Ocmulgee & Flint Railroad

The first charter for a railroad in Georgia was approved by the legislature in December 1827, six years prior to the charters of the Central of Georgia, the Georgia Railroad, and the Monroe Railroad. It authorized Thomas Spalding of Darien and his associates to construct a canal or a wooden railroad from the Ocmulgee River to the Flint River at such locations as they saw fit. The goal was to create a trade route from the Atlantic to the Gulf via the navigable sections of the two rivers along with a canal or railroad between them. Had it been built, the railroad would have extended about 75 miles from the Ocmulgee near Jacksonville (Telfair County) to the Flint at Albany.

Although some sources indicate that grading, bridge-building, and track laying were accomplished on parts of the route, the railroad never went into operation. This was despite the considerable efforts of Abbott Hall Brisbane, the proposed railroad’s most active promoter. Brisbane, who had studied possible routes for the Western & Atlantic Railroad in 1836-37, became chief engineer for the Ocmulgee & Flint in the early 1840s. While directing the construction work, he was also attempting to find financing to complete the railroad. After an angry confrontation with unpaid workers, and the discovery that some had discussed murdering him, he fled the state, bringing an end to the venture.

1849 map (114K)

Suggested Reading:

Robert B Gressette. A History of the Ocmulgee and Flint Railroad: Also known as the Brisbane Railroad. RB Publishing Company, 2002.


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