In 1895, it went out of business due to the growing popularity of electric railroads for local traffic, and was bought by AGS, which leased the entire line to Rapid Transit of Chattanooga, an electric railway, in 1900.

Much of the old Belt Line is gone.  One line still operates, however, the East Chattanooga Belt Railway, still under AGS.  Which is fitting, because the last electric trolley in Chattanooga operated on the same line, calling it the Boyce Line, until 10 April 1947.  One of the passengers that day, Walter Iler, then president of Lookout Lumber Company, had also ridden the first car on the first day of electric trolley service on the Boyce Line.

While the Belt Line provided passenger service, some thirty-seven small passenger depots around the city supported it, some of which operated only briefly.  The only coupon station was at the home depot, and all these stops were on the schedule.  The ones which can be accurately or approximately identified by location rather than just name are as follows.

Orchard Knob Division

Park Place

Erroneously called Fort Wood Station in the Official Railway Guide, all four divisions shared this stop on their way out and in.  The neighborhood of Park Place originally included everything from Flynn Street southwest to the railroad tracks, the area beyond East 11th Street known by the early 20th century as Onion Bottom.  The Park Place depot stood in the southwest corner of the intersection of Fairview Avenue and East 12th Street.  Park Place was the most prominent neighborhood in the Old East Side after Fort Wood at the time the Union Railway operated.

National Cemetery

This station stood at the western beginning of the curve in the southeastern corner of the National Cemetery  occupying part of the space where Mid-South Mattress stands at 1265 East 13th Street.  At that time, the cemetery took up only the central portion of its present extent, the surrounding land serving as Jackson Park.  There was no gate because there was no surrounding fence.  The depot was actually at the northeastern tip of the suburb of Orange Grove.

*Avondale


From the National Cemetery, the Belt Line proceeded north along what’s now Holtclaw Avenue and was, with the main line of Orchard Knob Division turning east at Vine Street.  However, a spur line ultimately junctioning with the ETV&G just north of the Citico (DeButts) Yards after crossing the W&A and the CS.  According to at least one map, there was an Avondale station, almost certainly a signal stop, in the vicinity of the Holtzclaw Avenue-Citico Avenue crossroads.

The post office of Avondale operated 1894 to 1905.

Bald Knob

Later called Orchard Knob, certainly by the time Rapid Transit was in control, this station stood north of the crossing of Orchard Knob Avenue, in the northwest corner.

The post office of Orchard Knob operated from 1888 until 1894, when it was moved to Highland Park.

Indian Springs

When the Belt Line was constructed, Glenwood did not exist.  The southern portion was called Suburba, because of the post office on the Mission Ridge Incline Railway, while the northern portion was known as Indian Springs after the internment camp there during the Cherokee Removal.  The depot may have been located at the Harrison Avenue (now East 3rd Street) crossing.

Stanleyville

This depot was located at the current intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Dodson Avenue, the original terminus of this line at the time it was built.  After Rapid Transit of Chattanooga took over, they renamed this station Churchville.

Tinker’s Junction

The depot stood at intersection of Bradt Street and Wilcox Boulevard (once named Tinker Street); there was a side-track to the northwest.

Jefferson

This depot stood was at the intersection of Jefferson Street (the modern Ocoee Street) with Harrison Pike/Dodson Avenue.

Sherman Heights

This depot was at northeast corner of the junction of the Belt Line with the ETV&G in the southeast corner of the Crutchfield Street-Chamberlain Avenue intersection.

For more information, see East Chattanooga under the section on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

Boyce Station

The Belt Line used the Western and Atlantic-Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific depot here.  When the Union Railway of Chattanooga was operating the Belt Line it crossed both sets of tracks of the two long-distance railroads and formed a siding on the northwest side of the depot.

For more information, see Boyce under the section on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

Ridgedale Division

Park Place

See Orchard Knob Division.

National Cemetery

See Orchard Knob Division.

Henderson Station

The most important of Highland Park’s stops was initially at the southern corner of East 12th Street and South Holtzclaw Avenue and served both Highland Park and the cemetery.  It later moved two blocks north to stand inside the curve of Anderson Avenue, which the railway followed, off Holtzclaw.

The post office of Highland Park was established in 1894 when it moved from Orchard Knob and operated until 1898, when it was moved to Chattanooga.

Hickory Street

This depot stood at the northwest corner of the intersection of South Hickory Street and Anderson Avenue.

Francis Avenue

Willow Street south of Anderson Avenue was originally known by this name, which means that the depot here would have been at one of the two southern corners.

Ridgedale Junction

This depot first supported the beginning of the spur-line of the Missionary Ridge Incline Railway, a steam dummy railway from 1887 until 1889 later purchased by the Chattanooga Electric Railway.

Ridgedale

This depot stood approximately at the site of R-W Contractors at 2511 East Main Street.

The post office of Ridgedale operated from 1887 until 1903, when it moved to Chattanooga.

Smith Street

This station would have been in the middle of the 1800 block of East 18th Street behind Standard Catoosa Thatcher Building, which faces South Watkins Street.

Fort Cheatham

This station stood at approximately the southwest corner of Dodds Avenue and East 32th Street where Mohawk Canoes now sits.  It was at the north end of a loop of the tracks around the community of East Lake, which included a stretch through the park.  At the south end of the loop was a wye allowing trains to go either north or south. 

The area was named for Confederate Maj. Gen. Frank Cheatham, who had his headquarters here during the Siege of Chattanooga and fortified it heavily, unlike many of his colleagues, or boss (Gen. Braxton Bragg) for that matter.

Grandview Station

This station stood at the intersection of East 32nd Street and 15th Avenue, at the north edge of the garden at the later site of East Lake Park (created by C.E. James and donated to the City of Chattanooga in 1896), on the back side of the loop mentioned under Fort Cheatham.  Here, it not only served the needs of the garden’s visitors but of guests of the hotel built on the side of the ridge above.  The former trolley station, now a private residence, was at 3202 15th Avenue.

East Lake

This depot stood the intersection of East 37th Street and 7th Avenue.  It was outside the loop mentioned above.

The post office of East Lake operated from 1903 until 1912, when it moved to Chattanooga.

Radcliff Division

Park Place

See Orchard Knob Division.

Montgomery Avenue

The depot here stood at the southwest corner of what are now East Main Street (Montgomery Avenue then) and South Holtzclaw Avenue.

Rossville Road

This depot stood west of the tracks at what is now 1200 Rossville Avenue, currently occupied by Mill Direct International.

Radcliff Station

This station west of tracks stood at 34th and Calhoun Avenue.  The Chattanooga, Rome, and Columbus Railroad and its successors, who shared the station, called it East End.  It was the more important of this once prominent suburb’s two stops on the Belt Line.

East End

This depot stood south of the tracks about where Lane Steel Fabricators now sits; its address is 4311 7th Avenue.

The post office of East End operated from 1888 until 1895, when it moved to Chattanooga.

East Lake

See Ridgedale Division.

Grandview

See Ridgedale Division.

Mountain Division

Park Place

See Orchard Knob Division.

Montgomery Avenue

See Radcliff Division.

Rossville Road

See Radcliff Division.

