BLUE RIDGE, Georgia — The earliest attempt to build a railroad through the Blue Ridge, Georgia, area dates to 1854, when the Ellijay Railroad was incorporated.
However, the first viable railroad to build in the region was the Marietta & North Georgia Railroad, which built a three-foot line from Marietta, Georgia, to Murphy, North Carolina.
Colonel Mike McKinney, who commanded the Georgia Militia during the American Civil War, is credited as the founder of Blue Ridge, and town leaders laid out the town in 1886 when the Marietta & North Georgia was extended to the area. The city incorporated the following year.
In 1886, Marietta & North Georgia officials converted the line to accommodate standard gauge trains and also extend the line to Knoxville, Tennessee.
The line was not necessarily successful. The Atlanta, Knoxville & Northern Railway took control of the bankrupt line in 1896, and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad subsumed the line in 1902.
The state of Georgia owns the northern portion of the line, which hosts the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad. The Georgia Northeastern Railroad operates trains over the southern portion of the line.