Our History

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The Tunnel

The Western & Atlantic Railroad was founded in 1836 to connect the Tennessee and Chattahoochee Rivers, however one barrier stood in northwest Georgia: Chetoogeta Mountain.  With scaling the mountain being out of the question, tunneling through was the only solution.

 

Construction on the tunnel began in the summer of 1848 and with it came an influx of workers. The tunnel, which spans 1,477 feet was completed in less than 22 months and on May 9, 1850, the first Western and Atlantic locomotive passed through the tunnel and the connection between Chattanooga, Tennessee and the new town of Atlanta, Georgia was complete.

 

While in operation, the tunnel was controlled by both the Union and Confederate Armies at various times throughout the Civil War and even witnessed the “Great Locomotive Chase” in April of 1862.

The Depot

The W&A (Western & Atlantic) Railroad Depot was built by the State of Georgia between 1848-1850 as part of the state-owned Western & Atlantic Railroad. It was made from rock excavated from Chetoogeta Mountain during construction of the nearby Historic Tunnel. This depot is one of Georgia's oldest.

The Depot witnessed many important events during the Civil War; a speech by Confederate State's President Jefferson Davis in 1861; the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862; several Civil War skirmishes; and the first headquarters of General Sherman during his Atlanta Campaign.

For years the building was incorporated into Red Hat, ConAgra, and Pilgrim’s Pride feed mills.  The last commercial business was a plastics recycling center. The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation placed the Depot on its 2014 Places in Peril list.

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