On October 29, 1909, the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio (CC&O) Railway completed track from Dante, Virginia to Spartanburg, SC. Festive celebrations were observed in both Johnson City and Spartanburg that year. I wrote a column about it in September 2011.
Today’s column photo should take many of my readers on a nostalgic journey back to the old long ago razed Southern Railway Depot. It was a fun place to go, especially when trains arrived and departed. It was even more pleasurable to purchase a ticket and ride the rails. My subject concerns an unpleasant incident – a train wreck.
Yesterday, September 30, 2012, marked the anniversary of a historical event that occurred 126 years ago. Two local history buffs met on September 30, 1986, the 100-year anniversary of the incident, and relived the story for an article for the Johnson City Press-Chronicle.
Today, let’s crank up the Yesteryear Time Machine and drift back to the “good old days” of December 26, 1922 to drive along Johnson City’s streets when its population was about 15,000. When we arrive, we find the temperature to be in the upper 20s with just a hint of snow flurries. For the most part, the main streets are paved within the confines of the city limits.
The completion of the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio (CC&O) Railroad from Dante, Virginia to Spartanburg, South Carolina occurred on Friday, October 29, 1909. Festive celebrations were observed in Johnson City and Spartanburg.
Ray and Norma Henry, former area residents, recently recalled when the peaceful early morning hours of July 10, 1950 suddenly turned into a ghastly scene of carnage that claimed the lives of three local people.
It was bound to happen – the first automobile wreck in Johnson City. According to Dorothy Hamill, former writer for the Johnson City Press-Chronicle, the incident occurred in 1913 and drew a crowd of curious onlookers much like a collision produces today.
I received a copy of a time card for trains and trolleys at the Union and Carnegie Passenger Depot for February 12, 1893. It consisted of a long narrow sheet of paper, folded six times for ease of use and printed on all sides containing 23 local advertisements and nine railway systems:
The Jan. 30, 1908 Comet proclaimed in bold letters: “New Railroad Will Be Great.” A subtitle further stated “South And Western To Be The Best Built, Means Much In The Development of East Tennessee.” This early railroad would later be labeled the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railroad (CC&O), eventually becoming known simply as the Clinchfield.