Oak Hills

This depot stood at the end of the side track where the Union Railway had their shops, now a lot on West 42nd Street that is part of PODS Moving and Storage, across the tracks from the main facility at 4210 Oakland Avenue.  The Union Railway had its car sheds and shops here, and the Oak Hills community grew up from the railroad’s employees moving nearby.  While the Union Railway operated the station, they called it Oak Hills.  After the Union Railway went out of business, Chattanooga Southern Railway renamed the station and yards Alton Park.

The post office of Alton Park operated from 1895 until 1915, when it moved to Signal Mountain, of all places.

Forest Hills Cemetery

The depot here stood conveniently at the entrance to the cemetery, where many of the area’s most prominent citizens have been buried.  One is John Wilder, the Union general and post-bellum industrialist who among other things owned Roane Iron Company which built much of Chattanooga and employed many of its citizens.  Another is John S. Lovell, nephew of William “Uncle Bill” Lewis and an entrepeneur in his own right, who raised horses in East Chattanooga, dealt in real estate with his uncle, and owned the Mahogany Inn, a three-story establishment that stood where Miller Park is now, conveniently located near the Union Depot.

Lookout Point Incline Railroad

A spur track from the Belt Line led to to this depot at the foot of the Lookout Point Incline Railroad, the first incline cable railway on Lookout Mountain which no longer exists and often referred to as Incline No. 1.  The depot at the end of the spur and bottom on the incline stood in what is now a parking lot for the Chattanooga Medicine Company at 1715 West 38th Street, at the northeast corner of the intersection with Church Street.

St. Elmo

Known as the 5th Street Depot because of its location at the southwest corner of the intersection of what is now West 43rd Street (then 5th Street) and Virginia Avenue, formerly the route of the Belt Line through St. Elmo, this was St. Elmo’s primary station.

The name St. Elmo comes from a novel written by Augusta Jane Evans, one of the pillars of Southern literature in the 19th century.  It was especially popular here because it takes place in Chattanooga.  The community acquired the name from the eponymous mansion of Abraham Johnson here.  Until 1885 when it was sold, it had been the name of the Warner home atop the mountain, and as soon as the name became available, Johnson bestowed it on his place.

When Col. Johnson died in 1903, he left the property across from his home for an Episcopal church to be built in memory of his wife, Thankful Anderson Whiteside Johnson, daughter of railroad leader Col. James Whiteside.  Thus do we have Thankful Memorial Episcopal Church at 1607 West 43rd Street.

The post office was established as Kirklin in 1882, changing to St. Elmo in 1898, and moving to Chattanooga in 1898.

Beulah

This depot most likely stood at the intersection of Beulah Avenue with Virginia Avenue.

Mountain Junction

This depot, later called Lookout Junction, marked the beginning of the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway, which used the Belt Line to get here from Union Depot.  It stood at the southeast corner of Virginia Avenue, then called Railroad Avenue because the Belt Line ran along it, with the original Virginia Avenue between Beulah Avenue and what was then Georgia Avenue and is now St. Elmo Avenue.  This original Virginia Avenue no longer exists.

The post office of Hustle was established in 1893, changing its name to Mountain Junction nine months later.  In 1895, postal service moved to Chattanooga.

Thurman Station

This depot stood on the Thurman family property at the junction of the Belt Line with Chattanooga Southern Railway and its successors, probably inside the V formed by the junction of the two railways.  At the time Beulah Avenue did not come south past the intersection of Blowing Springs Road and Lee Avenue.

Arlington

This station served what was supposed to be a huge residential development by this name at the southern end of Hawkins Ridge, in the area later known as East St. Elmo and South Alton Park.  The suburb was planned in the early 1890s, but only O’Leary Street off Lee Avenue survives and was possibly all that was built.  The depot would have been nearby.

The post office of Poeville operated in the vicinity from 1883 until 1891, when it was moved to Chattanooga, which makes much more sense than Signal Mountain.

Woodburn

One-third of a mile south of the Tennessee stateline, this depot’s main reason for existence was to serve company housing for employees of the Lookout Sewer Pipe Company, named for M.A. Woodburn, founder of that company.

Blowing Spring

The depot here stood at the crossing of what is now Pipe Shop Road about where Premier Pattern and Machine now sits.  The factory of the Lookout Sewer Pipe Company was located here, and its other attraction was Blowing Springs Cave, discovered by Chattanoogans when many of them lived at the refugee camp here during the yellow fever epidemic of 1878.

LOOKOUT POINT INCLINE RAILROAD and MOUNT LOOKOUT RAILWAY, 1886

Point Lookout became an attraction long before the National Park existed.  Visitors began to increase after Chattanooga residents flocked to the mountain to escape the yellow fever epidemic of 1878.  Harriet Whiteside, widow of railway and business magnate James Whiteside, owned the only stable road up the mountain, Whiteside Turnpike, the use of which she began to charge a hefty fee for.  When a group of entrepeneurs built another road to reach the summit, the Lookout Mountain Turnpike (now Ochs Highway), and offered its use at half the fee, Harriet fenced off access to the Point, which she also owned. 

Another group, including some of the rival turnpike crowd, built the Lookout Point Incline Railroad, commonly called Incline No. 1, to a spot just under the Point in 1886.  Its base was next to Chattanooga Medicine Company in St. Elmo.

The following year this group began operating a narrow gauge railroad on the summit, the Mount Lookout Railway, commonly referred to as the Narrow Gauge.  Its tracks ran along the path now called the Bluff Trail.

The modernistic Point Hotel of several stories and wraparound porches opened in 1888, with a depot on the east for Incline No. 1 and on the west for the Narrow Gauge.

Both Incline No. 1 and the Narrow Gauge ended service in 1899.  Its rival, Lookout Incline and Lula Lake Railway electrified the Narrow Gauge and operated over its tracks well into the 20th century.

The stations on the Mount Lookout Railway were as follows.

Point Lookout Hotel

The hotel served as the terminal for this railway and for Incline No. 1.

Sunset Park

This depot was at the park above Sunset Rock on the West Brow.  At the turn of the century, there was also a Sunrise Park on the East Brow, east of what is now the eastern north-south stretch of Fairyland Trail.

Natural Bridge

This depot was at the formerly neglected natural rock formation on the mountaintop that has been rehabilitated in the last few years and is now the center of Natural Bridge Park.  The ravine in which this feature lies is behind the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.  The Natural Bridge is 85 feet long and 15 feet tall.

MISSION RIDGE INCLINE RAILWAY, 1887

Mission Ridge Incline Railway began as a Forney locomotive operation in 1887, beginning at Ridgedale Junction on the Belt Line.  The railway had one locomotive, named for its owner, The George Sherwood.  The Chattanooga Electric Street Railroad Company purchased a controlling interest the line in 1889 and electrified it.  Trolley service ran until 1945.

While many have claimed the exact route is unknown, the Platt map books in the local history section of the Chattanooga Public Library show that very thing.  With the exception of Suburba in the 1904 edition, however, none of the stations on the line are shown.

Other than Ridgedale Junction, Suburba, and Bragg’s Headquarters, these locations are either vague or only speculative.

Ridgedale Junction

This depot marked the beginning of the spur line leading up the ridge that formed the Mission Ridge Incline Railway.

For more information, see the section on Union Railway of Chattanooga.

