Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Etowah / A Railroad Town

Marker ID:  
Location: near the old L&N Depot, on L and North Dr, Etowah, TN
County: McMinn
Coordinates: N 35° 19.392    W 084° 31.469
  35.3232    -84.52448333
Waymark: None


A Railroad Town

The Louisville and Nashville (L&N) built Etowah between 1904 and 1906 as division headquarters for its new Cincinnati to Atlanta line. Workers were transferred from other L&N facilities or recruited from nearby farming communities, other states, and several foreign countries. Company civil engineers laid out the new town in a muddy farm field, with L&N buildings lining the tracks. Private businesses and residences for white workers were built to the west, while many black employees settled on the eastern side of the rail yards. The renovated passenger depot now houses a railroad museum and local civic and art organizations.

At its peak, Etowah’s L&N complex included a roundhouse, maintenance shops, freight and passenger depots, and employed over 2,000 men.

Tennessee Dept. of Transportation; Tennessee 200, Inc.; East Tennessee Foundation; the counties of McMinn, Monroe, and Polk.