cuthbert georgia depot

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i am recreating the Cuthbert, GA switchyard and depot in a mural in my son's bedroom using only my memory from seeing it when i visited my grandmother there often in the 1960's. The depot had long been abandoned at that time, yet the structure still existed. I would appreciate anyone who may know a resource where i may be able to purchase a picture(s) of the depot and/or may be able to obtain any information regarding the service and history of the line in the Cuthbert area. Also, any information you may have will be appreciated. Thank you.

-- stephen gregg (auburn@dalton.net), March 31, 2002

Answers

I recently ran accross a book of the history of Randolph County, Georgia which has a picture and 2 articles about Cuthbert. The picture is taken from a book entitled Americus Thro' the Years. This articles says the board of directors, Oct. 9, 1856, it was agreed that if the citizens of Terrell and Randolph Counties would suscribe for stock of the South Western Railroad in the amount of $175,000.00 the railroad would be extended to Cuthbert. This was done and the grading was begun in 1857. The railroad was completed and opened for business as follows: From Smithville to Dawson on July 7, 1858. From Dawson to Wards Station on March 17, 1859. From Wards Station to Cuthbert on June 2, 1859. The first passenger train ran on June 27, 1859. Trading was begun on the line from Cuthbert to Eufaula in May 1858, and the road completed and opened for business as follows: From Cuthbert to Morris on Jan. 9, 1860. From Morris to Hatcher on March 26, 1860. From Hatcher to Georgetown on July 2, 1860. From Georgetown to Chattachoochee on Oct. 23, 1860. From Chattachoochee to Eufaula in 1865. These articles also give train schedules on both the Central of Georgia and the G. F. & A. which later become part of the Seaboard. It looks to me that this guy did some excellent research as he gives specific dates. The book I alluded to is entitled Randolph County, Georgaia; A Compilation of Facts, Recollections, and Family Histories.

-- Steve Riley (jriley1002@aol.com), April 02, 2002.

According to Richard E. Princeís book ďThe Central of Georgia Railway and Connecting LinesĒ the line from Smithville to a point near Georgetown GA, through Cuthbert, was completed in 1860 by the South Western Railroad. The branch from Cuthbert to Ft Gaines was completed later that same year. Somewhere around 1865 a bridge was constructed across the Chattahoochee River at Georgetown to provide access to Eufaula. In 1870 the Montgomery and Eufaula Railroad completed itís line between itís namesake towns. It took until 1873 however for both carriers to build a junction at Eufaula. Once the junction was completed, the line from Montgomery to Smithville became part of the first through service linking the Midwest, from Louisville Ky, to Florida, at Jacksonville. In 1869 the South Western RR was leased by the Central Rail Road and Banking company of Georgia, the forerunner to the CofG. In 1879 the M&E was sold to the Central Rail Road and Banking Company and operated as the M&E, a subsidiary of the Central. By 1895 both the South Western Railroad and the Montgomery and Eufaula Railroad became part of the new Central of Georgia Railroad. Also in 1888 the line from Americus to Columbus was completed completing the line from Birimingham to Albany, which took over as the principle route of Midwest to Florida trains handled by the CofG. From various public timetables I have put together the following brief history of passenger service through Cuthbert on the CofG: In 1914 there were 2 trains a day in each direction between Montgomery and Atlanta via Smithville. The night trains handled sleeping cars and both trains provided connections at Cuthbert with the Georgia, Florida, and Alabama Railroad (later the SAL Railroad) to Tallahassee FL. There were also 2 trains in each direction operated between Cuthbert and Ft. Gaines. In 1920 the frequency of trains remained the same however through Sleepers were now provided between Atlanta and Tallahassee via Cuthbert instead of going to Montgomery. The December 1931 timetable saw several changes. There was only 1 train in each direction operating between Atlanta and Montgomery with another train operating between Smithville and Cuthbert providing connections at Smithville to points north. This trainís west terminus was Cuthbert. Service from Cuthbert to Ft Gaines was reduced to 1 train a day in each direction with bus service operated by the Central of Georgia Motor Transport Company providing another round trip. The through Sleeper to Tallahassee was no longer offered either ending sleepers through Cuthbert. In 1936 there was only 1 train a day in each direction operated through Cuthbert. The second train from/to Smithville was no longer available. Service to Ft Gaines was a tri-weekly mixed train. Down one day and back the next. In 1942 there was still the one train between Atlanta and Montgomery. The train to/from Ft. Gaines had been extended to Eufaula. The April 1951 shows the line to Ft. Gaines as Freight service only. Cuthbert still had once a day service by the train that operated between Atlanta and Montgomery. The October 1952 timetable shows Cuthbert as freight only, thereby ending rail passenger service to Cuthbert. As a note, my oldest employee timetable, a 1941, shows a schedule at Cuthbert GA for the SAL passenger train. This and procedures in the Special instructions section of the timetable lead me to believe that the CofG depot was used by SAL passenger trains. Later employee timetables I have show this same procedure in place up until the time passenger service ended on the SAL at Cuthbert. As a further aside, it appears the same arrangement was in place at Arlington GA with SAL passenger trains using the CofG depot there also. There may be others on the list that can expand upon this joint arrangement. My collection of employee timetables is a bit thin but what I do have shows the same gradual cutbacks seen in passenger service. As to the agency at Cuthbert, I have a 1967 employee timetable that shows Cuthbert as still having an agency. A 1970 timetable makes no mention of an agency so it would appear that the depot at Cuthbert closed sometime between 1967 and 1970. I do know that in the 1970ís and through until NS leased the line to the GA Southwestern, Cuthbert was handled by the mobile agent out of Dawson GA. I hope I didnít get too long winded or tied up in too many details. Questions such as these give me a reason to dig through my older timetables and learn quite a bit myself. As for pictures of the depot itself at Cuthbert, I can't help you. I remember the building and actually went in it before it was torn down. Much to my regret, I didn't make any photos. Chalk it up to being too young and thinking it would always be around. I do remember it as a medium sized building made of blocks resembling a lime rock type material. It was unique in that a lot of CofG depots were basically wooden buildings where this one was not.

Hope this helps.

Bryan Smith

-- Bryan Smith (bsmith3608@aol.com), March 31, 2002.


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