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Atlantic & Yadkin Railway

History &


Pilot Mountain (Milepost CF 14.4)


Pilot Mountain is a town and a landmark.   I know a little more about the town now that I have visited, but I still do not know much about the landmark. Both are located in southeast Surry County. This wonderful little town is thriving even though the railroad is no longer the center of commerce. Pilot Mountain is at an altitude of 1,100 feet.

Pilot_Mountain.jpg (29046 bytes)  Here is a photo of the Pilot Mountain station circa unknown but most likely from the 50s or later.  The image is shown here courtesy of the North Carolina Collection, UNC Library at Chapel Hill.
Pilot Mountain Station ca 1918 from ICC Valuation records This is a photo of the station circa 1918 from the ICC Valuation project. The ICC engineering notes suggest that the "construction similar in all respects to sta. at Dalton, NC." That means the station was 80' long and 30' wide with the freight section taking up 45' of the length on one end and the passenger and agent's section taking up the remaining 35 feet. A wood platform extended 6' from the walls along the sides and 8' from the end walls. The exterior was board and batten. The roof consisted of metal shingles over a 1" sheeting. The roof overhang was 6' on the sides and 2' on the ends. The interior floors were 7/8" tongue and groove for the passenger side and 2" plank for the freight side. The freight walls had 3' 6" high surround of 1" boards. The freight room contained a 1 ton capacity standard Fairbanks single beam scale with a 3' 8" square platform.

In addition to the station, in 1916, there were two dwellings, a bunk house, an outhouse with a shed roof, an oil house, and scrap bin.

The station is no longer near the railroad. According to residents I spoke to during my visit in September, 1999, the station was bought and moved to a local farm.  I'm still trying to find out where.

pilot_station_mural During my 2001 visit, someone pointed out that there was a mural depicting the station on the wall of Carl's Auto Service, a local business just off the main street (old Highway 52).  Here is a photo of that mural (click on thumbnail for full size image.  I have no idea who the artist was, but he/she definitely captured the feel of the area.  Yes, that's Pilot Mountain in the background.  It really could be seen from the station in just about that direction!


Track Diagram  

Pilot Mountain Track Diagram from ICC Valuation blueprints The diagram indicates that the railroad was located on the outskirts of Pilot Mountain. Main Street was 2 blocks up the hill from the tracks.  The A&Y timetable from the 1940s shows that there was a telephone located there.  The sidings and spurs had a capacity of 26 cars.


A Southern Railway Shippers Guide from 1916 indicates the following industries were located in Pilot Mountain 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 as I receive information about them:

Industry Goods Shipped/Rec'd Company Name
flour and grist mill flour J. E. Stone & Co.
flour and grist mill flour W. Hiatt & Co.
grain and hay dealer hay W. H. Reid
grain and hay dealer hay J. W. Redman
grain and hay dealer hay O. N. Swanson
harness factory harnesses A. B. Harrell
planing mill dressed lumber Hiatt & Co.
sawmill lumber Yarborough & Beroth
sawmill lumber Job Hiatt
spoke and handle factory  ax, pick, hammer, canthook handles    Lovill & Revels
spoke and handle factory    ax, pick, hammer, canthook handles Clifton Co.
steel and iron works,
foundries, machine shops
general machine work Lee Clifton
steel and iron works,
foundries, machine shops
autos and machine work Thore & Co.


Odds and Ends

pilot_mtn_vt Here is an image of the landmark, Pilot Mountain from the Railroad Archives located at Virginia Tech's Newman Library:   The mountain has an altitude of 2700 feet.  It is a monadnock, that is an isolated peak surviving from ancient mountains which have eroded away.  The peak stands 1,500 feet above the surrounding countryside and served as a landmark for Indians and pioneer white settlers of the area.  It has been called "Mount Ararat or the Stonehead" before being called Pilot Mountain.  It was called Jomeokee, meaning "The Great Guide," by the Indians.  The "Devil's Den" on the mountain is a small grotto from which a steady breeze blows at all times.  It is sometimes considered the easternmost peak of the Brushy Mountains.
pilot_mountain_1997_afghan Here is an image that I found and like. This one depicts some of the historic buildings in town: This image (used with permission) is of an afghan (1997) sold at  The Knob Shop ™  109 West Main Street Pilot Mountain, NC 27041   Limited Edition Afghans, Gifts and Custom Framing











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 Saturday, September 24, 2016