Re: The Hampton area in 1953

Jonathan Pleasant

I take it back, I’ve got one more picture to post. I took it last fall when I was inspecting our water line row clearing project on the Hampton end. How’s this for a tunnel pic?Inline image

On Sunday, May 2, 2021, 10:25 PM, Jonathan Pleasant via <sigmunddragonslayer@...> wrote:

Last thing for me. Chris mentioned the old gravity tank remains on the Hampton end, but there’s also the O’Brien iron furnace on the valley forge side. The “Doe River Narrows” had a huge amount of history and I’m. It exaggerating when I say I believe it could have made a fine state park. I’ve attached some pictures of the iron furnace I took the other day but you can barely see it for the leaves. I hope they clean it up and preserve it. Best I can tell it was built around 1820Inline image

Inline image

On Sunday, May 2, 2021, 10:10 PM, Jonathan Pleasant via <sigmunddragonslayer@...> wrote:

Speaking of old maps, have you guys ever looked at the old USGS reports for manganese mining in East Tn? I didn’t realize that the valley forge mining company had a connection on the Laurel fork and delivered the ore using an incline tramway.Inline image

On Sunday, May 2, 2021, 9:53 PM, Rae Augenstein <GetGlowing@...> wrote:

More maps of the Valley Forge area (and Johnson City) -- these are from the USGS website at 
There are several years' versions accessible through that website from ~1891 to present day. 
The map date and any revision date if applicable is in lower right corner of map. 

Rae Augenstein

On Sun, May 2, 2021 at 8:44 PM Chris Ford <chris@...> wrote:
One last thing from me on the subject of this area...I've put together an aerial photo overlay. The hi-res photo in the background is from 1953 but clearly shows how all these things worked together. The map doesn't go all the way to the edges of the photo but the photo is hi-res enough for you to see peripheral "stuff" around there.

If you want to see the photo without the map just flip to the second's not very user-friendly but it works.



Chris Ford
President - ET&WNC Railroad Historical Society

On Sun, 2 May 2021 09:31:42 -0400, "Ryan Rice" <whiteonrice04@...> wrote:
This is great info. Like I said, I was there yesterday (saturday). Very random that we are emailing about this the same/next day. It was my first time walking out to the old highway bridge and tunnel #1 in probably 15+ years. I am a local and had no idea about the BBQ place. I really wish I had known about it as I would have walked out there and taken some photos.
Are there remnants of the highway bridge on the east side too?
On Sat, May 1, 2021 at 10:23 PM Chris Ford <chris@...> wrote:

I got the idea that the photos were of the RR ROW. It was the first thing down the hill from present day 19E and the highway was significantly lower than the RR, but maybe Jonathan will clarify that for us.

The abandoned 19E on the north side of present day 19E is actually an interesting spot, however, I believe they used a good bit of the old highway bed as a staging area when they made the original cut for the present 19E and the area largely messed up with spoils. But, if you could follow old 19E around the point of that ridge it is actually still there along with the other abandoned highway bridge and then ties in to the old Laurel Fork ROW as you go east.

There's also an old restaurant/BBQ place on that east side of the ridge that was accessed from present day 19E (there's some old postcards showing the newly opened "new" bridges and you can see the BBQ sign). There's a foundation for the place and a small parking lot and a railing that overlooks the river...the place was really stuck up in there. I think it was called "Hi-Cliff BBQ"...I'm sure locals could tell us more about it. Interesting since it would have been there when the ET was still running. Who can give us more info? I also believe that it was accessed from the abandoned 19E until they put in the new bridges at which time the put in an access from the newly opened present day 19E. Would have been around 1940 as I believe that's when 19E was moved/improved there with the bridges.

I've included a PDF attachment of a newspaper article that includes a couple of interesting photos of the area. The story about the area is very interesting. I'm also including a map of the area from an old Stemwinder that I did back in 1992, before I added the Laurel Fork to it. It's from about 30 years ago so it's not up to my present standards, but it'll give you the locations of what we're talking about.

Enjoy, and I hope this discussion brings on additional discussions!



Rae Augenstein 
Johnson City 

Join to automatically receive all group messages.