Perhaps a Misnomer, Greene County Railroad Helped Develop Walton County, Georgia

September 29, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

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.

Despite Landowners’ Holdout, Gainesville Midland Secured Land for Athens Extension

September 29, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

ATHENS, Ga. – Once the Gainesville Midland assumed control of the Gainesville, Jefferson and Southern Railroad in 1904, it set about converting the line to standard gauge and extending the line to Athens. In 1904, the railroad extended from Gainesville, Ga., to Social Circle, Ga., and Jefferson, Ga. By September 1905, nearly all the land needed for the railroad’s right-of-way was secured. However, “three or four” landowners were “holding out against the representatives of the committee and they are simply blocking the way of the committee in its work to secure the right of way,” the Weekly Banner newspaper reported. “The

Athens Terminal Co. Helped Bring About Freight ‘Revolution’ in Athens

September 28, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

ATHENS, Ga. – The Athens Terminal Co. was incorporated on Oct. 4, 1906, as a commercial steam railroad company jointly owned by the Gainesville Midland Railway and Seaboard Air Line. The two-mile-long railroad was chartered to run “from Broad street in the city of Athens along Foundry street to a connection with the tracks of the Seaboard Air Line Railway,” according to a petition the Weekly Banner newspaper printed in September 1906. Spur tracks were to be constructed as well. In January 1906, the Gainesville and Athens Construction Co. purchased three blocks of property along Foundry Street – stretching from

First Gainesville Midland Trains Rolled Out of Athens in November 1906

September 27, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

Thursday, Nov. 1, 1906, was a momentous day for the city of Athens, Ga. The first Gainesville Midland train pulled into town. “Here’s to the Gainesville Midland; may it live and prosper,” the Weekly Banner newspaper heralded. Roughly two months earlier, the first standard gauge train arrived in nearby Jefferson, Ga. At the time, the Gainesville Midland only connected Gainesville, Ga., with Social Circle, Ga. (via Winder, Ga.) and Jefferson, Ga. Construction on the line to Athens was delayed as the railroad awaited the rails to be laid. “Just now the trains will necessarily be mixed trains and the schedule

End of the Line for Famous Athens trestle?

February 7, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

For years, the famed “Murmur Trestle” in Athens, Ga., has attracted R.E.M. fans from around the globe. But, time may be running out for the 130-year-old trestle, The Wall Street Journal reported. Athens-Clarke County purchased the trestle, off Poplar Street near Dudley Park, in 2000 for $25,000 after CSX Transportation started to raze the structure. The local government planned to incorporate the bridge into a regional trail system, but in December announced a planned trail would bypass the historic trestle, the Athens Banner-Herald reported. The trestle was built in 1883 and served the Georgia Railroad and later CSX Transportation, according

Locomotives tell of railroads’ influence on Georgia towns (Part I)

February 5, 2011 Todd DeFeo 0

CONYERS – So many towns across Georgia owe their existence to the railroad. While trains still operate in a number of those cities, railroads are a distant memory in others. But a handful of cities in Georgia have a memorial dedicated to the role railroads played. Here is a brief overview of steam locomotives on public display throughout Metro Atlanta. Winder: Gainesville Midland 208 Gainesville Midland No. 208 was built by Pennsylvania-based Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1930. The decapod – as the locomotive is known because of its 10 drive wheels – originally operated as No. 530 on the Seaboard

Athens trestle a music landmark

December 27, 2010 Todd DeFeo 0

ATHENS, Ga. — To most passersby, the old, abandoned railroad trestle off Poplar Street near Dudley Park probably wouldn’t garner much of a reaction. But, to music fans, especially those of Athens native R.E.M., the trestle is a landmark. Gracing the back of the band’s 1983 album “Murmur,” the bridge is best known today as the Murmur Trestle. The trestle was built in 1883 and served the Georgia Railroad and later CSX Transportation, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. The bridge hasn’t been in use since 1998. “To R.E.M. fans, the trestle represents a piece of R.E.M.’s history,” one fan told

Railroad depots: The ‘center’ of town

November 4, 2009 Todd DeFeo 0

PENDERGRASS, Ga. – A few years ago, when the city of Pendergrass’ train depot needed to be refurbished, the city wasted no time getting to work. “That’s the center of our town,” the city’s mayor told the Athens Banner-Herald newspaper in 2005. “We couldn’t very well tear down what was the center of downtown. It has a lot of significance.” The railroad played an important role in the town’s history. Built in 1883, the same year the Gainesville, Jefferson and Southern Railroad was completed through town, the small train depot served passengers until 1927. In about 1940, the edifice was

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