Up ] [ Mount Airy ] Ararat ] Pilot Mountain ] Pinnacle ] Dalton ] King ] Rural Hall ] Germanton ] Walnut Cove ] Belews Creek ] Stokesdale and Madison Branch ] Summerfield ] Greensboro ] Pleasant Garden ] Climax and Ramseur Branch ] Julian ] Liberty ] Staley ] Siler City ] Ore Hill ] Bonlee ] Bear Creek ] Goldston ] Gulf ] Cumnock ] Sanford ]

Atlantic & Yadkin Railway

History &


NC Granite
Mt. Airy Furniture Industry

Mount Airy, NC (Milepost CF 0)


Mount Airy is a town in northeast Surry County.  It was settled about 1850 and incorporated in 1869.  In the early nineteenth century this vicinity seems to have been called "the Hollow" or "the Hallow." Mount Airy was the northernmost (geographic) terminal of the Atlantic & Yadkin Railway.  The rails reached this town in 1890. For more details on the history of the town and region, visit the Mount Airy Museum of  Regional History (or its web site).

mount_airy_seal.jpg (12085 bytes)

A&Y-article-Mt-Airy-unknown-ca-unknown-Bott-collection.jpg (887983 bytes) I found this article(?) returned in my collection by the document restoration team, but I cannot find information on who gave this to me or whether it is copyrighted. It appears to be an article by the A&Y in a newspaper or magazine (given the moire in the photographs), but it had to be contemporary with the A&Y during the tenure of Mr. Sydnor DeButts as General Manager. Any information you can provide on this article would be very much appreciated.  I sure would like to see the originals of the photos as well.

Click on thumbnail for large version.

To the right is a scan of a photo and story from the Mount Airy News from an unknown date (probably 1950-1953) showing the first diesel to arrive in Mount Airy.  This is likely to be Southern Railway's RS-3 #6217 but it is hard to read the whole number on the locomotive. Click on the image for a close up view of the image.


             First diesel to visit Mount Airy, NC   
Mount_Airy.jpg (20415 bytes) I have a couple of photos of the Mount Airy Station. This first image is from the Carolina Collection and is an image long after the A&Y was absorbed into the Southern. 

 I now have a plaster cast kit model of this station.  I believe it is long out of production. I plan to provide a scan of the instruction sheet and photos of my attempt to build the kit.

This photo I obtained on eBay from RD Connor was taken in 1975 and depicts the Mt. Airy freight house. The freight house was just south of the passenger depot as you can see the end of it in the 1965 image above and as shown in the track diagram below.


To the right is an photo I took of this station in 1999.  Although passenger service was discontinued in 1938, the station has been preserved.  Today it is used as a meeting place for Alcoholics Anonymous. Unfortunately, the trees have grown so large on the trackside of the station, that it is impossible to get a shot from that side during the spring and summer today.  Maybe if I get the chance to visit in the winter... Click on image for close up view of the photo.




Track Diagram  

bw_v27-1_cf000_mount_airy_yard.jpg (677607 bytes) Mount Airy was the western end (railroad) or northern (geographic) terminus of the A&Y. This diagram, derived from the A&Y valuation blueprint I photographed in the National Archives, shows the yard, with the passenger and freight stations, and some of the industries in the immediate area. The yard was located on the western edge of town following along Lovill's Creek. From Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, the creek appears to have been used by some of the industries for water power early on, and later for fire protection and maybe for waste.


mount_airy_dock_across_stationHere is an image of a loading dock that still exists across the tracks from the station today.



A narrow gauge (3') line, the Mount Airy & Eastern Railway Company, existed from about 1900-1918 to haul lumber from the north and east of town.  Nicknamed "the Dinky," this line made it to Kibler, VA.  Author Thomas Perry's web site "The Free State of Patrick" details his uncovering of the tracks and stories of the MA&E: Finding the tracks of The Dinky Railroad.



A Southern Railway Shippers Guide from 1916 and a Sanborn Insurance Map of 1922 indicate the following industries were located in Mount Airy. Some likely used the A&Y for carload shipments by rail, while others may have used the station or team track for car load or less-than-carload (LCL) shipments. I have added other industries as I receive information about them:

