CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — Once upon a time, Bartow County, Ga., was an important railroad town. Today, the dozens of CSX trains simply traverse the countryside of this north Georgia county.
Among the railroads operating in Bartow County was the Etowah Railroad, built in 1858-59 by Mark Anthony Cooper. The roughly five-mile line connected Cooper’s ironworks and flourmill with the Western & Atlantic Railroad, which ran between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn.
Cooper obtained a charter for his railroad in 1847, years the Western & Atlantic Railroad was built. The Etowah Railroad was operated by the Western & Atlantic Railroad and did not have any locomotives or rolling stock of its own.
The rail line was built with five-foot gauge.
There were two stops on the Etowah Railroad – one at the now non-existent town of Etowah and a second at Junction, where the Etowah Railroad joined the Western & Atlantic Railroad.
Among the locomotives that operated on the Etowah Railroad was the Yonah, which played an important role in the Andrews Raid of 1862.
In May 1864, federal soldiers destroyed the ironworks and mill, bringing about an end to the railroad. Following the Civil War, the railroad was not rebuilt.
A smokestack used by Cooper’s ironworks is all that remains of the company.