Does anyone know the history of the cranberry ROCK QUARRY on THE ETWNC RAILROAD LINE. 

Chris Ford

The quarry near the Milligan passenger stop was a limestone quarry used by the Cranberry Iron Furnace in Johnson City. The limestone from there was added to coke and iron ore in carefully defined quantities to make raw pig iron at the Johnson City blast furnace. I'm not sure if limestone was hauled from Milligan over to Cranberry in the early years when the blast furnace was located in Cranberry. A John Waite story in one of our Stemwinders seemed to say that the quarry was newly built for the Johnson City furnace, so the limestone for the furnace in Cranberry may have come from local sources.

This will be old news for most of you, but I think it's important to put stuff out there for others who are new to the ET and its iron production. Here's links to a few Stemwinders with info on the operation of the ET iron furnaces and iron production in general. Note that the 2003 Stemwinder has a correction about the photo of the "Johnson City furnace" that graces 2 of those Stemwinders and was used in John's book. Here's the links....

I too would like to know more about the ET quarry...especially what kind of loading equipment was used up at the railroad siding on the west end of the quarry. The concrete footings and ROW cut give a tantalizing hint of what was there, but I'm sure we'd all like to know more. Seems like there should be a photo or 2 out there somewhere. It would make a nice industry on "someone's" ET layout. Hint, hint!

I did find a couple of "back in the day" photos of a quarry in the vicinity of Watauga, TN, which I believe is close to Johnson City. The Dickey quarry (this quarry is NOT the one on the ET) but looks like it could have been SIMILAR to the ET limestone quarry, especially for someone wanting to model this ET quarry with no photos available. The photos are from 1927 which would put it as a contemporary of the ET quarry. It looks a bit bigger and has standard gauge cars. Maybe someone from the JCity area has knowledge of it. For those not yet familiar, this Tennessee State Archives site is a great place to spend some time (a lot of time) searching for ET related stuff. These photos are kind of small, but take a look...


Chris Ford
President - ET&WNC Railroad Historical Society

On Sat, 27 Jun 2020 09:17:59 -0700, michaelkeithhar@... wrote:
Does anyone know the history of the cranberry ROCK QUARRY on THE ETWNC RAILROAD LINE. 

Dan Stenger

The Cranberry Quarry is located on the Tweetsie Trail, former ET&WNC RR right-of-way. It provided limestone for the furnace in Johnson City. The ET had a spur there to load cars. There is rumored to be a small locomotive is at the bottom of the quarry.


From: michaelkeithhar@...
Sent: Saturday June 27 2020 12:18:01PM

Does anyone know the history of the cranberry ROCK QUARRY on THE ETWNC RAILROAD LINE.