Suburba

This station, later called “McCallie Avenue”, was indeed on that street at the time.  Or, rather, opposite the end of it at the beginning of the curve where it turned into Shallowford Road.  Not too many years ago, before McCallie Avenue at the west mouth of the Missionary Ridge Tunnel was redesigned, after coming around this curve coming down from the ridge into town the street became McCallie Avenue at that point.  At the time of the Belt Line, the street was McCallie Avenue from its intersection with Bird’s Mill Road on the ridgeside.

The post office of Suburba operated here from 1885 to 1901.

Indian Springs

Not the better known feature at the western foot of the ridge, these springs were probably at what was supposed to be a public park between Spring Street (Rose Terrace) and Bird’s Mill Road (Rosemont Drive), named appropriately Spring Park.

Shallow Ford

My best guess is that this station was at Shallow Ford Gap and the road over it into the Chickamauga Valley.

The length of Rockmeade Drive-Audobon Drive-Vista Drive-Tunnel Boulevard was once known as Shallow Ford Road, but also as Cleveland Pike.  The entire length of Cleveland Avenue, even west to East End (Central) Avenue was also known as Shallowford Road, by the way.  What’s more, Cleveland Pike was also a name for Lightfoot Mill Road before and after it intersected with what is now Tunnel Boulevard before continuing east over much of what is now Bonny Oaks Drive.

During the Civil War, there was an engagement at Shallow Ford Gap on Missionary Ridge on 22 September 1863 in the aftemath of the Battle of Chickamauga.

Bragg’s Headquarters

This area, where Gen. Braxton Bragg, general commanding of the (Confederate) Army of Tennesssee, had his headquarters during the Siege and Battles of Chattanooga,  became part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, and was located the same place as the Bragg Reservation of the park is today.  Missionary Ridge School once stood above my grandparents’ house at the reservation’s eastern side where Tri-State Mobile Welding is now.

Crescent Hill

I have seen this marked as a feature on some map of the Civil War battle or the siege, but cannot remember where I saw it or exactly where it was.

Thurman Springs

The railway ended just before the last point at which East View Drive meets South Crest Road going south; from this point to East Shadowlawn Drive it was originally called Spring Street.  The Thurman Springs were just east of the ridge, a little to the east of what is now 484 East View Drive.

CHATTANOOGA, ROME, AND COLUMBUS RAILROAD, 1888

In 1881, the Rome and Carrolton Railroad Company was chartered to build a railway between these towns.  The company restructured in 1888 and built the Chattanooga, Rome, and Columbus Railroad (CRC) into our city, but no tracks were ever laid southward beyond Carrollton.  The railway was sold in 1897 and renamed the Chattanooga, Rome, and Southern Railroad (CRS).  After another exchange of ownership in 1901, the line became part of the Central of Georgia Railway (COG).  Southern Railway Company (SR) acquired a controlling interest of the railroad in 1963, which it merged with four other Georgia railroads into a single entity named the Central of Georgia Railroad in 1971, which survived as a separate entity after the merger of the parent company into Norfolk Southern Railway in 1982.

Lafayette

The depot at this schedule stop stood across the street from the restored Mars Theater, which stands  at 117 North Chattanooga Street.

Founded as Chattooga in 1835 to be the seat of Walker County, which then included Dade and Catoosa Counties, this city’s named changed to Lafayette in 1836 in honor of the former marquis thereof, Gilbert du Motier (he gave up his title), hero of the American Revolution and of the French Revolution, close friend of Thomas Paine, and one of the two officers who escorted the royal Bourbon couple, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, away from the destruction of Versailles, the other being a guy surnamed Bonaparte.

During the Civil War, the Battle of Lafayette was fought here 24 June 1864 during the Atlanta Campaign.  There were also engagements here on 14 September 1863 in the run-up to the Battle of Chickamauga, and on 12 October 1864 during the Nashville Campaign.

Lafayette today is headquarters for the short-line Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway, which runs from Summerville to Chickamauga.

The post office of Lafayette was established in 1837.

Warrens Station

This schedule stop stood three miles down from Lafayette in the community of Salem, probably at the West Warren Road crossing of the railway.

The post office of Salem operated from 1870 until 1898.

Copeland Station

This schedule stop stood three miles down from Salem in the community of Noble, possibly at the Glass Road crossing.

The post office of Noble operated from 1892 until 1912.

Rock Spring

This schedule stop stood  three miles down from Copeland.

The post office of Rock Spring was established in 1837.

Chickamauga

This schedule stop was first named Crawfish Springs after the community in which it sat, named for the huge springs here.  In 1891, the town incorporated as Chickamauga to take advantage of its proximity to the Chickamauga Battlefield Reservation, and the name of the station changed with it.  The fine stone depot, built in 1891, remains, serving as a museum and visitors’ center.

Before the Cherokee Removal, the site served as the seat of the judicial and legislative division of the Cherokee Nation East known as the Chickamauga District, whose boundaries included Hamilton County to the Tennessee River and Ooltewah (Wolftever) Creek, as well as Marion County to the river and large parts of Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama.  The judge for the Chickamauga District was none other than John Brown of Brown’s Tavern, Brown’s Ferry, and Brown’s Landing in the north of Lookout Valley; Brown also served briefly as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation West in 1839.

During the Civil War, several encounters took place in the vicinity, the closest being at Lee and Gordon’s Mill 11-13 September 1863 and another at the same place 16 September 1863, and a bit further away, the Battle of the Chickamauga, fought 18-20 September 1863.

Chickamauga today is the northern terminus of the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway.

The post office of Crawfish Springs was established in 1877, the name changing to Chickamauga in 1890.  There was another post office in Walker County called Chickamauga from 1836 until 1837 which served the antebellum community of East Chickamauga, but that area went with Catoosa County when it separated in 1853.

Lytle

The schedule stop in this community was originally known as Battlefield Station, because the Chickamauga Battlefield Reservation was its reason for existence.  That remained the name well into the 20th century, when it changed to Lytle.  The depot stood across the tracks from the headquarters for the Reservation, and the National Park after that.

During the Civil War, the battlefield above was the site of the bloody Battle of the Chickamauga, as the Union called it, or the Battle of Mud Flats, as the Confederacy called it, fought 18-20 September 1863.  With the highest per capita body count, it was the bloodiest two-and-a-half days of the entire war.

The post office of Lytle operated from 1890 until 1910.

Mission Ridge

Three miles north lay this schedule stop east of Missionary Ridge, south of the eastern mouth of McFarland’s Gap.  The wye junction with the spur line to Fort Oglethorpe army post was just north of here.

The post office of Mission Ridge operated from 1878 to 1904.

Fort Oglethorpe

In 1914, COG constructed a spur line to the U.S. Army fort so-named, which also served the town that had begun to grow north of it.

The original community at the site was called Hargrave.  During the Spanish-American War, Camp Thomas, the primary training facility and departure point for troops going to Cuba, was here.  The army established Chickamauga Post for the 6th Cavalry in 1902, which became Fort Oglethorpe in 1904.  Fort Oglethorpe served as a boot camp during both world wars, and as a prison camp for German POWs of both wars.  In the Second World War, it was the primary training center for the Women’s Army Corps (WAC).  During the Depression, the State of Georgia imprisoned workers here during the Great Textile Strike of 1934.

