Mount Airy & Eastern Railway (19.25 miles)
The Mount Airy and Eastern Railway was a narrow gauge lumber hauling line
from Mount Airy, NC to Kibler, VA. The railroad was chartered by T.E. Houston and
associates on May 3, 1899 and the Mount Airy Construction and Manufacturing Corporation
was chartered on May 31, 1899. Both were chartered under the laws of North Carolina. The
two companies were operated as one with the same officers and books with headquarters in
Mount Airy, NC. The road was opened to Goins, VA (15.75 miles) on February 1, 1900.
The enterprise was unsuccessful and C. B. Keesee of Martinsville, VA was
appointed receiver on May 4, 1901. Under Keesee the line was extended to Kibler, VA
by November 1, 1902 to serve a lumber mill of Kibler & Kay. An extension to Stuart, VA
(10 miles) was surveyed in 1904 but never built. The road was sold under
foreclosure on November 15, 1910 and purchased for $20,000 by the Rosslyn Lumber Company,
Inc. of Rosslyn, VA. Sale confirmed December 13, 1910. It was sold again on April 1,
1915 to Sidney Bieber of Washington, DC, who reorganized it without changing the name.
Biebe and some New York Associates had bought 12,000 acres of hardwood timber lands in
southwest Virginia and planned to use the MA&E to deliver the lumber. The Mayo-Dan
Lumber Company with principle offices in Washington, DC was organized to handle this
enterprise. The later history of the line is obscure, but the railroad stopped
operations in the Spring of 1918 or thereabouts. It was sold and reorganized as the
Virginia & Mount Airy Railway on February 6, 1920 but there is no evidence that it was
restored to operation. It was apparently liquidated in 1930.
The MA&E "connected" with the A&Y on the Flat Rock
branch near the granite quarry. The narrow gauge tracks were parallel to the standard
gauge tracks and freight was transferred from car to car. According to Gareth McDonald,
there was no evidence of moving cars from narrow gauge to standard gauge trucks by
lifting, as was done elsewhere with different gauge interchanges.
Here are four images of MA&E equipment that I have located so far
(click on small image to view larger image):
image shows a Mount Airy Construction and Manufacturing Company flatcar with a MoW gang
probably circa 1900. The image appears to be a double exposure and the bottom image
is of an unidentified lumber yard, perhaps a load for the MA&E.
Glass plate negative loaned by Carson House, Marion, NC to Doug Walker. Obtained
from the collection of Mac Connery, Durham, NC.
MA&E #3 was a 3 feet gauge Mogul
built in October, 1880 by Baldwin s/n 5317. It was originally Bell's Gap Railroad
#3; sold to Southern Iron & Equipment Company (a locomotive dealer) in Atlanta, GA;
and sold from the SI&E to the MA&E in 1917. The photograph here is circa
1917, a few years before the MA&E ceased operations.
Image from the Thomas Norrell photo collection, Smithsonian Institution negative #
85-26584. Obtained from Mac Connery, Durham, NC.
MA&E #8 was a 3 feet gauge Mogul,
shown here in 1906 at the transfer table of the Southern Iron & Equipment Co.,
Atlanta, GA. The #8 was built in September, 1883 in Pittsburgh s/n 706. It was
originally the Gainesville, Jefferson & Southern #3, but was sold to Southern Iron
& Equipment Company. SI&E sold it to the MA&E as #8 in March of 1915.
Later it was sold back to SI&E who sent it to the N&W tie plant in Radford, VA in
February of 1921.
Photo by ? from the Harold K. Vollrath Collection. Obtained from Mac
Connery, Durham, NC.
||This photo depicts a three feet gauge
Consolidation on a transfer table at Southern Iron & Equipment, Co. The
locomotive was built in September, 1883 c/n 13634 as an 0-8-0 #11 for the Crystal River
Railroad. Went next to the Columbus and Rome as #4, then to Central of Georgia and
renumbered #804 in 1897. It was sold to Southern Iron & Equipment Company as
#973. The MA&E purchased and renumbered to #9 in August of 1915.
Later this engine was sold to Tallulah Lumber, then to SI&E and in August of 1918 it
went to Cia Azucarera Madrozo (a sugar company) in Cuba in August of 1918.