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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Etowah, TN L&N Depot

Etowah, TN L&N Depot

In 1902, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad decided they needed a more direct route between Atlanta and Cincinnati. Along this proposed updated route, they found a spot in McMinn County, TN that was about halfway between the two cities that would serve as a good terminal and crew stop. Thus, the city of Etowah, and it's important Station were born.

The 15 room Victorian structure made of yellow pine seen here was soon finished at a cost of $13,000.

Passenger service lasted until 1968 and the depot soon closed. However, since this is still a prime railroad location, CSX continues to many operations along the tracks. The railroad donated the building to the city and by 1981 the depot was open again as a museum after several years of restoration. The depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Partnering with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum out of Chattanooga, there is an excursion train which operates from here. Known as the Hiawasee Loop, the excursion follows along the tracks which parallel the Hiawasee River and then ascends to the famous spot on Bald Mountain where the tracks cross over themselves, forming a loop known as "The Eye." (These are the tracks that the new line through Etowah was designed to bypass.)

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