(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 1912, John N. Shearhouse and his “silent” partner, George Brinson (owner of the Midland Railroad) decided to open another tram railroad running from Clyo to Claxton.
To be known as the Sherwood Railroad (or Shearwood Railroad), it ran from Shearouse’s saw mill in Brooklet to the forests of the Pine Barrens.
Three Nevils area farmers promised Shearhouse and Brinson a sizable sum of money if they routed their line through the “Sinkhole District,” as these locals saw the benefit of the railroad to the communities of Denmark and Nevils.
Soon thereafter, Nevils became a major shipping point for hundreds of carloads of watermelons going out, and tons of guano fertilizer coming in. In addition, the SR became the preferred method of travel for students going to Brooklet High School.
Brinson and Shearhouse made a bet that whichever railroad got to the Leefield junction first would not have to pay to build the crossing.
The Sherwood Railroad construction crew beat the Midland Railway crew and Brinson got stuck with the bill.
Eventually, the Sherwood was extended all the way to Egypt. Some documents indicate the railroad extended all the way to Sylvania.
Shearhouse, an astute businessman, then made a deal with the Central of Georgia so that he would get to keep 70 percent of fees for the SR freight, which was being trans-shipped on the CGA main line.
The Sherwood passenger-freight train left Egypt and stopped in Leefield, Brooklet, Walterville, Deloach, Denmark, Nevils, Overbrook, Claxton and then Hagan. After refueling, the train reversed its route, ending up back in Egypt.
John was killed and his son Frank was seriously hurt in a tragic railroad accident. The railroad soon fell on hard times and Mrs. Shearhouse was forced to sell the line for scrap.
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.