Oct. 29, 2012. Nearly 100 years ago, the High Country was opened up to the outside world due to business interests in the thick hardwood forest, abundant in the mountains and the high grade iron located in Cranberry. The narrow gauge railroad from Johnson City, TN to Cranberry, the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad, commonly known as Tweetsie, had reason to expand its operation further into the North Carolina Mountains.
From 1913 to 1919, the railroad worked its way from Johnson City, TN to Boone. With this expansion came numerous lumber operations and sawmills that handled the timber business to be shipped out over the railroad. People soon realized the great natural beauty and wonderful summer-time weather of the High Country, and vacationers from all over the eastern United States began coming to the High Country, starting a tradition that exist until this day.
In 1917, a beautiful railroad station was built in Linville, which served not only the timber business but also the customers of Eseeola Lodge. The depot, which was covered with local chestnut bark, was the most ornate on the line. It served the railroad until 1940 when service was suspended and abandoned after a flood in August of that year. For nearly 70 years the little building served different businesses and later was moved and converted into a private residence. It is the only original structure still remaining from the railroad days in North Carolina.
In 2007, the building was donated to the Avery County Historical Society and moved from Linville to Newland and located behind the Avery County Museum adjacent to the Court House. The Depot is in the process of being loving and laboriously restored to its original appearance. The outside of the Depot and the Ticket Agent/Waiting Room is now complete and ready to be presented to the public.
A special Depot Day Celebration will be held Sunday, Nov. 4 from 1-4 p.m. located off the square in Newland just beside the Court House. If you have any pictures or family stories related to this time in history, bring them to share.
Come join in the Celebration, Sunday, Nov. 4, from 1-4 p.m. and enjoy the Depot, railroad pictures, stories, special music by Terry McKinney and refreshments.
For additional information called the Museum at 828-733-7111 or averymuseum.com.