Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel

Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel (HMKFS)

Location: Tunnel Hill, GA 30755 Whitfield County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 50.409', W 85° 2.591'

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Inscription
The 1447 foot long Chetoogeta Mountain railroad tunnel is one-half mile east of this marker. The tunnel was completed in 1850 and this opened the W&A RR from Atlanta to Chattanooga. This was the first railroad tunnel completed south of the Mason-Dixon line and linked railroads from the Atlantic to the Mississippi River. The railroad was operating during the late 1840's and goods and passengers were portaged over Chetoogeta Mountain while the tunnel was under construction. A community grew up near the construction activity and Clisby Austin built a three story hotel in 1848. Tunnel Hill was incorporated on March 4, 1848. The W&A was approved by the Georgia Legislature in 1836 and surveyed by Stephen Harriman Long. Construction of the 137 mile line took 13 years and cost more than four million dollars. William L. Mitchell was Chief Engineer and William Gray was Chief Mason. Gray was given the honor of being the first to pass through the tunnel when the two headings were driven through on October 31, 1849. The tunnel was in use until larger locomotives and loads nessitated a larger tunnel in 1928.

The tunnel played a role in one of the most colorful exploits of the Civil War, The Great Locomotive Chase, James J. Andrews and his band of Union "engine thieves" raced the stolen General through the tunnel closely pursued by the Texas, under Wm. Fuller, and Confederate forces.
Details
HM NumberHMKFS
Series This marker is part of the Georgia: Georgia Historical Society/Commission series
Tags
Marker Number155-36
Year Placed1992
Placed ByGeorgia Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 11:42pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 678921 N 3857062
Decimal Degrees34.84015000, -85.04318333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 50.409', W 85° 2.591'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 50' 24.54" N, 85° 2' 35.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)706
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 208-260 Oak St, Tunnel Hill GA 30755, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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