Chattanooga Railroad Series: The Unfinished Line To Stevenson (Part 3)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - by John Wilson

The train route that was planned between Chattanooga and Stevenson was built for eight miles high on the steep sides of Aetna Mountain well above Highway 41.

The route proceeded from the Raccoon Mountain Tunnel on the east side of Highway 41 past the entrance to the Raccoon Mountain Pumped-Storage Plant, then it crossed to the opposite side.

The old bed of the line can be clearly followed as it passes above Anna's High Falls that is now owned by the Tennessee River Gorge Trust. There is no trace of a stream along the track above the interesting falls, which emerge from the side of the mountain below the old unused rail bed and disappear into a deep sinkhole at the base of the falls.

This route encountered several ravines, and the railroad had to construct large culverts across the gaps far above the highway. One is a long concrete pad for a trestle that was to have been built later.

There are two interesting culverts above Sullivan's Grocery. When there was a cloudburst in 1982, one of the culverts was damaged and the other was filled with silt at one end. This torrent washed away the original grocery established in 1929 by the river by Frank Sullivan after he left the Orme Mines. His son, Randall Sullivan, rebuilt on the uphill side of the highway at a spot that had been a ravine, but was filled in by the silt.

A major culvert is not far from the highway just past Holder Lane at Parker Gap. It was intended that the track would be built on a trestle across the culvert, which had a tunnel to carry away the water of Parker Gap Branch.

Still another interesting creation on the Stevenson Extension is under the highway just before McBrien Lane. A wash at this point created a deep ravine near the river. The culvert built by the railroad builders is topped by several layers of rock and brick. The old road to Kelly's Ferry veered to the left here and then back toward the river to avoid the ravine. However, the railroad was built across the chasm. When Highway 41 was constructed, it chose the route of the unfinished train line, leaving the old, sturdy culvert still in place.



Senator David Perdue Acts To Protect Purple Heart Medals

Senator David Perdue is leading the effort in the Senate to protect the Purple Heart and stop second-hand dealers from profiting on the sacrifices of America’s war heroes.   “Many Purple Heart medals are lost and stolen from the original recipient or their family members,” said Senator Perdue. “It is our job to preserve the sacrifices made by our servicewomen and men. To ... (click for more)

Bradley County Sheriff's Office Seeks Identity Of Couple With Stolen Credit Card

Investigators from the Criminal Investigations Division are asking for the public’s assistance with identifying the suspects in a surveillance video. The male and female suspects used a stolen credit card and spent more than $200 during their purchase. The stolen credit card was produced on April 9, at the South Wal-mart on Treasury Drive, and the suspects were observed leaving ... (click for more)

Don't Clog Up The Last Remaining Semi-Unobstructed Route Into Town From North Of The River

The proposal to turn Hixson Pike in Riverview into a more pedestrian friendly street is more than absurd.   Let's be honest. This is the last semi-unobstructed route into town from north of the river, due to I-27 construction and the bike lane/parking lot that is North Market Street.  So, now the businesses in Riverview would like parking on this main artery? ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: New Orleans Slaps History

It was balmy and relatively quiet on Sunday afternoon in New Orleans. The flowers of spring were in full flush on Canal Street and, as darkness began to cloak the city, no one was aware that a cadre of police snipers was quietly setting up in a hotel parking garage across from the Liberty Place monument. Shortly after 1 a.m. yesterday morning, a number of large trucks rumbled past ... (click for more)

Defense, Pitching Sparkle In Owls' 4-0 Win Vs. Mustangs

Strong defense meant more for Ooltewah than any other aspect of Monday’s key District 5-3A prep baseball game against Walker Valley at A.C. “Bud” Ball Field. ** Owls center fielder Jake Sullivan made an ESPN-worthy diving catch in left-center that probably saved two runs in the first inning. ** Pitcher Daniel Willie picked off a Mustangs runner at first base in the ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Ooltewah Shuts Out Walker Valley, 4-0