Another L&W Question : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

At the

site, it says "Service to Louisville was discontinued in 1971 due to bridge failure over Boggy Gut Creek just NE of Wadley."

I need a little clarification on this. Was it the Boggy Gut Creek bridge that was the problem or was it the Ogeechee River trestle the problem? The reason that I ask is that I was almost certain Billy Gibson had stored a long string of excess box cars along the L&W north of Wadley, somewhere along Wynder Smith Road. This was after service was terminated to Lousville, and this section of track was north of Boggy Gut Creek. I can't quite remember the year, but this was during the period of a rail car glut and storage space along the regular operating lines was full.

Or was it really the Boggy Gut Creek trestle and Billy deemed the bridge not passable for revenue service, but really was in good enough shape to run storage cars across?



-- Sheldon Daitch (, March 10, 2004



thanks for the information, your thoughts on the bridge discussion. One of these, I ought to call Billy and ask him!

The name Smith Brothers rings a bell, too. Fulghums was the equipment manufacturer, Wayne Battle ran a lumber operation and so did Smith Brothers.

As for the lumber yard on the north end of town, I have a railroad diagram that shows a pulpwood yard and saw mill on the track between the old US 1 and the bypass, and it appears that this is after the MP2.

I just took a look at this aerial photo: 17&w=2

dated 14 Feb 1993, and there were cars parked along the main and the saw mill siding to the east. Interesting, this map that I have also shows a run-around track in the pulpwood side, to the west of the main line.

I tried to go up the line on the photo to the north, past Boggy Gut Creek and I can't see enough to tell if there is anything there. If I didn't know where the tracks went, I'd probably lose it.

Now, you made an interesting comment about a cut of tank cars north of Boggy Gut Creek. I thought there was a series of box cars, but now, I am wondering if I am the victim of a wild imagination. I guess they could have been tank cars. (I know the difference between the two, but the brain cells may be dying!)

-- Sheldon Daitch (, March 15, 2004.

Hi Sheldon,

I might as well toss in my two cents.

I have always thought the culprit was the Ogeechee River trestle. I seem to remember this from both correspondence and conversations with several people back in the mid-70's. Given the amount of maintenance problems this trestle created over the years, that's what I'd think.

Subsequently, in the mid-'80's I photographed a long cut of tank cars that were definitely north of Boggy Gut Creek which would indicate that that trestle may still have been in use around that time. Of course, I don't know how long they might have been there.

Regarding the lumber mill, a 1954 W. F. Beckum, Jr. photo has it captioned as "Smith Bros. Lumber Mill, 1 1/2 miles north of Wadley." It could have changed hands, of course. When I photographed the mill in the 'mid-'80's, it was strictly a pulpwood operation, but I don't remember seeing a sign with the name.


-- Steve Flanigan (, March 15, 2004.

I haven't been to Wadley in years, so I don't have a clue what Billy might be hiding up on the rails.

As best as I remember, the tracks just to the north of the US bypass crossing went into a heavily wooded area and my guess is that the growth blocks any visibility north from the highway. You'd have to go over to the Wynder Smith Road before you can get back to the track south of Moxley.

I seem to recall that when L&W was storing box cars, they had been there long enough so that there were saplings 3-5 inches in diameter growing between the cars. This summer, if I get some time to travel back to GA-land, I'll just have to make a detour over to Louisville and Wadley and take a look at some things, see if I can make down to the Ogeechee River trestle, check along the Wynder Smith Road and figure out what lumber mill there was at about the 2 mile point!

-- Sheldon Daitch (, March 14, 2004.

I don't think it was Battle Lumber, unless their operations were based on the L&W at one time. Battle Lumber is just east of the US 1 bypass, right beside it, just before it goes over the NS (Central) mainline.

A co-worker who was the agent at Wrens before NS cut the job off was telling me at one time Mr Gibson shoved a big cut of cabooses on the line for storage. He claims they're still there. I don't think they are, I know only of one that sits out in the woods just south of the US 1 bypass crossing. It's a wooden one, and you can barely see it, if at all now, from the crossing. Know anything of this?

-- Jared Blocker (NS) (, March 13, 2004.

Yes, the lumber mill was south of US 1, but I have to tell you, at the moment, I can't recall if it was south of the bypass crossing or south of the old US 1 crossing. I know it was not north of the US 1 bypass.

I just can't recall how much there was between the bypass crossing and the old route 1 crossing. The bypass is the newer road which goes east of town and crosses over the former CofG mainline. I think it was Battle Lumber Company, but I am trying to draw on 20-30 year old memories. I believe there was also a competing lumber mill, Fulghums, also in Wadley, and at one time Fulghams was making motorized equipment for logging operations.

Gosh, I just don't remember.

-- Sheldon Daitch (, March 12, 2004.

Where was this lumber mill? Just south of the US 1 crossing?

-- Jared Blocker (NS) (, March 12, 2004.

Maybe I am confusing bridges. In the January 1961 issue of TRAINS page 14, SHORT LINES, there is a snippet about the L&W, when a trestle near Lousiville collapsed under a train. I seem to recall this, and at least one box car fell off the bridge. This was the Ogeechee River bridge, so perhaps I am confusing two separate bridge problems.


-- Sheldon Daitch (, March 12, 2004.


thanks for the trestle information. I was aware that they were running the train across a trestle like that, but for some reason, I always thought it was the Ogeechee River trestle, not any of the others. I just made that assumption, as I thought they had had problems with it, over the years, but maybe it was in better shape, into the 1960s, than I gave it credit.

I guess I just never verified which trestle, but that probably one of the more important things in my life at that time. I came back from Vietnam in mid-1971 and had other avenues to persue.

I haven't been to Louisville in a number of years. My parents still lived in Louisville (Mom) and Augusta (Dad-nursing home) in 1997, when they died, and I've been back only once since then, to visit some folks (non-relatives) who are still there. I haven't seen Billy Gibson since probably the mid-1980s, when I was down home with my youngest brother and the two of us rode down to Wadley and found Billy running 1004 around, switching and taking some cars up toward the lumber mill, I think it was. I do recall that Billy may have had a running feud with the highway department with the condition of the grade crossing on old US1, northside of Wadley, just before the old/bypass route 1 intersection, based on some legal ads that would appear in The News and Farmer.

-- Sheldon Daitch (, March 11, 2004.


I'm almost certain it was indeed the Boggy Gut Creek trestle that was the problem. It got to the point where the crews would get off the train and let it roll across the trestle, where the brakeman would already be at the other end to jump on and stop it.

Hope this helps some....

I'm orginally not too far from the area, but have you been there recently? Mr Gibson certainly hasn't used what little is left of the line for storage in a long time, and I think both the switches where his line comes to our passing track have been spiked. I believe it was around 2000 when he last stored some cars for us (NS).....loads of sodium chlorate from Augusta. I remember having to give the crew on the Tennille local (G23) waybills on those cars when they finally decided to send them to Jesup.

-- Jared Blocker (NS) (, March 10, 2004.

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