King (Milepost CF 25.1)
King is a community in
southwest Stokes County and was originally named "King's Cabin," for a double
log cabin owned by Oscar King. The present name was adopted with the coming of the
CF&YV. I stopped there on my way back to Raleigh during my first visit to the
region. There was a small feed mill on the tracks, though I don't know if it ever
shipped by rail. Mr. McClanahan, a resident from 1957-1975, told me that he doesn't
believe it ever did. I stopped at the "Tiny Diny" for dinner (I found good
barbecue and friendly people there). Unfortunately, it was too dark at that time to
get a good photo of the mill. On my second research trip, I got photos of the town and
mill. Besides the mill, there is a wood mulch distributor which is definitely served by
the Yadkin Valley RR. Here are some images of the station and the town I have
||Here is a quote from Mr. McClanahan, a long time resident of
"In the 1965 photo, you are looking to the NW towards Pilot Mt and Mt. Airy. My
grandparents' general store was out of view to the left. I used to play on these tracks as
a small child. We would get coal for heating the potbellied stove in the store from a coal
car on this siding. The SOU station closed with Mr. Rains' [station agent]
retirement in the mid-'60's. Up until then, we received express at the station. The siding
was used as a team track for some time further."
The A&Y and later the Southern stopped in King. In 1943, the tracks had the
capacity for 20 cars and there was a phone. Train 61 stopped just before lunch at 11:25 AM
on its way to Mount Airy. Train 60 eastbound pulled in at 10:15 AM. That building to
the left in the above photo is still standing. According to Mr. McClanahan, that building
(also shown below) was the home of King Furniture through the 1980's. The last agent
of the Southern in King, Mr. O.L. Rains, was the father of the owner of King Furniture.
A Southern Railway Shippers Guide from 1916 indicates the following
industries in addition to LCL shipments, passengers, and mail were located in
King and used 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:
|flour and grist mill
||C. H. Lumford
|flour and grist mill
||T. F. Newsom
||safes and beds
||Grales Mfg. Co.
||Grales Mfg. Co.
||J. R. Hutchins
Odds and Ends
||This next photo came from Rick Cromer and is a photograph of the A&Y
taken from the top of the old school house which was torn down in 1928 (click on image to
see full size view).
The A&Y served several industries in King in addition to LCL, passengers and mail.
This picture is pre-1915, because none of
these businesses in the photo are Mr. McClanahan's grandparent's general store and that
store was built in 1915 or shortly after. Thanks to Robert Carroll, historian of
King and Stokes County and long time friend of Rich Cromer who identified all the
structures seen on the photo! Mr. Carroll also said that the picture may have been
taken by a traveling photographer and we may not find out who took it, but people are
The second photo (courtesy of Kevin von der Lippe) appears to be taken
moments after the one above. The train is closer, but little else seems
Here are some photos of modern day King.
This shot on the left shows the same old King Furniture
building that is in the station photo above. The tracks are just to the right.
To the right is the rest of that block of buildings anchored by the King Drug
a shot of the water tower. It looks old enough to have existed during the A&Y era, but
Mr. McClanahan said it was built in the 70's! Note the tracks in the foreground and the
pile of mulch. That pile continues a bit further to the left (north) where King Sand &
Supply sheds stand.
This is King Sand and Supply which receives shipments of mulch for
distribution in the region. Here is a photo of the company storage shed along the tracks
which run behind this row of sheds.
This shot from trackside shows the siding with a couple of hoppers. It's
not clear how they unload the hoppers, unless they just dump on the tracks. My guess is
that there was a freight house or something similar here during the A&Y era. I
offer these photos to provide some kind of view of King, and just in case somebody prefers
to model the modern Yadkin Valley Railway. Now for that feed mill I mentioned.
Milling Co. is located in the south of King. The tracks run right behind. Mr.
McClanahan and local historian Robert Carroll state that this small mill never shipped by
rail--too bad. King Milling Co. never did business on a scale that requires railroad
service. If anyone is interested in modeling this structure let me know and I can provide you images of
all sides of this building. There are a cluster of silos at the back.
One last quote from Mr. McClanahan has less to do with King and more to do
with the rail line in general. I'm putting it here on the King page since Mr.
McClanahan was a resident there and it was from his perspective of living in King to which
this quote is related:
"I can recall two great bursts of activity
on the line:
a. Building of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel at Norfolk. Granite was hauled from Mt.
Airy for this project. The granite can be seen in the
rip-rap at the man- made islands.
b. Building of I-77 across Fancy Gap--inbound construction materials.
During both of these, multiple trains per day were frequent. For the 1st, SOU F's and Alco
road switchers predominated. The 2nd time, EMD 4 axle road switchers were used. I can
barely remember green RS-3's and S-2's being used on the line. The duration of my recall
and black paint seem to coincide."
I really like talking to people who lived along the line. Thanks to
Mr. McClanahan for his insights! If you lived along the A&Y at some point (even
in later years when it was Southern or Yadkin Valley) please send me an email. I'm
glad to learn all I can!
With each contact, I'm getting a better feel for the countryside and towns
that the A&Y served!