The post office of Fort Oglethorpe was established in 1917.

Rossville

The depot at this schedule stop stood at the southern end of the island surrounded by the railway to the east, West State Street to the west, West Gordon Avenue to the north and West Lake Avenue to the south.  Initially intended primarily for passenger service, manufacturing interests took advantage of this to build their factories sited for easy access on either side of the station and provided the bulk of traffic in the first half of the 20th century.  Park Woolen Mill stood on the east and Richmond Hosiery Mill stood on the west.

The post office here was established by Thomas McFarland in 1835.  Despite the fact that the area was known as Popular Springs, he named it Rossville since he ran it out of his home, the former John Ross House.  Gradually the community adopted the name of the post office.  This post office continues to this day.

An earlier post office here was also named Rossville, established in the Cherokee Nation in 1817 with John Ross, the later Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation East whose house lay directly on the Federal Road, as postmaster.  It moved into what is now Tennessee in 1827, and again in 1834 to the mission on Chickamauga River (South Chickamauga Creek) across from Old Chickamauga Town of the Cherokee under the name Brainerd.  It closed in 1838 along with the mission of the same name at the Cherokee Removal to Indian Territory.

East End

CRC and its successors used the Radcliff depot of the Belt Line at this schedule stop but called it East End, which was the name of the community here. 

For more information, see the entries for Radcliff Station and East End under Radcliff Division in the section on Union Railway of Chattanooga.

Chattanooga

The CRC and its successors used the Central Depot then Terminal Station as its terminals in Chattanooga.

For more Chattanooga information, see the sections on the Western and Atlantic Railroad and the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, Chattanooga Extension.

CHATTANOOGA AND LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN RAILWAY, 1889

Known popularly as the Broad Gauge to distinguish it from its narrow-gauge rival Mount Lookout Railway, this standard-gauge railroad began service to Lookout Mountain in January 1889 to take advantage of the growing interest in visiting its attractions.  Its chief developer was Richard Watkins.

The mountain has been the site of two major military engagements in local history. 

The first took place in 1782 along the stretch of the Great Indian Warpath over the mountain’s bench (now Old Wauhatchie Pike).  Joseph Martin’s militia from the State of Franklin were routed by the Chickamauga Cherokee defending the withdrawal of their fellow militant Cherokee from the Chickamauga towns to the Five Lower Towns area. 

The second, of course, was the Battle of Lookout Mountain on 24 November 1863.

The post office of Lookout Mountain was established in 1867.  The town of Lookout Mountain was incorporated in 1890.

The Guild-Hardy Trail on the mountain follows most of this railway’s former roadbed.

Union Depot

This was the home base for the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway.  The railway used the Belt Line to get to the beginning of its own tracks and stopped at some of its stations, but those are covered under Union Railway of Chattanooga.

Mountain Junction

This was the beginning of the railway’s wholly-owned tracks.

See the Mountain Division in the section on the Union Railway of Chattanooga.

Chetolah

The first stop on the mountain.  It may have been at the switch-back on the western side.

Cravens Terrace

The site of the Robert Cravens House of Civil War battle fame.

Lookout Mountain House

This hotel stood on Stonedge Road.  The hotel open in 1875 and burned in 1890.  It was later the site of home of Jerome Pound, co-founder of Chattanooga News along with W. M. Bearden and later mayor of Lookout Mountain, which he named “Stonedge”.

Ross Avenue

This street is now South Hermitage Avenue.  The depot stood west of the street and north of the tracks.

Stone’s Cottage

An inn between Ross Avenue and the Natural Bridge.

Natural Bridge

This physical feature lies southwest of the intersection of South Bragg Avenue and Fleetwood Drive.  Its attraction was such that a man named Joseph McCullough built the Natural Bridge Hotel here in 1884, though the effort folded in 1888.

Glen View

This was a subdivision south of East and West Road and Sunset Road West down to the stateline; much of its planned extent later became Fairyland.  The depot was in Spring Park opposite the end of Tasso Street, what today is the northern east-west stretch of Mitchell Drive.

Clift’s Station

The location of this station is unclear; it may have been next to the old post office, which was then halfway between Glen View Station and Hunt’s Station.

Hunt’s Station

In the vicinity of where North Watauga Lane intersects with Scenic Highway; Hunt’s Eastern Addition lay just to the west.

Sunset Rock Station

Sunset Park on West Brow Road was serviced by the rival Narrow Gauge; the depot for this railway, the Broad Gauge, was some distance to the east.

Lookout Inn

This massive 450-room luxury hotel overlooking Chattanooga took up an entire half block between Morrison Street SW, Lee Avenue, and North Bragg Avenue.  The station for the railway, and later for Incline No. 2, was at the end of a spur which brought passengers directly in front of the hotel; the junction was on Depot Street East.  Opened in 1890, the hotel, previously thought inflammable, burned in 1908.

Point Park

After the National Park opened, the railway extended its line to Park Street, which is now Point Park Road.

CHATTANOOGA SOUTHERN RAILWAY, 1891

Initially the Chattanooga Southern Railway (CS) was intended entirely to provide freight service for iron ore, coal, and lumber out of the region between Chattanooga and Gadsden, Alabama, but after a few years added passenger service.  In 1895 the company reorganized as the Chattanooga Southern Railroad (also CS), which C.E. James reorganized again in 1911 as the Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia Railway (TAG).  Southern Railway purchased the railway in 1971 and integrated it and its assets.

Cenchant

At first called Durham Junction, the depot at this schedule stop and coupon station stood at the Nickajack Road crossing, four miles northwest of Chickamauga.  The original name derived from its being at the junction for the CRC with the Chickamauga and Durham Railroad.  A community grew up around the busy depot, but it now exists mostly as a geographic place-name.

The post office of Cenchat operated from 1902 until 1909.

Eagle Cliff

A mile-and-a-quarter down the line toward Chattanooga stood this schedule stop in the community for which it was named.  The community was named for the eponymous cliff on Lookout Mountain which served as a home for eagles; the community now goes by the name Valley View, but its central street is called Eagle Cliff Drive.

The post office of Eagle Cliff operated from 1860 until 1904.

Moonsboro

A half mile further stood this schedule stop, named for the community here which now goes simply by the name Moons.  Chattanooga Valley High and Elementary Schools are here today.

Flintstone

Another half mile down stood this schedule stop, the most important in this part of the upper Chattanooga Valley.  The residential part of the community is now concentrated adjacent to Chattanooga Valley Road.

The post office of Flintstone was established in 1891.

Rock Creek

This schedule stop stood three-quarters-of-a-mile down from Flintstone, probably at the crossing of Rock Creek Road.

Woodburn

This signal stop was one-third of a mile south of the Tennessee stateline.

For more information, see the entry for this station under Mountain Division in the section on the Union Railway of Chattanooga.

Endline

The first station in Hamilton County, Tennessee, the small depot at this schedule stop stood north of West 57th Street halfway between Tennessee Avenue and St. Elmo Avenue.  A big tree now stands there.  At some point TAG changed the name of this station to St. Elmo.  Also known as Dotys Station.

The post office of Endline operated from 1897 until 1900, when it was moved to St. Elmo.

Thurman’s Station

This schedule stop primarily served the junction of this railway with the Belt Line.

