North Carolina Railroads - Watauga & Yadkin River Railroad

Acronym

Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point

W&YR RR

1913

1913

1933

Darby, NC

North Wilkesboro, NC
+ 1921 - Company not operational since 1920.
+ 1913 - Company chartered on January 28, 1913 via an Act on same date. Company formally organized on March 6, 1905.
Originated as the Watauga Railway. 1913, authorized to acquire the assets of the unfinished Yadkin River Railroad.

In 1911, William J. Grandin began laying rails for what would become the Watauga & Yadkin River Railroad. The railroad began at the end of the Southern Railway line in North Wilkesboro, NC, and followed the banks of the Yadkin River. The line terminated in Caldwell County at a new village and massive timber mill that was titled after its owner. At Elkville, where Elk Creek spilled into the Yadkin River, the railroad had a junction that traveled to the heart of 60,000 acres of virgin timber. Darby was the terminus of this branch, and the intended launching point of the railroad into Boone and over the mountains into Tennessee.

When a major flood hit in 1916, it was a severe blow to a company that was already weak. The railroad was rebuilt, but again, timber operations remained miniscule and the lumber company was never able to succeed. Mother Nature again intervened, and flooded the Yadkin Valley once again in 1918. The previously-damaged railroad was unable to cope with the waters, and the freshet was a mortal blow to all operations.

For the next fifteen years, various companies and individuals sought to revive the railroad and timber operations, but ultimately, to no avail. The railroad was finally scrapped in 1933.

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Towns on Route:

Darby

Elkville > Blackstone (1920)

Kendal > Ferguson (1914)

Oakdale

Marley Ford (1915-1919)

Goshen

Minton (1915-1923)

Adley

Wilkesboro

North Wilkesboro

The Fifteenth Annual Report of the North Carolina Commission for the Year Ending December 31, 1913, with Compilations from Railroad Returns for the Year Ending June 30, 1913:

President ...................................................... W.J. Grandin .................................. Lenoir, NC
General Manager or Superintendent .............. H.C. Landon .................................. N. Wilkesboro, NC
Secretary-Treasurer ...................................... R.T. Rossell ................................... Pittsburgh, PA

Road Operated - North Wilkesboro, NC to Grandin, NC ..................................... 21.00 miles

Employees ............................................................................................................ 30

Towns on Route (21 miles):
North Wilkesboro
Gordon
Browns Ford
Minton
Goshen
Marly Ford
Goulds
Ferguson
Elkville
Grandin

From the Seventeenth Annual Report of the North Carolina Corporation Commission, dated December 31, 1915, with a Compilation of Railroad Returns for the Year Ending June 30, 1915:

Stations on Route in NC (52 miles):
North Wilkesboro
Gordon
Browns Ford
Minton
Goshen
Marly Ford
Goulds
Ferguson
Elkville
Grandin
Denny
Darby
Middle Cane
Roger's Mill
Council
Blowing Rock Junction
Boone



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