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Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Savannah gets a case of railroad fever
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Roger Allen

    Note: The following is one of a series of articles looking at the growth of roads and transportation in Georgia and Bulloch County beginning in 1807.

    Between 1880 and 1920, Savannah's investors built new railroads heading out in every possible direction from the city. Some of the new railroads bought up smaller lines already in existence. Many of the new lines bore Savannah's name.
    Those lines named Savannah heading north included the Savannah and Charleston Railroad (actually the original Charleston and Savannah Railroad renamed), the South Bound Railroad, the Seaboard Air Line and the Atlantic Coast Line.
    Those railroads heading in a northwestern direction included the Brinson Railway, the Savannah and Western, the Savannah and Northwestern, the Savannah and Statesboro, the Augusta and Savannah, the Savannah and Atlanta,  the Midland Railway and the Savannah, Augusta, and Northern.
    Those railroads heading in a southwestern direction included the Savannah, Americus, and Montgomery; the Macon, Dublin, and Savannah; the Savannah, Albany, and Gulf; and the Savannah, Hinesville, and Western.
    Those railroads heading in a more southern direction included the Savannah and Southern; the Savannah, Florida and Western; the Florida Central Peninsular; the Atlantic and Gulf; and both the Seaboard Air Line and the Atlantic Coast Lines again.
    There even were lines heading east, or seaward, from downtown Savannah, including the Savannah and Atlantic Railroad (at first named the Savannah and Tybee, then the Savannah, Tybee, and Atlantic) and the Savannah, Skidaway and Seaboard Railroad.
    Some railroads that were given a name including Savannah never even came near the city. These included the Savannah Valley, the Savannah and Columbus, the Savannah and Memphis and the Savannah, Griffin, and North Alabama Railroad.
    Whereas there were very few bridges across the Savannah River between Augusta and Savannah during the same time span, many enterprising individuals and their families set up ferries or built boat landings where customers either could hire a boatman to shuttle them across or ride what served as a ferry at that location.
    The established ferry sites (going northward from Savannah) included Beck's, Sister's, Old Sister's, Hudson's, Burton's and Demery's. The boat landings (going north from Savannah) included Seine's, Gaffney's, Trowel's, Porter's, Saxon's, Black's, Johnson's, Brown's, Brigham's, Griffin's and Hancock's.
    Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at

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