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A Short History of
the Little River Railroad
and Lumber Company
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Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum

On February 1, 1925, the State of Tennessee purchased 76,507 acres of land for $273,557 from Col. Townsend with the intent of establishing the National Park. Timber had already been cut from most of the property and the company was still cutting. In fact, the purchase contract provided that the company might continue cutting for another fifteen years.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was officially established June 15, 1934, and the Lumber Company officially closed its sawmill at Townsend in 1938. The railroad was given permission to abandon its line on December 12, 1939, and scraping of the track took place the first part of 1940.

Little River Gorge, Tremont Road, and a section of the road to Cades Cove that we use today follow the routes once used by the trains to haul lumber, passengers, and week-end sightseers.

Monday - Saturday

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