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Blue Ridge Railroad Tunnels
Clayton area

Stump House Mountain tunnel in South Carolina, a feature on the unfinished Blue Ridge Railroad. From: Walhalla Sheet (map), 1:125,000 scale, U. S. Geological Survey, 1892, reprinted 1910.


The ill-fated Blue Ridge Railroad left several uncompleted tunnels in Rabun County, Ga., and Oconee County, SC. In Georgia, these are the Dicks Creek and Warwoman tunnels and in South Carolina the Stumphouse tunnel and two others along the route back to Walhalla.

The Dicks Creek tunnel would have been 2314 feet long while the Warwoman tunnel, about 5 miles to the west, would have extended 1,794 feet. Both were to be 16 feet wide and 20 feet high. Construction began in 1854 and continued until 1858, when work was suspended due to a lack of funds.

Dicks Creek tunnel was left about half-finished. Some 1400 feet had been excavated into the mountain from the west end; only 59 feet of passage had been dug from the east end. Today the west end section is flooded due to the tunnel's slight downhill slope. The east end is open, but, as mentioned, it only extends 59 feet. The west end lies on private property, adding to its inaccessibility. The east end is on Chattahoochee National Forest land, so it is possible to visit it, but it is difficult to find.

The east end of Warwoman tunnel is located on National Forest land near Warwoman Dell Picnic Area east of Clayton. This end has been closed off by landslides, however, and the Forest Service does not permit attempts to re-open it. The west end was destroyed by highway construction and re-grading years ago.

Although the Georgia tunnels of the Blue Ridge Railroad have essentially been lost, the longest tunnel on the railroad is still in existence and is open to visitors. About 7 miles northwest of Walhalla, South Carolina, is Stumphouse Tunnel. Of its planned 5,862-foot length, 4,363 feet were completed before funds ran out. It has been preserved by the City of Walhalla and can be visited from 10 until 5 most days of the year.

spacer Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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