Whale oil delivery to Marion, VA

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Aug 22 07:12:58 EDT 2018

All I can say is that there were pretty darn few whales located in Elizabethton, Tennessee.  It’s located about thirty miles southeast of Bristol in the heart of the mountains.  It was on the old Virginia and South Eastern part of the Appalachia Division of the Southern Railway and was abandoned some time in the 1930s.  Elizabethton was also on the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina (Eat Taters and Wear No Clothes) that connected with the Southern’s Knoxville Division at Johnson City.  Number 65 was a freight train on the V&SE.

Ed King                                                                     

From: NW Mailing List 
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 10:48 PM
To: NWHS Mailing List 
Subject: Whale oil delivery to Marion, VA

A post on a steam era freight car list this week gave this interesting inquiry:

"Reading some Dispatcher notes from Southern Railway dated 5/23/32. it reads "No. 65 picked up Pacific Whaling Car 601 from Elizabethton to Bristol in route to Marion, Virginia.  Anyone have a photo of a Pacific Whaling car?  Or know more about this?"

Subsequent discussions suggest that this was a tank car of whale oil. Any thoughts from our group on this subject? Shipment information, who in Marion might have use for a tank car load of whale oil, etc?

I am originally from Marion, so this is an exotic and interesting item to me.

Dr. J. Brent Greer

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