This abandoned railway branched from the mainline at Lyerly as part of the Central of Georgia's Chattanooga District. It was abandoned in the 1920s.
Thanks to Harold Holiman for contributing information about this route.
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You can still see the ROW in Lyerly where the branch departed the main and at a couple of places in the country between Lyerly and Dewey; you can still find cuts and fills of the line.
The branch line which departed the Chattanooga District at Lyerly, GA was originally planned to extend to Gadsden, AL. The line was completed as far as Dewey Alabama in 1890, when construction stopped due to the Panic (depression) of 1890. The economy rose a little in 1892 only to be followed by a deeper Panic (depression) in 1893, thus construction was never resumed past Dewey to Gadsden. The Town of Lyerly was chartered in 1891 "at the junction of the railroads from; Chattanooga, Rome, and Gadsden", although the Gadsden line was never completed. I cannot find documation of when the Lyerly to Dewey branch was abandonded but it is believed to be the late 1920's or around 1930. The 1900 era depot at Dewey is still standing in very poor condition and greatly remodeled over the past 110+ years. I have a picture of the depot if I knew how to post it to this site.
I wish you could post that pic of the depot. I have searched extensively for any remains of that line, I have several photographs of the area including aerials from the '40's. I hope to be back in the area sometime around June 2012. Get in touch if you can and we'll see if we can get together and compare notes.
I have a copy of the CofG file on this route which includes the abandonment info and a topo map. Harold, I see no evidence in this file that the CofG ever handled more than a handful of cars during the period that they owned it. A few carloads of peaches and a few carloads of timber. I don't think there was ever any traffic in the CofG era from as far out as Dewey. They only got out to the station known as "woodyard" which was not too far from Lyerly. The only reason they picked up the loads that they did is because the shippers took them to court. It cost the CofG more to fix the line up for these few shipments than they ever made from them. I am not sure how the CofG came to own the line but it was built by a mining concern. Much of the right of way has been plowed under.
Warren D. Stephens
Chattooga, County, GA
If the notion that they shipped peaches is strange, remember that in this era, there were vast peach orchards and strawberry fields in NW Georgia.
Do you have any pictures or information about Lyerly, GA to Dewey, AL? Please