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Atlantic & Yadkin Railway

History &


Liberty (Milepost CF 92.7)


liberty_welcome_sign.jpg (6739 bytes)Liberty, altitude 790 feet, is a town in northeast Randolph County.   It was incorporated January 30, 1889 and was named for the nearby plantation of John Leak who settled there in 1807. The area was first occupied by the Catawba Indians, a branch of the eastern Sioux tribe.  During pre-Revolutionary War days, German, Scotch-Irish and English colonists settled in this area.  Early references to a town called "Liberty" are mentioned in land transactions in the year 1809 to be found in preserved official records on file at Randolph County Courthouse in Asheboro.  It is because of these findings that Liberty's town seal bears a picture of the "Liberty Oak" and has 1809 as a founding date, although the charter date is 1889. A rich part of Liberty's history is contained in the educational life of the community.  As early as 1886 the Liberty Academy began operation. The school was supported by tuition paid by the students. At this time Liberty was known as an educational center and farming community. The railroad was the vital link that turned Liberty into a town, and the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway in its 1889 publication referred to Liberty as a place "where many contemplated and actual improvements evince a spirit of progress and enterprise. A fine school is established here, which for discipline and curriculum of study has already taken high rank among educational institutions of that section." You can learn more about the town at the Liberty official web site.

Liberty.jpg (21062 bytes) Here is a photo of the Liberty station in 1962, 12 years after the A&Y was formally absorbed into the Winston-Salem division of the Southern Railway.


liberty_station_likely_RD_Conner_photo_circa_unknown.jpg (37607 bytes) Here is an earlier photo, although the date is unknown. This is likely an R.D. Connor photo.


 Recently, the station at Liberty was moved from it's original site to the other side of the tracks and a preservation effort has begun.This is a contemporary photo of the station in its new location.


Track Diagram

bw_v27-24_liberty.jpg (187488 bytes) In 1943, Liberty's tracks had a capacity for 28 cars and had yard limits and a telephone. There is evidence of at least two section houses and a ways down the track there was a wood water tank  near milepost CF95 that was originally kept full with a steam pump and later with an electric pump.



A Southern Railway Shippers Guide from 1916 listed fourteen industries in Liberty 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 the location of the Liberty Chair Company.  I will add other industries as I receive information about them.


Goods Shipped/Rec'd

Company Name

brick factory bricks Liberty Brick Co.
cotton gin cotton Home Lumber Co.
flour and grist mill feed Liberty Feed Co.
flour and grist mill feed and flour Liberty Milling Co.
grain and hay dealer grain Liberty Milling Co.
harness factory harnesses J. A. Kirkman
livestock miscellaneous Wade Hardin
sawmill oak and pine R. D. Patterson
sawmill oak and pine B. J. Gregson
sawmill oak and pine A. M. Fogleman
sawmill oak and pine Staley Lumber Co.
sawmill oak and pine Home Lumber Co.
sawmill oak and pine Foster & Pickett Lumber Co.
woodworking factory picker sticks Liberty Picker Stick & Novelty 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 Liberty.  I welcome any and all information about this former A&Y community!

Liberty Swananoa Street postcard photo ca unknown.jpg (34122 bytes) This is a photo post card found on eBay that shows Swannanoa Street in Liberty, likley in the teens or 20s given the vehicles. You can see railroad crossbucks marking the A&Y down the street in the full size version (click on thumbnail).
liberty_hardware_store Here's some shots of the downtown near the station and tracks. This first shot is of the Liberty Hardware store.
liberty_possible_freight_house Another structure, this one is trackside but south of the station. It looks like it could have been there in the 50's.
liberty_water_tower_and_station The water tower certainly looks like it could be from the middle of the century when the A&Y was still active.













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 Sunday, October 09, 2016