For more information, see the entry for this station in the Mountain Division of the section on the Union Railway of Chattanooga.

Alton Park

CS used the Belt Line’s depot but called their schedule stop Alton Park.  After the Belt Line went under, CS took full control of operations at both the depot and the yards, the latter of which it expanded greatly, Alton Park became the sole name.

For more information, see the entry for Oak Hill in the Mountain Division under the section on the Union Railway of Chattanooga.

Cravens

For information on this station, see the section on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.

Chattanooga

CS initially ended its trips to Chattanooga at Georgia Avenue Depot originally constructed for the Union Railway, but soon switched to using Union Depot, as did TAG.

For more information, see the entry for Chattanooga under the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

NORTHSIDE CONSOLIDATED RAILWAY, 1891

This railway began as two separate railways in 1891, the Chattanooga and Northside Railway, which served Hill City and Vallambrosa, and North Chattanooga Street Railway, which served North Chattanooga, Chattanooga Golf and County Club, and Riverview, later adding Normal Park.  The two companies changed hands several times, at one time combined as the Signal Mountain Railway.  Under this company, the two separate lines were called the Vallambrosa Line and the Riverview Line, named for their termini.

Both were purchased by Rapid Transit of Chattanooga in 1900, which merged them under this name as Northside Consolidated Railway.  Chattanooga Railways Company purchased Rapid Transit in 1906 and integrated these two lines into its system.

The community here began with Camp Contraband during the Civil War, home to freed slaves.  In time, the settlement grew into Hill City.  After the North Chattanooga Land Company entered the development scene, residents began to debate changing the name.  Another company called Northside Land Company owned the the section south of Colville Street between Tucker Street and Beak Avenue.  After the township of North Chattanooga incorporated in 1915, Northside disappeared as a separate entity.  The western boundary of the township was Forest Avenue, with the unincorporated section to the west still known as Hill City, until its residents voted in favor of annexation by North Chattanooga in 1925.

Hill City

This station and the car shed stood on the fifth lot north of the intersection of West Peak Street and Upper Ferry Road (now North Market Street), on the west side of the latter.  It was later called the North Market Street Station.

The post office of Harveyton was established here as in 1883, changing to Hill City in 1884 and operating until 1912 when it was discontinued and service moved to North Chattanooga, according to USPS records.

Vallambrosa

This station stood on the crest of Stringer’s Ridge directly over the modern tunnel, a little bit east of where the County Road went over the ridge.  After leaving the Peak Street station, the trolley travelled to the north limit of Upper Ferry Road/North Market Street, then curved southwest to the beginning of a extended horseshoe curve to get it to the top of the ridge.  After 1900, Rapid Transit discontinued service to this station.  The community of Vallambrosa included the area west of Stringer’s Ridge and north of what is now Spring Street between Whitehall Road and Ladd Avenue, including at area at the northern mouth of the tunnel through the ridge where Cherokee Motel is and where the Outlaws MC once had their clubhouse.

During the Civil War, Fort Wilder near here served the later Chattanooga’s leader’s brigade as an artillery emplacement from which to shell the town during the Second Battle of Chattanooga 21 August-7 September 1863.  During the Federal Military Occupation, it anchored the center of the line of blockhouses from Fort Whitaker at the southern end of Stringer’s Ridge on Moccasin Point to the redoubt in North Chattanooga proper.

North Chattanooga

This station stood on Tremont Avenue at the top of the hill.

During the Federal Military Occupation, a redoubt anchored the eastern end of the line of blockhouses mentioned above, located in what’s now Valentine Circle.

A post office of North Chattanooga existed at some time, according to the previously mentioned USPS records and a few other notations in various sources, but no other information is available.  However, since the Hill City post office transferred in 1912, it had to have been operating at that time, and may have continued to do so until the town was annexed to Chattanooga in 1930.

Normal Park



From 1896 to 1907, North Chattanooga hosted the Chattanooga Normal University.  A “normal” school or university in the late 19th-early 20th centuries trained teachers.  After it opened, the railway added a station for its instructors and students.  The area east of Beck Avenue and south of Tremont Street developed into Normal Park.  In 1907, Hamilton County took over the university here, turned it into a grammar school, Normal Park Elementary, and transferred the teacher training department to the new University of Chattanooga.

Chattanooga Golf and Country Club

The depot here stood conveniently at or near the walkway to the entrance of the clubhouse.

Riverview

This station stood at about 1635 Riverview Road, which then hosted the tracks for the railway, next to the 2nd hole of the golf course nearby.


CHICKAMAUGA AND DURHAM RAILROAD, 1892

Originally chartered in 1889 as the Chattanooga and Gulf Railroad, the Chickamauga and Durham Railroad (C&D) had the mission of bringing coal from the Durham Mines atop Lookout Mountain to be turned into coke in the Chickamauga Ovens in Chickamauga, Georgia.  Until 1936, it also provided passenger service.  It began operating in 1892 with two locomotives.  The owner of the railroad, James English, also owned the Durham Coal and Coke Company.  After a foreclosure in 1894 year, it reorganized as the Chattanooga and Durham Railroad.  It was sold to the Chattanooga, Rome, and Southern Railroad (CR&S) in 1900, and CR&S was in turn bought the next year by Central of Georgia Railroad (COG), which operated this line until 1951.

English built his railroad and operated his mines with convict slave labor under the same system in Georgia which Tennessee used.

Although not a Chattanooga railroad strictly speaking, it was first chartered with Chattanooga in its name and operated for six years with the city’s name as part of its title.  Its later connections to both CR&S and COG gave it direct connections to the city also.

The stations on the Chickamauga and Durham Railroad and its successors were as follows.

Chickamauga

The headquarters for the railroad.  It was also the junction with the CR&C and its successors.

For more information, see the entry for this station in the section on the Chattanooga, Rome, and Columbus Railroad (CR&C), the predecessor of the CR&S.

Wallaceville

This station two-and-a-third miles out stood in a community that has been incorporated into the city of Chickamauga.

The post office of Wallaceville operated from 1892 to 1904.

Harps Switch

This station three miles out from Chickamauga primarily serviced a side-track here.  It most likely would have been at the Harp Switch Road crossing of the railway, but since the tracks have been taken up is now impossible to locate more accurately.

Durham Junction

This station stood at the junction of this railroad with the CS, in the later community of Cenchat.

For more information the entry for Cenchat under the Chattanooga Southern Railway.

Eagle Cliff

Although this station bore the same name as a station on the CS line, this one a little over four miles from Durham Junction probably stood at the base of the actual cliff.  Also known as Wests Station.

Lula Lake

A notable attraction of Lookout Mountain and once the intended terminus of the Lookout Incline and Lula Lake Railway.  Clearly this railroad carried passengers who were tourists and pleasure seekers as well as employees of the mines.

Massey’s Station

This station stood two miles south of Lula Lake in what is now the Hinkles community.

The post office of Hinkles operated here from 1914 until 1930.

Gary’s Camp

This station a little over a mile further south could have either been a work camp or a resort; today it is the community of Vulcan.

Ascalon

This station stood two-thirds of the way between Gary's Camp and Durham.

The post office of Ascalon operated from 1881 to 1919.

