Walnut Cove (Milepost CF 40.1)
Walnut Cove is a town in south Stokes County. It was settled in 1883 and known as
Lash until 1889 when it was incorporated under its present name. It was named for a grove of
walnut trees. Stokesburg, formerly a separate community just south of Walnut Cove,
is now within the corporate limits. For more history, visit the Walnut
Cove town web page. Walnut Cove is at an altitude of 634 feet.
||I have a photo of the A&Y station at Walnut Cove
courtesy of the Farrell brothers. I believe that may be the Stokes County
warehouse in the right foreground. I have a photo from the other direction
of the store on the left (see below).
Peter took this photo, Roger saved it, and sent the negatives for this
and several other photos (522, 109, and more of this crossing) to me to
share on this site. Fortunately, the negatives were saved from the fire,
although the prints sent along were lost. This image is from a scan of the
From the ICC
engineering field notes, I know it was a "Type 3" combination station
built in 1887 for the CF&YV. It was 50'x30' with a passenger platform
surrounding it entirely. The platform was 6' wide along the front and back sides
and 8' wide along the two ends. The platform was 4' high and boarded up with
1" boards applied vertically. The interior of the combination station was
divided into a baggage area 29'6" long by 30' wide and a passenger area
with office was 20' 6" long and 30' wide. The station walls were a board
and batten type, measuring 13' 3" tall. The gable roof peaked 19' 9"
above the ground but extended over the platform. The roof was made of metal
shingles at that time. Two Dietz pioneer oil lamps on 10' high 4x4 posts
were used to light the exterior.
The depot area also contained an oil house and privy. The track section also
contained two section dwellings, a barn, a toolhouse and several material bins.
The section houses were identical to those at Dalton.
In 1943, the A&Y had a crossing at grade (interlocked) with the Norfolk &
Western Railway (the railroad that served most of the town's industries). The A&Y had
a yard with a capacity of 90 cars, a wye, and a phone in Walnut Cove.
A Southern Railway Shippers Guide from 1916 indicates the following
industries in addition to LCL shipments, passengers, and mail were located in
Walnut Cove 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:
||Hedgecock Brick Co.
||M. A. Walker Co.
|flour and grist mill
||flour and meal
||Walnut Cove Roller Mill
||Matthews & Johnson
|staves & heading mill
||dressed lumber staves & heading
||Dan River Lumber Co.
Odds and Ends
Today, the N&W
tracks are part of the Norfolk Southern line, but the crossing and the A&Y tracks are
long gone. Not much to see today, and I didn't take any photos.
||This photo by Peter Farrell may be my favorite all time. It
depicts the 522 crossing the street just past the Walnut Cove depot. There
is either a brakeman or crossing flagman on the far left (partially cut
off). Mr. Farrell took a number of photos from different vantage points
that day, and I would like to model the station and road crossing in a
diorama or as part of my layout.
||From this view we get to see Dodson's Grocery on the right
and what appears to be some kind of warehouse or storage building on the
left (same building as on the right in the station photo above). If you
look very carefully just beyond that building on the left is a Reading
single sheathed boxcar sitting on the N&W tracks behind the trees. You
can see the crossbucks for the N&W grade crossing in the center
The other store in the station picture above is partially obscured
behind Dodson's. Note the signal box in the foreground and the fairly
modern flashing crossbuck sign in the middle. That suggests a 1940s
timeframe. The war poster on the building behind Dodson's suggests at
least '42. Photo is also by Peter Farrell.
||From this view we can confirm the Walnut Cove name on the
station. We can also see a horse and wagon coming over the bridge crossing
Town Fork Creek. There are two billboards with advertising beyond the
bridge, but the resolution won't allow me to determine what they might
say. Beyond the creek appears to be a ridge or hill with part of the town
||This photo is taken slightly further up the road (to the
right is the road to the N&W depot) so that you can see that other
building has a sign indicating an "inn" as well as a Coca Cola
advertising sign. Dodson's advertises Pepsi, Budweiser, and Atlantic Ale
(the painted partial sign on the wall of the grocery). From this distance,
the A&Y station is further away, but you can just spot a late 30's or
early 40's auto parked at the end of the station. Given the track layout,
Peter Farrell must have had his camera almost on the N&W tracks to his
back as he took this photo.
And now, let's focus on Dodson's Grocery to see
how we might model that interesting structure.
Given the multiple viewpoints in the photos, a diorama would be
fairly easy to design. The signs you see on Dodson's are easy to
replicate after a quick internet image search. See the Red Top Beer,
Pepsi Cola, 7up, Annheiser-Busch Budweiser, and Atlantic Ale sign images
that I can use to help model Dodson's.
||An internet search revealed W.T.
Kirkman's Lanterns Incorporated, where the Dietz lamps mentioned in
the ICC valuation engineering notes are described:
"Dietz introduced the #3 Globe Tubular Street Lamp in 1880, and
in 1906 it was redesigned and renamed "Pioneer." Dietz first
introduced the electric version of the "Pioneer" in 1915. Over
the years the electric version of the Pioneer has had two major
revisions; The air tubes were abbreviated, and the tapered post fitter
was retooled for standard 3" lamp post [as in the photo to the
left]. Production of the kerosene "Pioneer" was discontinued
in the 1940's, and is no longer available."
Although the Dietz Pioneer is no longer available, Dietz continues to
sell lamps made in China today.
From other station photos along the A&Y, I'm guessing that the
Dietz Pioneer Lanterns in use at the stations, were the kerosene type and
were removed when electrification of the station was completed. These were
very large, standing 25+ inches tall.
||The Virginia Tech Library has a photo of the N&W depot in
Walnut Cove ca1910 from the Norfolk Southern collection.
Here is the image from VT (more info at https://imagebase.lib.vt.edu/view_record.php?URN=ns502&mode=popup:
) Is that the corner of the A&Y depot cut off on the left hand
side? If you look at the track diagram above, there is a very good
chance it is.