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New tram lines expand all across Bulloch County
Bulloch History

Note: The following is the continuation of a series of columns looking at the importance of railroads in and around Bulloch County.

The second BC tram railroad was started by W.C. Perkins around 1890. Headquartered at his Hagan mill, the line at first was run to Glennville, and then extended to Register. 

The Perkins family (George W., Henry W. and W.C. Perkins) had their headquarters at their Hagan (or Hagin) mill. One document mentions investors H.P. Talmadge, C.J. Baldwin and E. Leffler backing an effort to get a charter for a steam or electric railway to run from Adabelle to Glennville. 

On Nov. 29, 1901, there was a bit of excitement when the workers extending the old Perkins Tram Line ran into some opposition from what the newspaper referred to as crowd of locals in “Little Excelsior.” Charges were dismissed, however, when they explained that they were simply protecting their land.

In 1912, a third tram railroad was started by John N. Shearhouse and his silent partners, George Brinson (the owner of the Midland Railroad) and John E. Foy (part owner of the Foy Manufacturing Company Railroads).

They had decided to open a “tram line” railroad which would eventually run from Clyo to Claxton, and which would be known as the Shearwood Railway. 

The Shearwood Railway ran from the Shearouse (or Shearhouse) saw mill in Brooklet to the woods of the "Pine Barrens" nearby.  Two local businessmen made lucrative offers to Shearouse. Local resident R.R. Simmons offered to buy $1,000 worth of Shearwood Railroad stock and give Shearouse 50 acres of land if he would run his railroad by Simmons' Enal acreage in the “Sinkhole District.” 

Then, Morgan Nessmith offered Shearouse a substantial sum of money if he would build a depot in Nevils, and run his line through the “Sinkhole District,” as they saw the benefits to the communities of Denmark and Nevils. 

Soon thereafter, the little town of Nevils became a major shipping point for hundreds (if not thousands) of carloads of watermelons going out, and tons of guano fertilizer coming in. 

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at

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