Durham

This station was the end-of-the-road at the Durham Coal Mines and its company town, which was actually called Pittsburg.  According to John Wilson, besides the mines and homes for employees, it had a commissary, a school, a ball field, and a post office.  None of that exists now, and the land belongs to the Lula Lake Land Trust.



The post office of Pittsburg operated here from 1900 until 1946.

SEQUATCHIE VALLEY BRANCH RAILROAD, 1894

In the records of the legal history of the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway (NC&StL), its Sequatchie Valley Branch (SVB) Railroad was composed of three separate lines of differing origins, which NC&StL formed into a single railroad.  The three branch railroads are the Jasper Branch Railroad (Bridgeport to Jasper), completed 1867; the Inman Branch Railroad (Inman to Victoria), completed 1883; and the Pikeville Branch Railroad (Jasper to Pikeville), completed 1894.

The Sequatchie Valley Branch Railroad (SVB) began life as the Jasper Branch Railroad of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, originally authorized in 1860 but interrupted by the Civil War.  Work was completed to Jasper in 1867. 

In 1868, the Sequatchie Valley Railroad Company began an effort to extend the railway from Jaser to Pikeville.  The tracks were laid as far as Victoria in 1877 when the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railroad (NC&StL) purchased it, completing the line into Pikeville in 1894.

The Inman Branch Railroad was completed in late 1882 by the Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railway Company from its Inman Mines to a junction with what was then still called the Jasper Branch Railroad at Victoria.  The NC&StL took ownership of the line 1 January 1883.

By 1894, the railway from Bridgeport to Pikeville was in full operation (according to the records of the NC&StL), headquartered in Jasper.  In 1917, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N), parent of the NC&StL, consolidated operations of the NC&StL with the SVB at a new depot in Bridgeport.  By 1921, the SVB was offering service all the way into Chattanooga over the lines of its parent, the NC&StL, the junction with these being at Bridgeport, Alabama.

In 1877, the NC&StL purchased the McMinnville and Manchester Railroad from the Memphis and Carlston Railroad (M&C), and after extending its track to Sparta, Tennessee, renamed it the Sparta Branch Railroad.  The NC&StL planned to extend to this line south and junction with the SVB at Pikeville, giving it a railway from Tullahoma, Tennessee, to Bridgeport, Alabama, but this never came about, though the survey was complete.  The furthest south the tracks of the Sparta Branch reached were Ravenscroft in Cumberland County, still twenty-six-and-a-half miles out.

During the Siege of Chattanooga in the Civil War, the entire length of the Sequatchie Valley saw fighting during Wheeler’s Raid on Union supply lines 1-9 October 1863, the most spectacular action in the valley being at Anderson’s Cross Roads, where his troops captured 800 supply wagons and nearly 600 troops .

Rather than in order completed, its station are presented here in order of progression from the SVB’s northern terminus.  While a few of these had mere waiting sheds to service passengers and platforms for freight, the majority had depots, some surprisingly large.

The stations on the SVB were as follows.

Pikeville

This town was the terminus of the SVB.  The depot at this schedule stop was probably located near the intersection of West Railroad Avenue with East Railroad Avenue.

Founded in 1816, Pikeville incorporated in 1830.  In 1818, it became the second seat of Bledsoe County after it was moved here from Madison (now Mount Airy in Sequatchie County).

The post office of Pikeville was established in 1811, according to the archives of the Tennessee Secretary of State.
                                                                                                                
Lees Station

The next station down the line is another schedule stop.  This community never had a post office and has never been incorporated but had a huge depot for both passengers and freight, which was probably at or near the Kelly Road crossing.

College Station

The schedule stop at this last station in Bledsoe County was originally intended to service Sequatchie College, founded in 1865, but that closed in 1887.  The institution was somewhat unique at the time for being coeducational.  A fairly decent-sized community had grown up in the vicinity.  The depot was probably at the crossing of College Station Mountain Road.

The post office of Sequachee College operated from 1882 until 1907.

Pailo

The station of this schedule stop was near the intersection of Old Tennessee Highway 28 with Howard Beaver Road.

The post office of Pailo operated from 1886 until 1907.

Mount Airy

The first community down the line in Sequatchie County was at this schedule stop in Bledsoe County until the former was created.  Under its original identity as Madison, it was the first seat of the latter county.  The depot most likely would have been near where Mount Airy Road meets Old York Highway.

The post office of Mount Airy was established in Bledsoe County in 1825 and operated in Sequatchie County after its creation until 1894.

Dunlap

The depot at this schedule stop operated from 1888 until 1972 on Railroad Street.  The Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N) ceased operations and closed the depot in 1972, and it burned two years later.

This town is the seat of Sequatchie County.  In fact, it was created for that purpose in the area previously known as Coops Creek in 1858.  It incorporated as the “Taxing District of Dunlap” in 1901, as the “Town of Dunlap” in 1927, and as the “City of Dunlap” in 1941.

The railroad arrived here in 1888, but it wasn’t until 1900 that the Douglas Coal and Coke Company began operations.  To convert mined coal into coke, Douglas built 268 ovens atop nearby Fredonia Mountain and an incline railway to haul the coal up and the coke down.  In 1904, Douglas went bankrupt, and was purchased by the Chattanooga Coal and Iron Company, which continued the operations until 1927.  The coke ovens now belong to the Sequatchie Valley Historical Association as the Dunlap Coke Ovens Park.

The post office was established in Marion County (before the creation of Sequatchie County) as Coops Creek in 1837, changing to Dunlap in Sequatchie County in 1866.

Daus

The route of US Highway 27 runs directly through the former roadbed here, and the depot that once stood at the schedule stop in this community was probably at west side the intersection of the highway with Stone Cave Road.

The community here was originally named Delphi by one of its prominent families.  When the railroad came and Witco Mining began operations, a member of another family gave land for a depot on the condition it not be named Delphi.  Thus it became Daus, and for a while there was a good deal of confusion with shipments being made to and from Daus Station but bills and other correspondence going through the Delphi Post Office.

The post office here was created as Delphi in Marion County in 1822, changed to Sequachee in 1850, and discontinued in 1850.  Meanwhile, another post office nearby called Daus was created in 1827 that moved to Sequatchie County along with the community; it operated until 1873.  Postal service revived under the name Delphi in 1878 and operated until 1921.  A post office named Daus reappeared in 1927, operating until 1973.

Cartwright

The primary reason for existence of this signal stop, which stood at the crossing of Cartwright Loop, was the Palmetto Coal Company Mines, which shut down during the Great Depression. 

Condra Switch

This signal stop at the crossing of Condra Switch Road was the first stop after crossing into Marion County, and its purpose was mainly to service the side-track here.

The post office of Cedar Springs was established near here by a member of the local Condra family in 1874, moving to Whitwell in 1929.

Shirleyton

This schedule stop stood at a westward curve of the tracks that brought it close to Old Dunlap Road, near the intersection of Blacksmith Road.

The post office of Shirleton operated from 1883 until 1904, when it moved to Cedar Springs.

Whitwell

The railroad reached this schedule stop in 1887.  Until 1878, the community here was named Cheeksville; the name changed in honor of Thomas Whitwell, the cofounder of Southern States Coal, Iron, and Land Company killed in a mine explosion that year.  Coal was so big here that the town gained the nickname “Coal City of the Sequatchie Valley”.  Its major employer was Southern States Coal, Iron, and Land Company until 1882, then Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company.

