By Todd DeFeo
CONYERS, Ga. — The Georgia Railroad’s Augusta-Atlanta main line passed through Conyers with operations beginning in 1845.
Dr. W.D. Conyers is credited with acquiring the land in the area needed for the railroad. A watering station was built where the town’s depot is today located, and the stop was named Conyers Station in honor of the doctor’s efforts. The city of Conyers was established in 1854.
The train depot in Old Towne Conyers was built in the 1890s. In 1909, a 3-mile spur was built connecting Conyers and the nearby community of Milstead.
Between 1948 and about 1960, a small 0-6-0 steam locomotive served on the 3-mile-long Milstead Railroad. The small locomotive hauled between Callaway Mills in the small community of Milstead and nearby Conyers, where the line interchanged with the Georgia Railroad.
Engine No. 104, built in 1905 by Rogers, is, according to some sources, one of only a handful of this type locomotive still in existence. The engine apparently picked up the nickname “Dinky” because of its short stature.
The West Point Railroad originally owned the Dinky. Callaway Mills, formerly the Milstead Manufacturing Co., bought the locomotive in 1948 and put it into service hauling cotton over the Milstead Railroad. Apparently, the locomotive routinely sparked fires along the line, prompting townsfolk to come to the rescue and put out the fire.
The locomotive is today on display in downtown Conyers, the town the Dinky once served.