A Short History of the Collinwood Train Depot
Listed with the The National Register of Historic Places
Collinwood Railroad Station (added 1988 - Building - #88000264)
Also known as Tennessee Western Railroad Station
Old RR Bed, Collinwood
Click Here To See The Listing At - The National Register of Historic Places
Historic Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Event
Architect, builder, or engineer: Unknown
Architectural Style: No Style Listed
Area of Significance: Transportation, Architecture, Exploration/Settlement
Period of Significance: 1900-1924, 1925-1949
Historic Function: Transportation
Historic Sub-function: Rail-Related
Current Function: Social
Current Sub-function: Civic
COLLINWOOD DEPOT HISTORY
Tennessee Western Railroad
1913:Railroad completed Iron City to Collinwood
First Depot was old Superior Tie and Lumber Co. office building east of 1st Avenue
1916 : Oct. Four Room Depot completed - current buildinJ
1918 : Baggage room and additional warehouse built
1939 : Railroad ceased operations
1940-1941 : Tracks removed
1941-1965 : Depot used as house, warehouse, grist mill
1965-1980 : City Hall
1980-2000 : Senior Citizens
1988: Building placed on National Register of Historic places.
Sept. 4, 2001: Opening Day for Collinwood Depot Branch Library
In 1912 there were two lumber companies operating band mills and these mills along with corn planted on what is now the middle of town, comprised the entire industry in the immediate area of Collinwood Tennessee.
In 1913, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad completed a line from nearby Iron City, beating out a rival railroad working on a line proposed to run from Florence, Alabama to Paducah, Kentucky. This rival concern built roadbeds on each side of town, parts of which still stand today, although few people know of their original purpose.
In December of 1913 the first train pulled into the Collinwood settlement. Work had begun one year before by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Company who had a contact to build and operate the railroad known as the Tennessee Western Railroad Company, under a lease with the L. and N. Railroad, and to furnish telegraph equipment and lines from Collinwood to St. Joseph, Tennessee. There was much excitement in the town when the first train pulled in for its first shipment of lumber.
The crashing sound of falling timber, the hissing of locomotives and the rush of immigrants gave Collinwood a real boom town air and the population reached two thousand. All this was before World War I. The town was incorporated in 1915, but this lasted only a couple of years. During this time a Mr. HOLMES started publishing a newspaper called the Collinwood Pilot and it had all the splendor of a frontier newspaper. A beautiful depot was built.
The town took on a very lively atmosphere. Three trains came in each day, two of them passengers. Each time the train whistle would sound the town would gather at the depot because each time the train came it meant more new people. They came from all sections of the country but most of them came from the North and East and the Southern people could hardly understand their language.
Along about 1928 Collinwood’s world quivered and tottered. The stock market broke too. Work on every project stopped. The hotel burned down and Collinwood folded. The charter was revoked by the legislature.
In 1935, the L & N Railway ceased all operations, however the tracks were not removed until 1937. The railroad bed is now a highway to Iron City.
The well-built L & N depot is still intact and over the years has been a private residence, the city hall, a senior citizens center but now has been recently renovated into a beautiful public library.
DESCRIPTION OF THE TENNESSEE WESTERN RAILROAD (1920 - 1921)
The Tennessee Western Railroad is at present constructed a distance of eighteen and one-half (18-½) miles from the main line of the L. and N. Railroad at Iron City to Collinwood, Tennessee.
It is a standard, well constructed railroad which is operated by the L. and N. Railroad under a lease which gives to the Tennessee Western Railroad, as net earnings, all the freight revenue, which has varied from $2,500.00 to $7,500.00 per month.
This railroad is being extended a distance of fifteen (15) miles through the timber to the main ore body at Wayne Furnace, Tennessee. This construction is expected to be finished on or about January 1st, 1921. Surveys have been made and the railroad will eventually be extended westward a further distance of twenty-two (22) miles through the timber of this property and other properties to the Hardin County line.