The post office of Cheeksville was established here in 1830, changing to Whitwell in 1887.

Victoria

For ten years, from 1877 until 1887, this community first known as Dadsville was the northern terminus of the SVB.  The depot here still exists on Victoria Commerce Center Road, being used today as a private residence.  It is one of two depots from the Sequatchie Valley Branch Railroad days still in existence.

Along with Whitwell, Victoria was one of the two centers for coal mining and coke production by the British-owned Southern States Coal, Iron, and Land Company.

The post office of Dadsville was established here as in 1850, changing to Victoria in 1877 in honor of the British monarch.  It was moved to Whitwell in 1974.

The next two stations are on the line of the Inman Branch Railroad.

*Hutton

Briefly a schedule stop, this tiny station four miles from Victoria and five miles from Inman has left no trace it ever existed.  However, a map from the period places it immediately east of Sequatchie River due north of Inman, roughly parallel with the modern community of Oak Grove on East Valley Road (Griffith Highway).

*Inman

This station was in the vicinity of the intersection of Inman Road with Griffith Highway on the east bank of the Sequatchie River, at the end of the spur line from Victoria.

The Inman Mines were at first run by the Southern States Coal, Iron, and Land Company, until it was bought out by Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company.  The latter used mostly prison slave labor in its mines, sixty percent of all prison inmates in the state, in fact.  The mining camp here was a prison stockade and conditions were deplorable.  Situations like this, and the fact that using prison slaves took jobs away from free colliers (coal miners) led to the Coal Creek War that began in Anderson County in 1891.  That rarely heard-of conflict lasted nearly two years and resulted in the use of prison slave labor being ended in the State of Tennessee.

The post office of Gholston was established at the Inman Mines in 1882, changing to its name Inman in 1884.  It was discontinued and postal service moved to Whitwell in 1929.

From here we return to the main line.

Sequatchie

This unincorporated town lies at the mouth of Waterfall Cove at the foot of Sequatchie Mountain on Valley View Highway.  Unlike many of the whistlestops in Sequatchie Valley, it has continued to thrive, if somewhat less than in earlier days.  The depot at this schedule stop was probably located at either the Harding Street crossing or the Lassiter Road crossing, more likely the former.

The post office of Sequatchie was established in 1890 and still operates, its station standing right in the middle of “town”.

Jasper

Jasper depot was the original terminus of the Jasper Branch Railroad, which began service in 1867.  This schedule stop was headquarters for the SVB until 1917.  The town was established in 1819 on land leased from Cherokee Beloved Woman (the literal translation of the Cherokee for a female “chief”) Betsy Pack, daughter of Cherokee leader John Lowery.  Since its inception, the town has been the seat of Marion County.  Until 1917, the headquarters of the Sequatchie Valley Branch Railroad were located here.

During the Civil War, there was an engagement here on 24 June 1863.

The town’s railway depot, built in 1923 by the L&N, parent of the NC&StL, serves today as the Jasper city hall.  It is the other depot from the days of this railroad still in existence.

The post office of Jasper was established in 1819.

Browder Switch

This depot at this signal stop stood at the Browder Switch Road crossing.

Kimball

The depot here stood north of the tracks at the end of what is now Kimball Lane.

This town nestled between its two much larger neighbors was founded as what was planned to be an industrial city, much the same as in the dreams of the founders of New England City in Dade County, Georgia.  The enterprise never really got off the ground due to the explosion of growth by its neighbor to the west. 

On what were once the outskirts of town, the two most important highways of the early 20th century, the north-south Dixie Highway and the east-west Robert E. Lee Highway cross paths, giving the name Dixie-Lee Junction to the area, though outside Kimball it is usually called simply Dixie Lee because of the same-named community in Loudon County.  The actual “junction” was where the old Stuckey’s restaurant used to be; it’s now a Krystal

The post office of Ino was established here in 1887, changing to Wallview later that year.  It became Kimball in 1890 and operated until 1914, when service moved to Jasper, moving again to South Pittsburg in 1918.

South Pittsburg

The depot at this schedule stop and coupon station stood along Railroad Avenue on the same block as the last location of United States Stove Company.

The Southern States Coal, Iron, and Land Company chose this community to be the major center for its iron production in the region, using ore produced by the nearby Battle Creek Mines.  As mentioned above, that company was purchased by Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company in 1882.  The economy of the town mushroomed, and the city ballooned, becoming the industrial center Kimball’s backers had dreamed of it becoming.

During the Civil War, the Battle of Fort McCook took place here along the riverside 27-28 August 1862.  There had been another engagement here 21 June 1862.

A post office called Battle Creek was established in the vicinity in 1831, operating until it was discontinued in 1858.  The post office was reestablished as Battle Creek Mines in 1869, the name changing to South Pittsburg in 1876.

Richard City

This schedule stop on the stateline originated as a company town for and was built by Dixie Portland Company, to house the employees of its large cement plant here.  In 1926, Dixie Portland merged with several other cement producers as Pennsylvania-Dixie Cement Corporation, or Penn-Dixie.

A spur line operated briefly from here to the Rexton Mines for about two years.

The post office was established as Copenhagen in 1879.  It changed to Deptford in 1890, and back again to Copenhagen in 1893 until changing to Richard City in 1918. 

Bridgeport

The SVB maintained a depot here separate from its parent companies the L&N and the NC&StL until 1917, when the L&N consolidated the depots and brought the offices of the SVB south from their original home in Jasper, Tennessee.  The SVB depot here was also a coupon station.

For more information on Bridgeport, see the section on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.

Chattanooga

When the SVB began running trips into Chattanooga, it used Union Depot as its terminal here.

LOOKOUT INCLINE AND LULA LAKE RAILWAY, 1895

Harriet Whiteside got her revenge several years after moving off Lookout Mountain by providing the bulk of the financing for this enterprise, which began operating in 1895.  This railway, then popularly known as Incline No. 2, planned to build an electric railway to Lula Lake in Georgia, but it never got built.  Instead, the company took over operation of the Narrow Gauge tracks after that company folded, continuing well into the 20th century.

Incline No. 2 still operates as Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, with its base at in St. Elmo and its apex at 827 East Brow Road at the summit.  Initially, it was built to the depot it shared with the Broad Gauge for Lookout Inn.

ORME BRANCH RAILROAD, 1904

The Orme Branch Railroad (OB) was built by the Campbell Coke and Coal Company in 1904 as the Doran’s Cove Branch Railroad (DCB), primarily to send its coal and coke from its mines at Orme, opened in 1902, to market along a more efficient route than the mountain roads it had been using.  The Battle Creek Coal and Coke Company bought the operation in 1905, and the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway changed the name of the railway. 

The OB switched off the Sequatchie Valley Branch Railroad (SVB) about a mile out from Bridgeport.  Like the SVB, the DCB,as the OB, began offering trips all the way into Chattanooga in the early 20th century.

The stations on the Orme Branch Railroad and its successor were as follows.

