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A Short History of
the Little River Railroad
and Lumber Company
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In the fall of 1982, Townsend-in-the-Smokies Chamber of Commerce established the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company, a non-profit organization to found a railroad museum in Townsend. A group of interested men, with the help of donated heavy equipment brought back from Robbinsville, North Carolina, restored a Shay engine, No. 2147, which had been used in the logging operation. The depot at Walland was moved to Townsend. Many people brought or sent memorabilia from the days of the railroad and lumber operations; the collection has become quite extensive.

Monday - Saturday

The board that operates the museum is made up of twelve active members who spend hours each week working to retain and provide this information in order that this and future generations might have knowledge and be proud of their heritage. So many fathers, grandfathers, and even great-grandfathers of this generation once were employed by the Little River Railroad or the Little River Lumber Company that we feel that it is important to keep the museum alive. We are in dire need of volunteers to help in the depot, talking to visitors, selling a small amount of souvenirs, or just being there each day during the tourist season to assist in the many duties required to keep the museum running. If you are available to spend a few hours each week, call Georgia Bradshaw at (423) 448-6248. The directors will appreciate you and you will be contributing to a very important historical era that formerly served parts of Blount and Sevier Counties for its people's livelihood.

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