Chartered on August 23, 1872, the 3-ft gauge GJ&S was for several years a railroad only on paper as its promoters struggled to attract investors. Finally, in the spring of 1883, it was able to open from Gainesville to Hoschton, soon followed by a branch from Florence (Bellmont) to Jefferson. By September 1883, the western line had been extended south to Jug Tavern (Winder) and by the following spring it was complete to Monroe.
In 1883, before construction was completed, the lessees of the Georgia Railroad had acquired a controlling interest in the GJ&S, along with a majority of the stock of the 10-mile Walton Railroad, which ran from Monroe to Social Circle. The GJ&S and the Walton Railroad were consolidated on March 11, 1884.
The result was a 52-mile line from Gainesville, on the Richmond & Danville, to Social Circle on the Georgia Railroad, along with a 13-mile branch from Bellmont to Jefferson. (Bellmont was 10 miles south of Gainesville at the intersection of today's GA 60 and GA 332.)
In the 1894 edition of The Official Railway List, the GJ&S reported operating 65 miles of railroad with 4 locomotives, 4 passenger cars, and 37 freight and miscellaneous cars.
The GJ&S entered receivership in March of 1897. In 1904, most of its trackage was sold under foreclosure to the new Gainesville
Midland Railway. Not included was the former Walton Railroad, which was
sold to the Georgia Railroad. The Georgia organized the Monroe
Railroad as titleholder for the property.
Maps and Timetables:
1883 map (56K)
1886 timetable (120K)
1895 timetable (53K)
1903 map (243K)