<<< back

a Continuing History of
Little River Railroad and Lumber Company
page 3 of 3

The scenic assets of the area, opened for easy access for the first time, were not lost on the people of the region. Many of them journeyed by train to Elkmont to view the sights. In the early years, a trip up the Little River gorge became so popular with church, club, school and family groups that the Little River Railroad inaugurated the "Elkmont Special" operating from Knoxville over the Southern's tracks to Walland. The sum of $1.90 was charged for the round trip. Advertised stops were at Maryville, Walland, Kinzel Springs, Townsend, Line Springs, Wonderland Park, and Elkmont. But it is said that slides, washouts, and errant cows often added stops not on the schedule. Flat cars were modified into open-seated vehicles, with the designation "Observation Car" gaily painted on the sides. These carriages were in great demand by the pleasure seekers of the day.

wpe43E.jpg (2661 bytes)

Monday - Saturday

A train trip to various mineral springs along the route was a recreational piece de resistance. The resort at Kinzel Springs was established by Edward John Kinzel , a Knoxville nature-lover who had come to the foothills to enjoy the peace and quiet of the area. Here he built his home. But his summer retreat became so popular with his friends that Kinzel constructed several summer cottages, a store, and a recreational pavilion.

A hotel was built in 1914 by Kinzel's son-in-law, and it was named Kinzel Springs after the two mineral springs in the area. The resort was well advertised. Orchestras played in the pavilion for dancing. There was swimming, horseback riding, golf, tennis, and other kinds of recreation. In 1925, Kinzel Springs was incorporated as a community. Mr. Kinzel donated some land to a women's organization called the International Sunshine Society. The Sunshine Rest Cottage was constructed to provide an inexpensive vacation spot for working girls. Eleven miles up the river from Townsend was Line Springs, a resort to which local residents flocked to enjoy the chalybeate water.

page 3 of 3