Photo History Etowah

L & N Depot/Passenger station and the headquarters for the L & N Atlanta Division c. 1905

Depot with painters Etowah History_12

The L & N shops at Etowah, under construction, c. 1905

Building shops img727

In 1906, the L & N shops moved from Blue Ridge, Georgia, to Etowah. In April 1906 the roundhouse construction got underway. Work on the shops and other buildings soon followed. Other support buildings included the machine shop, blacksmith shop, planing mill, cabinet shop, powerhouse, store, offices and freight depot.

At the close of 1906, most of the construction was complete. The L & N Depot had expended nearly $200,000 dollars.  

AK & N Railroad locomotive engineers.  Photo taken at Blue Ridge, Georgia in 1897

AK and N RR Engingeers img559

After the L & N "New Line" was complete from Cincinnati to Atlanta, former AK & N locomotive engineers were transferred from Blue Ridge, Georgia to man the trains that ran out of Etowah.

C.A. Clayton was the first L & N Station Agent in Etowah, Tennessee

CA Clayton 1st ticket agent  1905

He arrived in 1904 and his family followed soon.  

Blacksmith Shop and Machine Shop.  C. 1930

Black Smith and Machine Shop 1930  img728

By 1907, several hundred men worked in the L & N shops. By 1920, the workforce swelled to over 2,000.

When the powerhouse whistle blew at 4:00 pm for the men to go home, rail yard switch engines would have to stop to let them cross over the tracks.  

L & N Yard Train Crew, 1926-1929

L and N work men with laterns img 541 - Copy

Second "trick" train yard inspectors

L & N Master Mechanic Staff, 1927

Master Mechanic staff  img590

Master Mechanic W.F. Teat moved his office from Blue Ridge, Georgia, to Etowah on April 22, 2008

The Atlanta Division Headquarters moved from Marietta, Georgia to Etowah on April 22, 1908

The L & N abolished the office of Master Mechanic at Etowah in 1946 with the retirement of G.H. Berry (Middle of sitting row) 

L & N locomotive engineer Sid Garwood (forefront)

Sid.A. Garwood. Steam engine with crew names   7.1.1981 img369

Sid Garwood brought the first regular passenger train into Etowah on the "New Line" on December 6th, 1906. According to Garwood, "I brought Train Number 34 north for the first trip. The number of my engine was 234."

Etowah's L & N Turntable, 1910

L and N turntable - Etowah 1910 - courtesy Etowah Depot Museum - Copy

Turntables were used to turn locomotive engines around. The earliest ones were turned by using poles.  

Tennessee Ave between 7th and 8th, c. 1909

Tennessee Avenue 800 block 1909

In 1906, the Louisville Property Co. of the L & N Railroad Company began selling land in Etowah for business and residential sites.  They sold all the property except the portion on the east Side of Tennessee Avenue, which the L & N retained for its operations. The L & N Railroad gave property to several churches and to the City for the school and library.  

The Streets and Avenues are straight lines of well proportional blocks of approximately 400 feet between streets and 315 feet between avenues. The original plat of Etowah was almost rectangular. Streets began at 1st street and continued through 17th street. Avenues named for various states. The railroad officials had an eye to future planning and expansion.  

Etowah Fire Department's first fire truck. 

Etowahs 1st  Firetruck  - Copy

Etowah formed its first fire department in 1913 after the Water and Light Co laid water lines and installed fire hydrants. It was all volunteer. Before the department was formed pistol shots were used to let people know when there was a fire. 

Along about 1920 the town of Etowah bought a bright new American LaFrance fire engine and the new possession was a sight to see. The Town then built a fire hall adjacent to the Carnegie Library. 

In 2017 the fire hall moved to a building on Robinson Street off oc Highway 30.

Etowah's first brass band

1st Etowah Band National Guard img724 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy

Organized in 1915.  Photos taken in front of YMCA building.  

T.T. Rogers Barber Shop 

TT Barber shop added Etowah History_13

The barber shop opened in 1910 with the following slogan "Tonsoril with good hair cuts and comfortable shaves at all hours" 

A man could get a haircut, shave, shoe shine, bath, a new stiff starched collar and all the local news and gossip. 

