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Atlantic & Yadkin Railway

History &


Pleasant Garden (milepost CF 77.3)


This community in south Guilford County was known first as Fentress after a local family when Frederick Fentriss--note spelling difference--opened a post office and was named postmaster.   It was renamed Pleasant Garden about 1879, and was incorporated in 1998 to avoid annexation by Greensboro. The town is at an altitude of 805 feet above sea level. For more town history, please visit their web site http://www.pleasantgarden.net/history.htm

The tracks at Pleasant Garden had a capacity for 14 cars in 1943.  Today, the line is pretty active with new Norfolk Southern trains.  Usually a unit grain train heads out of Greensboro to Sanford and returns.  In addition, there are often extras running once a day or so.  Although I visited the town, I did not take any photographs to include here.  If you have any historic photographs of the A&Y or any images which would allow someone to identify the town, please share them with me! Former Mayor Anne Hice has shared some photos (while wishing to share credit with Ms. Nancy Jo Smith). They have given me permission to share (click on the thumbnails to get a larger image). Thanks to Kevin Von der Lippe from the NHRS Greensboro Chapter for making the connection that allowed me to share these photos.


AY-Pleasant-Garden-depot-ca1948-by-Cheek-Anne-Hice-collection.jpg (139354 bytes) To the left is a photo by Cheek taken in 1948 (so nice to have an early color image, but time has had an impact). Note the single gray color used in this time period. Earlier depot photos show a two tone paint scheme, which may be the Southern's yellow and green scheme or maybe a light and dark gray scheme.  On the right is a 1930's era photo depicting that two tone scheme. Pleasant-Garden-Depot-ca193x-Anne-Hice.jpg (132472 bytes)
AY254-mixed-train-Pleasant-Garden-ca193x-Anne-Hice.jpg (59943 bytes)

 (click on the thumbnail to get a larger image)

On the left from the collection of Anne Hice (former Pleasant Garden mayor) and Ms. Nancy Jo Smith is a mixed train pulled by consolidation #254 around 1937. This is likely the mixed train heading down to Ramseur. It is hauling a Norfolk & Western GJ class gondola, some type of composite gondola, a low side gondola perhaps from the Pennsylvania Railroad given the herald, and two fairly tall box cars before the combine. 

The photo to the right depicts what I believe to be a "normal" passenger train consist on the A&Y--a baggage car followed by two coaches. This train, as shown in this photo by Younts or Way in 1937,  is headed by consolidation 315 instead of one of the three ten-wheelers the A&Y used for passenger service.





AY315-passenger-train-ca1937-Younts-or-Way.jpg (79609 bytes)

 (click on the thumbnail to get a larger image)

AY113-Pleasant-Garden-ca1937-Younts-or-Way.jpg (92659 bytes)

 (click on the thumbnail to get a larger image)

Here's a shot of ten-wheeler #113 by Younts or Way in 1937. I would expect this to be the more usual passenger power, but the Depression was likely to have the A&Y do whatever was necessary.



On the right is supposed to be a shot of one of the last passengers on the A&Y as service was ended in 1939.


AY-last-passenger-Michael-ca1939-Anne-Hice.jpg (77234 bytes)
AY-Pleasant-Garden-Miss-Annie-postmistress-ca1948-Stanley-M-Cichowicz-collection.png (1006343 bytes)

More history: the post office was once located in the A&Y depot and run by postmistress Anne Neeley. To the right is a photo of Ms. Neeley with the flower garden she maintained at the depot. On the left is a tribute to her in 1948 by The Tarheel Postmaster. Both photo and story copy are from the collection of Stanley M. Cichowicz.

AY-Pleasant-Garden-Postmistress-Anne-Neeley-at-Station-ca19xx.jpg (219543 bytes)



Track Diagram

bw_v27-20_pleasant_garden.jpg (78701 bytes)

An image from the ICC valuation maps gives a fair idea of how the track and depot were laid out. Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image. 

On an A&Y timetable in 1934 Pleasant Garden was listed as a stop with capacity for 14 cars.



A Southern Railway Shippers Guide from 1916 did not mention any industries in Pleasant Garden 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). The ICC valuation map depicts a Pleasant Garden Manufacturing Company.  I will add other industries as I receive information about them, for example, Mr. Thomas Hefner mentioned that Boren Brick was located there in later years.


Goods Shipped/Rec'd

Company Name

Factory Unknown Pleasant Garden Manufacturing Company
Brick Brick Boren Brick (est. 1948)
Furniture Furniture Founders Furniture Co., est. 1948 (now Hooker Furniture Co.)


Odds and Ends

Here I will include any information that is non-railroad in nature that helps provide a hint as to the character of the people and industries who lived and worked in Pleasant Garden.  I welcome any and all information about this former A&Y community!



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 Wednesday, September 21, 2016