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Streetcars in Tallapoosa

1892 map showing the steam dummy engine. The streetcar barn is seen at lower right.

In this 1892 birds-eye view of Tallapoosa, the street railroad's "dummy" engine and passenger car can be seen just below the no. 13 at top left. The car barn is also seen, bottom right at no. 18.

During Tallapoosa's short-lived boom in the late 1800s, it boasted a streetcar system that connected the town's commercial, industrial, and resort hotel districts. Incorporated in 1891, the Tallapoosa Street Railway Company chose steam power over horses or mules to pull its rail cars around town. Known as the "Dummy Line," the railway transported visitors from the Georgia Pacific Railway depot through town to the fashionable Lithia Springs Hotel, a 175-room resort said to be the largest wooden building in the South.

Drawing of a steam dummy similar to those used to pull Tallapoosa's streetcars.

Above, a steam dummy similar to that used on Tallapoosa's street railroad.

Electric street railways were in the early stages of development at the time, and the costs of installing the necessary infrastructure made such systems impractible for small towns. Steam-powered vehicles required less capital investment and used a proven technology.

Drawings of the Lithia Springs Hotel in Tallapoosa. The streetcar tracks can be seen in the foreground.

Above, the Lithia Springs Hotel stood atop a hill at the north edge of town.

Birds-eye view map source: Norris, George E. 1892 Tallapoosa, Ga. Haralson Co. Drawn & published by Geo. E. Norris. Burleigh, lith. co. Map. Brockton, Mass., 1892. From: Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. American Memory. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 131. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3924t.pm001310.


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