This barber shop remained one of the most prominent gathering places in town for men in all walks of life.  

Bank of Etowah, 1907

Bank of Etowah  1911  - Copy - Copy - Copy

The Bank of Etowah's first semi-annual statement revealed assets that amounted to a few dollars of $33,000.00. When compoared to the value of the dollar in 2018, that would have been over $800,000.00.

Central and Powell Funeral Parlor Hearse, c. 1920

A black hearse used to be the vogue in Etowah. 

Center and  Powell Funeral Home - Copy

In the early 20th century, it was common for hardware and furniture stores to offer funeral services. Center and Powell Hardware added an undertaking department during that period. They discontinued the service in the early 1940's.

Kinser Drug Store, c. 1910 

Kinser Drug Store

One of Etowah's first businesses was Kinser Drug Store. Owned by the Kinser brothers, P.A. and L.N. Kinser. The drug store opened in 1908. The Kinser's mixed medicines and also Coco-Cola.  

The business was purchased by M. Tallent in 1931

The Etowah Enterprise

The Etowah Enterprise  BW  1

The Etowah Enterprise, established by Capt. T.F. Peck, published its first newspaper on January 5, 1907.  According to long-time Editor, Frank McKinney, it contained 4 pages with 12-point type. "so even an old person could read it."

The original building was wooden and sat on a hill.  When Ohio Avenue was leveled, a concrete front with steps was built to provide access to the front door.  In 1935, the building was veneered with crab orchard art stone. 

In 1991, the Daily Post Athenian purchased the Enterprise and moved operations to Athens.  

Etowah Scout Lodge 

Scout Lodge  045

Built in 1938 by the National Youth Administration (NYA), the Etowah Scout Lodge was dedicated to the memory of Lloyd Campbell, an early Etowah scoutmaster who died in 1936.

Some of the lumber used to build the scout lodge was recovered from the L & N YMCA that was demolished earlier.  The NYA boys hauled rock from the mountains around the Hiwassee River for the building;s exterior.  

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

WWI Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument

WW I Monument - old290

In 1922 a monument was placed on the L & N depot grounds to commemorate the men in Company L. 117th Infantry, 30th Division who lost their lives serving in WWI. Etowah citizens raised funds to have the monument built and transported to Etowah.  

The inscription rads, "To Our Living Dead, That Company of Shining Souls Who Gave Their Youth That the World Might Grow Old in Peace."

Etowah Carnegie Library

Etowah Carnegie Public Library bw - Copy

The Etowah Carnegie Library was built in 1915 with funding from the Carnegie Corporation and Etowah Taxpayers.

Overtime, the building served not only as the public Library, but also housed Etowah City offices until December of 2017 and it was the location of the Etowah's High School from 1916 to 1922.


YMCA brought to Etowah 1906. built in 1910. BW

In 1910, L & N Master Carpenter Haywood York and his construction crew built the L & N YMCA.  The large building, with 66 sleeping rooms, was located on Tennessee Ave, between 11th and 12th Streets.  

Home to many railroad men, it soon became a community center for Etowah citizens.  Band concerts, speakers, L & N rallies, safety meetings, and social gatherings took place here.  The large dining room was the scene of banquates and family Sunday dinners.  

The YMCA was torn down in 1929.

Abandoned L & N Depot, c. 1977

Restore L and N Depot before restoration  1  1977

Built in 1906 by the L & N Master Carpenter Haywood York and his construction crew, the L & N abandoned the Depot in 1974. Concerned citizens mounted an effort to save what they believed was the symbol of Etowah's heritage. 

In 1977, the L & N sold the passenger station and gounds to the City of Etowah for $35,000.00. Preservation grants from the Tennessee Historical Commission supported the project. Workers provided through the Comprehensive Training Act worked for three years to meticulously restore the building.  

In 19811, in conjunction with Etowah's Diamond Jubilee, the Depot was opened to the public once again and became a gathering place. 

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic places.