(Note: The following is part of a series of articles looking at the growth of roads and transportation in Georgia and Bulloch County beginning in 1807.)
In 1894, James and William Woods built a 13-mile tram railroad from their sawmill in Woodburn to Cuyler. They named it the Cuyler and Woodburn Railroad.
The Cuyler train connected with the Savannah, Americus and Montgomery Railway at Woodburn, and connected with the Savannah and Western Railway in Cuyler.
In 1897 the Cuyler and Woodburn fell on hard times and was sold to trustee Adams, six Anniston Alabama investors, Judge Pope Barrow of Savannah, Whitfield Clark of Hubert and W.F. Carter for $27,760.
They renamed the railroad the Savannah and Statesboro Railroad. The company then extended their line 20 miles to Statesboro, giving it a total length of 34 miles.
They arranged to run passenger trains all the way from Statesboro to Savannah, which took an average of 2 1/2 hours.
The line stopped in Statesboro, Pretoria, Grimshaw, Brooklet, Truckers, Arcola, Stilson, Hubert, Ivanhoe, Olney, Eldora and Blitchton before ending up in Cuyler, where it connected with the CGA.
They also began planning to drain much of the Arcola lowlands by cutting a
2 1/2-mile long canal from Arcola through the woods to the Iric Branch. This would open up 8,000 acres of land along the railroad for new farms, which would then ship their products to market in Savannah on the Savannah and Statesboro line.
The Statesboro line had a good deal of equipment, including nine locomotives, nine passenger cars, 25 freight cars and two baggage cars.
Also, area investors decided to start up another railroad, which they called the Savannah, Augusta and Northern Railway. It ran from Statesboro to Aaron and ended up at Stevens Crossing, where it connected with the Georgia and Florida Railway.
The Northern Railway went into receivership in 1910. Knoxville contractor W.J. Oliver, who built the line, bought it and leased it back to Adams and the Savannah and Statesboro line.
In 1915, George Brinson bought the rights to the railway and made its line part of his new MR line. He too failed, and the Midland went into receivership in 1923.
Williams now bought the section of track from Statesboro to Stevens Crossing, which then gave his Georgia and Florida line access to almost all of Bulloch County.
He renamed the line the Statesboro Northern, leasing it to the Georgia and Florida until he purchased the line outright in 1927, abandoning it altogether in 1950.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's historical past. Email Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.