Glover Machine Works Played Important Role in Shaping Post-Civil War South [Photos]

A restored locomotive built in 1916 by the Glover Machine Works (Historic American Engineering Record/Public Domain)

MARIETTA, Ga. — Glover Machine Works was never as big of a locomotive builder as Baldwin Locomotive Works or American Locomotive Co. (ALCO).

The company built 200 locomotives between May 6, 1902, and April 19, 1930. But, more than anything, its impact on helping the south recover after the Civil War is immeasurable.

Today, there are few remnants of this fascinating locomotive builder. Its historic 11-acre campus in Marietta, where the company moved in 1903, was razed in 1995, but its archives, patterns and locomotive parts survive at the Southern Locomotive of Civil War and Locomotive History in nearby Kennesaw, Ga.

The history of Glover Machine Works starts in 1892, when James Bolan“Bolie” Glover II bought the Phoenix Foundry and Machine Shop. In 1895, he changed the name of the company to Glover Machine Works.

Some of the more interesting tidbits about Glover Machine Works:

  • The company built only one passenger locomotive. No. 131818, a 2-6-2 steamer, was built in 1923 for the Cliffside Railroad.
  • Glover No. 81421, a locomotive built in 1916 or 1917, is on display in Glover Park in downtown Marietta. The 2-6-0 mogul locomotive, which today carries No. 4, was sold to the Coulbourn Bros. for use in logging operations and returned to Glover in September 1923 for resale.
  • Engine No. 7128 was shipped to Splint Jellico Coal Co. on June 30, 1926. In December 1927, the locomotive was repossessed and returned to Marietta where it sat for 70 years. The steamer was restored between 2001 and 2003 and is today on display in the Southern Museum.
  • Locomotive Nos. 561 and 562 have the distinction of being the smallest locomotives built by Glover. The 2-foot-gauge, 8,200-pound steamers were ordered in 1916 by the United States Navy and delivered the following year.
  • The first Glover customer was Stratton Brick in Macon, Ga.

Sources: Various historical markers, the Southern Locomotive of Civil War and Locomotive History and “Glover Steam Locomotives: The South’s Last Steam Builder” by Richard Hillman.

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About Todd DeFeo 363 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.