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Atlantic & Yadkin Railway

History &


Ararat (Milepost CF 8.4)


Ararat is a small community in east Surry County on the Ararat River. It was named for the river, which was named for the Biblical Mount Ararat. Ararat has an altitude of 898 feet. A fire house and siding still exist where the tracks cross the street. Beyond this, I know little of the community.

The photo to the left (click on thumbnail to view larger image) shows the small combination station, housing both the freight room, agent's office and passenger waiting area. The station was built in 1887 according to the ICC valuation engineering reports. 

The station was 30 x 50 feet with a platform extending an additional 6 on the building ends and 8 feet on the building's front and back. The roof overhang only covered 6 feet of the deck.  The passenger waiting room and the agent's office were at one end and both measured 15 x 12.5 feet.  The passenger end had tongue and groove flooring.  The freight room filled the rest of the station measuring 37.5 x 30 feet.  The freight room's interior had 2 inch plank floors and the walls had 1 inch boards lined vertically up to 3.6 feet from the floor. Fairbanks standard single beam scales were installed to weigh freight.  The station's exterior walls were board and batten. The roof was metal shingles on 1 inch wood sheeting. In addition to the station, a passenger platform and an oil house, both built around 1910 were railroad-owned structures nearby. The platform was 175 feet long and was made of planks laid on 6 inch thick chert fill.


Track Diagram  

bw_v27-03_ararat.jpg (141737 bytes)

Ararat had a water stop and the siding had a 15 car capacity according to an employee timetable from the 40's.  Note in the map that several stores and warehouses were located near the station and tracks.


A Southern Railway Shippers Guide from 1916 indicates the following industries were located in Ararat and using the A&Y for delivering and receiving products by rail (although some may have used the station or team track rather than having a dedicated siding). I will add other industries, e.g., WJ Key & Son, as I receive information about them:


Goods Shipped/Rec'd

Company Name

flour and grist mill

meal, flour

J. L. Elliott

flour and grist mill

meal, flour

Wm. Bennett

saw mill oak and pine Armstrong Bros.
saw mill oak and pine Wm. Bennett
saw mill oak and pine J. L. Elliott
catalog retailer dry goods, Red Star shoes W.J. Key & Son


Odds and Ends


This shot looks down the tracks in the direction of Greensboro.  This is the siding where I'm guessing the station was sited.  You can almost see the small firehouse that comprises the "downtown" of Ararat. (Click on thumbnail for larger image)


Here is my photo from the same grade crossing but looking "north" towards Mount Airy.

These two images (found on eBay.com) are part of what appears to be a catalog for the shoe department of W.J. Key & Son of Ararat.  I assume that Red Star shoes was a national brand that was retailed through local stores, though it could be the shoes were mail ordered.  My guess is that they would have arrived in Ararat by train.


If you have any information regarding the history of Ararat, NC, please contact me.


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 Thursday, January 03, 2008