Sunday, January 4, 2015

Edgefield Station

The Depot at Edgefield.

The railroad bridge across the Cumberland River at Nashville opened in October of 1859.  A depot, along the railroad line, was established in Edgefield, just across the river from Nashville.  Information about the depot at Edgefield Station, seems to be scarce.  The depot is noted on a few historical maps.  It is mentioned in a few newspaper accounts.  Perhaps there is something to be found in old railroad records. I don't have a lot of resources at hand and must rely on my small home library, a file cabinet stuffed with years of research, a few online record sources that I subscribe to and the ever wonderful google search engine. When I have time, I venture out to one of the local facilities that house records for the area.  For the purpose of this post I relied entirely on what could be found online and it is lacking.  I would love to hear from anyone who has additional information on Edgefield Station.  

The earliest mention found of the depot, was of it being destroyed, in November of 1862 after a skirmish between Confederate and Federal troops in Lower Edgefield. The following report appeared in the Nashville Dispatch.
NASHVILLE DISPATCH, November 6, 1862, p. 3, c. 1
Yesterday's excitement.—Our people were awakened early yesterday morning by the firing of cannon in the neighborhood of South Nashville, which commenced about 4 a.m. and continued at intervals until afternoon.  We are informed that the attack was made by the Confederates, driving in the Federal pickets on the pikes leading South and East from town, about 3 a.m.  How many were engaged on either side, or what casualties befell the contending parties, we are unable to say.  About 6 a.m. the citizens of Lower Edgefield were surprised to see about 1500 cavalry enter the town, driving the Federal pickets before them to their entrenchments, each firing as they ran, killing and wounding about fourteen in all—seven on each side, and a loss of four Confederate horses killed.  The Edgefield R. R. depot was destroyed by the Confederates, as also were the machine shop and eight cars, when they left the town for parts unknown...  We shall, probably, be able to furnish further particulars in to-morrow's paper.

In December the New York Times reported what had been left of the depot.

New York Times, Dec. 15, 1862.

The next notice found, was twelve years later, in 1874.  An article concerning the need for a depot at Edgefield was published in the Nashville union and American. (Nashville, Tenn.), on April 23, 1874.  At a meeting between railroad officials and Mayor Brooks and the Board of Aldermen of Edgefield, the desire of the citizens to have a depot was discussed. 

In August of 1875, Edgefield residents were still waiting for a depot.  Edgefield Alderman Williams reported that Edgefield should soon have a railroad station.  The alderman had been able to raise most of the money required by the railroad, and was hopeful the railroad would keep a promise to erect the depot. 

Nashville Union and American, Aug. 3, 1875.

We know that a depot had been built in Edgefield by the time the 1889 Atlas of Nashville was published.  The map shows the location of Edgefield Station at the point of a triangle created by North First Street, Oldham Street and the tracks of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. 

1889 Atlas of Nashville, Collection of Carol Norton

The Edgefield Station is shown on the 1908 Hopkins Atlas of Nashville, still at the point of the triangle near Oldham Street.

1908 Hopkins Atlas of Nashville, NPL

The depot may have fallen into disuse by the early teens.  A 1914 directory shows the Oldham Street location to be offices for the L&N Railroad. 

Carol Norton related to me that the station building remained until urban renewal took a toll on East Nashville.  Carol stated that the building was moved by the railroad company and used for storage.(Update: Carol asked that I change this to “what Carol Norton remembers being told by the RR."  It was a long time ago.)

The historical location of the Edgefield Station depot is easily spotted in an aerial view of the North First Street, Oldham Street area today.  

2014, Google Maps