Industry Goods Shipped/Rec'd Company Name Info Source or Date
attraction livestock, passengers Virginia Carolina Fair Grounds Sanborn Map 1922
bottling soft drink Chero Cola Bottling Works Sanborn Map 1922
bottling soft drink Pepsi-Cola Bottling Works Sanborn Map 1922
building supply hardware, etc. Beasley Building Supply Sanborn Map 1922
cotton mill yarns, 8s to 16s, single and ply, cones, wraps, tubes and skeins Laurel Bluff Cotton Mills 1916 Shippers Guide
cotton mill blankets, slasher cloths and knitting yarns Alpine Woolen Mills (M. J. Hawkins) 1916 Shippers Guide
cotton mill hosiery Renfro Knitting Mill Sanborn Map 1922
cotton mill tubes?, cones?, socks Adams-Millis Corp. (later Sara Lee Sock) Greensboro Record
fertilizer fertilizer warehouse Piedmont Warehouse Sanborn Map 1922
flour & feed warehouse flour, feed ? on Galloway Street Sanborn Map 1922
flour mill flour Bausley Flour Mill Sanborn Map 1922
flour mill, ice plant flour, ice Granite City Mills Sanborn Map 1922
foundry, machining metal products Mount Airy Iron Works Sanborn Map 1922
furniture case goods, dining room sets Mount Airy Furniture Company Sanborn Map 1922
furniture National Furniture Company Sanborn Map 1922
furniture chairs Mount Airy Chair Company Sanborn Map 1922
furniture tables, mantels Mount Airy Mantel & Table Company Sanborn Map 1922
granite dressed granite Mount Airy Granite Cutting Co. Sanborn Map 1922
granite quarry granite North Carolina Granite Corp. 1916 Shippers Guide, other
grist mill ? M. T. McKnight Sanborn Map 1922
grist mill ground grains Spaugh Mills Sanborn Map 1922
grist mill, saw mill ground grains, lumber Green Hill Mill Sanborn Map 1922
lumber not in operation in 1922 Mayo-Dan Lumber Co. Sanborn Map 1922
lumber, manufacturing ? Foy Lumber & Mfg. Co. Sanborn Map 1922
manufacturing Marshall Wagon Co. Sanborn Map 1922
manufacturing buggies (and wagons?) Mount Airy Buggy Co. Sanborn Map 1922
manufacturing, lumber barrels, lumber Sandusky Cooperage & Lumber Co. Sanborn Map 1922
milling, ice plant ? Sides Mill & Ice Sanborn Map 1922
oil oil and gasoline products Texas Oil Co. (Texaco) Sanborn Map 1922
oil oil and gasoline products Standard Oil Co. Sanborn Map 1922
planing mill finished lumber Tess & Short Planing Mill Sanborn Map 1922
tan bark sheds ? C.C. Smoot & Sons, Co. Sanborn Map 1922
tobacco leaf R. A. George Leaf House & Prizery Sanborn Map 1922
tobacco planters tobacco Haynes, Brown, & Haynes. Sanborn Map 1922
tobacco green leaf tobacco Imperial Tobacco Sanborn Map 1922
tobacco warehouse Banner Tobacco Sales, Inc. Sanborn Map 1922
tobacco warehouse Farmers Tobacco Sales
tobacco tobacco Export Tobacco Co. Sanborn Map 1922
tobacco tobacco R. J. Reynolds, Co. Sanborn Map 1922


The primary industry which needed rail service was the granite quarry located 2 miles east of the city.  On a separate page are a couple of images of the quarry I have acquired. To view those images, CLICK HERE.  In addition to the quarry, various industries existed in Mount Airy including furniture factories and textile mills.  I'm currently researching to find out more about the industries in town that might have required rail service.



Odds and Ends
A&Y exhibit at the Mount Airy Regional History Museuem
Contemporary Mount Airy is certainly sensitive to its historical roots.   The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is located downtown. In the Museum, the Mayberry Model Railroaders built an HO scale display of the Atlantic & Yadkin Railway depicting in condensed form the entire line from Mount Airy to Sanford.  Click on the image to the right to see the plans for this exhibit.  I visited in January, 1999 and the Club members were working hard to finish the detailing.  The Mayberry Model Railroaders are not actively working on the display now, and the hobby shop, Dry Bridge Station, closed its doors in 2010. But the Regional History Museum is doing well, and you can still see the model train layout.   I encourage anyone in the region to stop by and visit the Museum!

Mayberry Model Railroaders, Inc. Meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7pm; locations vary. The club is in the process of building their own building and club layout. Modelers of all skill levels and scale interest are welcome. For more information contact Herb Atkins PO Box 255 Mount Airy, NC 27030 Phone (910) 786-4201









This website is copyrighted 1998-2016 by David M. Bott.  Images appearing on this website may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law, donor restrictions, and other rights or policies. The Railroad Roman font used in the title was bought from Ben Coifman. Persons who contemplate copying and using font or images should obtain all necessary permissions pertaining to use. Authorization to use images credited to the North Carolina Collection, University of N.C. Library at Chapel Hill should be sought from the Collection at CB#3934, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-8890. Telephone 919-962-7992. Images credited to the North Carolina State Library Photo Archives are considered in the public domain.  Images credited to others or unknown are subject to copyright restrictions and permission for use should be obtained.

This page  last edited Monday, July 24, 2017