Constructed between 1882 and 1889, the Georgia Pacific connected Atlanta and Greenville, MS. The company was chartered December 31, 1881, consolidating the unbuilt Georgia Western Railroad and the Georgia Pacific Railroad Company of Alabama. It was a business venture of former Confederate General John Brown Gordon, his brothers Walter and Eugene Gordon, and Georgia Governor Alfred H. Colquitt.
The railroad opened between Atlanta and Birmingham in November, 1883; between Birmingham and Columbus, MS, in 1887; and between Columbus and the Mississippi River in 1889.
Largely from its beginning, the Georgia Pacific was controlled by the Richmond & West Point Terminal Company and the Richmond & Danville Railroad, predecessors of the Southern Railway.
In the 1889 edition of The Official Railway List, the Georgia Pacific reported operating 325 miles of broad-gauge railroad (4 ft, 9 in) and 52 miles of narrow-gauge (3 ft). It had 58 locomotives, 31 passenger cars, and 2,099 freight and miscellaneous cars.
In the 1894 edition the figures were 562 miles of railroad (both 4 ft, 9 in and 3 ft gauges included) with 106 locomotives, 58 passenger cars, and 3,354 freight and miscellaneous cars.
Vignette on a Georgia Pacific mortgage bond
Maps and Timetables:
1873 map (53K)
1883 map (66K)
1888 timetable (322K)