Twin City Depot

Twin City depot

2015 photo by David W. Ray

The Millen & Southern Railway was constructed through eastern Emanuel County in the early 1890s, prompting the development of two adjacent towns, Summit and Graymont. In 1906 the railroad, by then renamed the Millen & Southwestern, became one of several rail lines purchased by the Georgia & Florida Railroad, which was in the process of linking these up to create a new cross-state route from Augusta to Valdosta and on to Madison, Florida.

The G&F, however, did not incorporate all of the Millen & Southwestern route into the new main line; instead, it constructed new tracks from Pendleton, nine miles north of Vidalia, to Swainsboro, bypassing Summit and Graymont and leaving them on its Millen branch line.

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Twin City depot

2015 photo by David W. Ray

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On August 9, 1920, Summit and Graymont were merged into a single town named Twin City. Rail service continued to be provided by the G&F, but the railroad soon began losing money on its Millen branch. When the Depression worsened the losses, the railroad sought and received permission in 1930 to abandon the rails between Pendleton and Twin City and between Millen and Garfield. Fortunately for Twin City, it kept its 6-mile rail connection to Garfield, which was on a G&F branch that ran from the main line at Stevens Crossing, near Midville, to Statesboro.

The Statesboro and Twin City branch lines survived the Depression but a very different threat had been growing decade after decade. Roads improved, new highways were built, and automobiles and trucks became more ever more affordable. Shippers increasingly chose the rubber-tired competition, depriving the railroad of enough income to pay its workers and investors.

Once again the G&F sought to slow its losses by eliminating unproductive branch lines. In mid-1949, it requested federal permission to abandon its Statesboro and Twin City branches. One year later, Twin City lost its railroad.

Today this building is a visible reminder that Twin City was once two adjacent railroad towns, oriented to a north-south railroad rather than to the east-west U.S. 80 of today.

Twin City, view from depot

2015 photo by David W. Ray

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1918 G&F map (147K)

1918 G&F timetable (232K)

 

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The depot in an earlier color scheme.

 


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