(Note: All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.)
This is my post for the Our World meme. This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies. To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.
On the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, Betsy attended another pre-wedding event for her future daughter-in-law in Dalton, Georgia. While Betsy was partying, her son Jeff and I visited the historic Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel in nearby Tunnel Hill, Georgia.
The tunnel was built to connect the port of Augusta, Georgia, and the Tennessee River Valley. The tunnel is 1,477 feet long through the base of Chetoogeta Mountain, and it was designed to be the first railroad across the Appalachian Mountains.
Construction of the tunnel began in 1848, and the first Western & Atlantic train passed through the tunnel on May 9, 1850. The town of Tunnel Hill sprang up during construction of the tunnel, and after the tunnel was completed Atlanta became one of the railway’s major hubs.
The railroad tunnel played a part in several Civil War events, including the Great Locomotive Chase and the 1864 Battle of Tunnel Hill.
After the Civil War larger train cars got stuck in the tunnel several times, which led to the building of a larger, parallel tunnel. The railroad stopped using the historic tunnel in 1928.
The tunnel suffered neglect for about 70 years, but in 1992 steps were taken to preserve and rehabilitate the old tunnel. It was opened to the public in 2000 in time to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first train passing through.
I couldn’t take my tripod into the tunnel, so most of the interior photos are not very good. But it was fascinating to walk through the tunnel and remember that it was built with hand tools.