Perhaps a Misnomer, Greene County Railroad Helped Develop Walton County, Georgia
By Todd DeFeo
The Greene County Railroad is a bit of a curiosity. Its name would suggest it served — or at least passed through — Greene County, but that’s not the case.
The railroad’s predecessor, the Bostwick Railroad, built a seven-mile line from Bostwick to Appalachee, which was on the Central of Georgia line between Macon and Athens.
A report in the Feb. 22, 1907, edition of the (Athens, Ga.) Weekly Banner noted the road “has been completed to the city limits of Appalachee, and on the first of March the line will be completed and trains run into that little city. Two trips a day will be the schedule, which will be a great convenience for the travelling public.”
The paper added: “President John Bostwick is to be congratulated on his enterprise in building the road, which will be the means of developing that section of the state in a large degree.”
However, before long, the Bostwick Railroad was in receivership. In August 1911, the Bostwick Railroad’s rolling stock and equipment were sold.
According to a July 1911 note from Receiver Robert L. Mobley, published in the Athens Banner, the items included a 15-ton locomotive, a coach with two 24-seat apartments, a baggage car and a gondola car in addition to tools and the tracks between Bostwick and Appalachee.
On July 27, 1911, the Greene County Railroad was incorporated and would eventually purchase the Bostwick Railroad. By October 1911, an extension of the Bostwick Railroad from Bostwick to Monroe was “certain,” The Banner newspaper reported.
“The road, which is a narrow gauge one, runs from the main line of the Athens and Union point division of the Georgia railroad to Bostwick, tapping the Georgia at Appalachee,” according to the newspaper article.
In Monroe, the Bostwick Railroad — or Greene County Railroad as it was re-named — would “tap” the Gainesville Midland. The Bostwick Railroad “would also touch the Georgia again, which runs from Social Circle to Monroe.”
In total, the Greene County Railroad operated roughly 20 miles of track, none of which was ever actually located in Greene County (the president’s name, however, was Forest Greene). Stops included Monroe, Pannell, Good Hope, Embee, Bostwick and Appalachee.
In 1916, when the railroad saw $21,340 in annual gross revenue, it began to survey an expansion to Loganville, Ga., but the route was apparently never built. By 1918, when the railroad claimed $33,728 in gross revenue, it had two locomotives, a passenger coach and four freight cars.
The Greene County Railroad Line was abandoned in 1942.
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