Orme

The town of Orme, which is still incorporated with about 150 citizens, came into being as company town for the Campbell Coal and Coke Company.  It lies in upper Doran’s Cove along the end of Orme Road.  The town center and its depot, which still stands, though the tracks were removed decades ago, are at the junction of Old Shop Hollow and Payne Cove.  The town is only easily accessible by going through Alabama; you also can get there from the top of the plateau by way of Orme Mountain Road if you are up for an adventure.

The post office of Needmore was established in 1902, changing later that year to Orme, as which it operated until 1965, when service moved to South Pittsburg.

Crownover

This station stood next to Crownover Spring east of the intersection of Orme Road, Cluck Cove Road (Jackson County Road 298), and Doran’s Cove Road (County Road 98).

Montague

A little over four miles later (according to the Official Railway Guide) came this station on the west side of the tracks across from the end of Needmore Road.  It mainly served the Needmore Coal Mines and its company town, also named Needmore, atop Montague Mountain.

Mount Carmel

This station stood at what’s now the intersection of Old Stevenson-Bridgeport Road (County Road 75).

Cumberland Junction

This station a half mile down stood near the intersection of Rocky Springs Road (County Road 74) and County Road 572, reached by a spur that switched off the main line to the south.

Johnson’s Crossing

This station was a little over a mile-and-a-half down the line.

Orme Junction

Another two miles down the line came the junction with the SVB, a mile out from that railway’s Bridgeport Depot.

Bridgeport

The Doran’s Cove/Orme Branch Railroad used SVB’s depot here.

For more Bridgeport information, see the sections on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and on the Sequatchie Valley Branch Railroad.

Chattanooga

After the OB began offering trips all the way into Chattanooga, it used the NC&StL’s Union Depot as its terminal here.

For more information, see this entry under the section on the Nashvile and Chattanooga Railroad.

CHATTANOOGA TRACTION COMPANY, 1913

While this was strictly an electric railway operation, I’m including it because of its connection with the Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific Railway (CNO&TP) and because it reached areas not included in any of the steam or diesel railways.  In addition to being the last major electric railway lines built in Chattanooga, they were also the last railway lines built by C.E. James.  The main purpose for building the first line was to carry passengers to another venture of his, the Signal Mountain Inn.  “Traction” in the title of the company refers to the kind of engine using electric power for propulsion.

The Chattanooga Traction Company (CTC) built three lines north of the river, the Signal Mountain Division, which opened in 1913; the Dry Valley (or Red Bank) Division, which opened in 1916; and the Hixson Division, which was sold to Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific Railway in 1917 before it opened. 

In building this last line, CTC had intended to load freight at CNO&TP’s Tenbridge Station to carry on its lines to haul into Chattanooga but discovered it would come under scrutiny of the Interstate Commerce Commission, and sold the line to CNO&TP.

Unified Line

North Chattanooga

This station stood at the north end of the County Bridge (now Walnut Street Bridge) until John Ross Bridge opened, when it moved to a spot just west of that bridge.

Signal Mills

This station stood at the former Signal Knitting Mill on Manufacturers Roads now serving as the home for Food Works.

Magnolia

Roughly halfway between the stations in either side, this station may have served the needs of the Magnolia Petroleum Company, which had a presence here in the early 20th century.

Divine

This station stood where Power Corporation Drive runs under US 27.  The brick depot here is one of the very few (possibly the only) surviving such structures from the CTC days.  The railway’s car barns sat nearby to the east.

Tennessee Paper Mills

This station stood at the eponymous factory on Manufacturers Road.

Riverside

This station was at Riverside Road and Manufacturers Road, and a spur line from here ran south down to Moccasin Point, not quite reaching the end.

Valley Junction

This depot was at the intersection of Pineville Road and West Elmwood Drive and was the junction from which Signal Mountain and Dry Valley Divisions went their separate ways.

Signal Mountain Division

Passenger service on this line operated from September 1913 until 4 July 1934.

Pineville

This station stood at the Pineville Road crossing.

Williams Island

This station stood approximately at the Baylor School Road crossing, and there was a spur line from here onto the school’s campus.

Silver Creek

This station stood at the Old Signal Mountain Road crossing.

Crystal City

This station was about where the northern entrance to the Wal-Mart complex in Signal Mountain Boulevard is now.  From the station there was a road that circled Crystal Lake, a feature which long ceased to exist long before Wal-Mart came.

Jones Station

This station stood behind Food City on Signal Mountain Boulevard.

Glendale

This station stood at the intersection of Glendale Drive with Signal Mountain Boulevard.

Elks

This station stood just below the first sharp curve to the east on Signal Mountain Boulevard.

Sub Station

This station stood below Williams Point, roughly at the intersection of Sunset Drive with Signal Mountain Boulevard.

Shoal Creek

This station stood approximately at the intersection of Shoal Creek Road with Signal Mountain Boulevard, below Brady Point.

Wilder

This station stood near where North Palisades Drive crosses Shoal Creek.

Adams

This station stood at the intersection of Adams Street with Palisades Drive.

Oakwood

This station stood near the intersection of Ladder Trail with Palisades Drive.

Hollywood

This station stood near the intersection of Wood Street with Mississippi Avenue.

Fairview

This station stood at the intersection of Fairview Avenue with Mississippi Avenue.

Tennessee Avenue

This station stood at the intersection of Tennessee Avenue with Mississippi Avenue.

Exchange

This station stood approximately at the intersection of Mississippi Avenue, James Boulevard, and Brady Point Road.

Signal Mountain Inn

The Signal Mountain Inn, the terminus of the Signal Mountain Line, is now the Alexian Brothers of Tennessee Retirement Community.

Since there is no “Signal Mountain Station”, I will add the postal information here.  The post office of Signal Mountain was established in 1915 and continues to this day.

Dry Valley Division

Passenger service on this line operated from March 1917 until 31 March 1928.

Woodland

This station stood at the McRoy Road crossing.

Hillside

This station stood at the Signal Mountain Boulevard crossing.

Valdeau

This station stood at the Dayton Boulevard crossing.

The post office of Valdeau operated from 1897 until 1915, when service was moved to Chattanooga.

Midvale

This station stood at the Midvale Avenue East crossing.

White Oak

This station stood at the Memorial Drive (formerly Whiteoak Road) crossing.

Walters

This station was at the east end of Signal View Street, which once went to the tracks.

Flora

This station was at the Culver Street crossing.

C & D Junction

This station stood at the junction of the Red Bank Division with the Hixson Division, at what’s now the intersection of Harding Road and Dayton Boulevard.

Morrison

This station stood at what’s now the insection of Newberry Street East with Dayton Boulevard.

Ford

This station stood at what’s now the intersection of Euclid Avenue with Dayton Boulevard.

Red Bank

This station stood at what’s now the intersection of East Leawood Avenue with Dayton Boulevard.

The post office of Red Bank operated from 1875 until 1902, when it was moved to Valdeau.

Hixson Division

This line was completed in 1917 and sold to CNO&TP before CTC ever operated on it.

C&D Junction

This station was at the junction of the two railways.  See the entry under the Red Bank Division.

Lupton City

The passenger depot, if there was one, probably stood at the end of Mill Street, near where it meets the tracks.

The post office of Lupton City operated from 1925 until 2009.

Tenbridge

This station was the junction of this line with CNO&TP’s main line into Chattanooga.


For more information, see the entry in the section on the Cincinnati Southern Railway.

No comments: