V&T and Southside RR in Lynchburg
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Sun Jul 2 16:28:29 EDT 2017
Today's research has been in W. Asbury Christian's book, Lynchburg and Its
People, 1900. His research was primarily based on the several newspapers
published in Lynchburg up until 1900.
He states that the first Southside RR train arrived in Lynchburg at 2:30 pm
on November 2, 1860 at the railroad's depot on Percival's Island in the
James River, "for this was its entrance into the city. It was not allowed to
connect with the Virginia & Tennessee road for all cars had to break bulk
here and the freight (and passengers) had to be hauled by wagons over a
bridge near Hurt's Mill and thence.... to the other depot [V&T]." I believe
the low dam of Hurt's Mill is still in place, opposite the RockTen-Mead paper
mill and the distance of the wagon trip was about a mile and a quarter.
The Southside and the V&T were both unutilized heavily and damaged
likewise during the Civil War.
There is no mention of the two lines being connected until 1866 when a
military tribunal ruled against the consolidation the two railroads after
hearing the opinions of the citizens at a hearing. Lynchburg and Virginia were
under military rule as part of Reconstruction until 1870. In June 1870 the
V&T and the Southside were consolidated and at which time Christian
suggests a bridge was built from the west end of Percival's Island to the shore
and tracks laid joining the two roads. It is my opinion that the gap could
not have been more than 150 yards.
"Our stories give our lives meaning." Rudyard Kipling, 1928
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