North Carolina Railroads - Albemarle & Raleigh Railroad

Acronym

Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point

A&R RR

1873

1882

1900*

Williamston, NC

Tarboro, NC

*1900 merged into the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.

+ Was the uncompleted Williamston & Tarboro Railroad.

+ Owned by the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad in 1885.

Hopes for a Williamston and Tarboro link to the rest of the railroad world were revived in December of 1873 with the incorporation of the Albemarle & Raleigh Railroad. In February 1878, the company proposed that if investors along the proposed line would buy $50,000 in bonds, the company would find outside capital for the remaining approximately $150,000 required. Construction on the unfinished Williamston & Tarboro Railroad line resumed in late 1879, but proceeded slowly until early 1882, when activity accelerated, leading to a grand opening of the railroad in the fall of 1882.

The Wilmington & Weldon Railroad began construction around 1890 to extend its Albemarle & Raleigh Railroad line down through Martin County on a location near the Parmele-Eccleston Lumber mill. This chosen tract of land developed so rapidly after the line was completed that on February 14, 1893 the NC General Assembly incorporated it into the town of Parmele.

In 1865, Simon Peter Everett purchased 125 acres of land from Joseph Peal and 181 acres from Alfred Moore. He built a two story house on Broad Street and created Everetts Cross Roads. In 1882, the Albemarle and Raleigh Railroad Company completed a track through his property - which he had deeded to the line's predecessor - the Williamston & Tarboro Railroad - back in 1869.

In 1891, Everetts Cross Roads was incorporated as the town of Everetts. The railroad helped to make Everetts a big farmer's market, especially for peanuts, grapes, cotton, and potatoes. The passenger train provided excursions around 1900 through the 1920s. The "Shoo-Fly" was the best remembered passenger train.

From a June 11, 1883 article in the New York Times:

RALEIGH, N.C., June 9 - The Albemarle and Raleigh Railroad is now completed from Williamston, in the County of Martin, to Tarboro, in the County of Edgecombe. This road was chartered in 1868 and special tax bonds were issued in aid of the road. The grading was begun and part of the iron was laid down, when the collapse of the State credit came, in 1869, and work was stopped. The charter became the property of L.P. Bayne & Co., of New-York City, and the road remained in a dormant condition until last year, when work was again begun. Bayne & Co. are now desirous of completing the road to Raleigh. A proposition for the subscription of $100,000 to the stock of the company this (Wake) county was defeated on April 17. Propositions are now before the voters of Raleigh Township to subscribe to $50,000, and before those of the townships of St. Matthew, Mark's Creek, and Little River to subscribe to $10,000 each. The election is to be held on June 23. A new registration of voters of the townships named is being made by the order of the County Commissioners. It is expected that all those in favor of the subscriptions will register and vote, and it is believed that those opposed will be indifferent and not register. The pressure for subscriptions from the townships comes mainly from the merchants of Raleigh. These men say that the trade of Raleigh is ruined by the freight rates, which are now so much per mile, and that the wholesale and jobbing trade of Raleigh is destroyed by this arrangement of the railroads, which discriminates against Raleigh and in favor of small towns. All this injury is due to the fight that Senator Vance made upon the Richmond and Danville Company in 1881. These merchants were nearly all heelers and shouters for Vance in 1881. There are some who are not altogether sorry that these men, who have taken so pains to gerrymander the State, cities, and towns, and enact election laws calculated to prevent a free and fair vote, should now be afflicted with a deadly dose administered by their own chosen physician.

There is a strong opposition in many quarters to the granting of any subscription to the road. L.P. Bayne is the man who manipulated the special tax bonds and got them on Wall-street in 1858. During these transactions he became indebted to G.W. Swepson, of this city, in the sum of $20,000, and a suit has been brought to recover this, and the railroad franchise and all its fixtures have been attached to pay this debt. Those who oppose the subscriptions say it is very strange that a company proposing to build 70 miles of railroad that will cost at least $500,000, does not pay $20,000 if able to do so. It is well known that subscriptions cannot be carried without the aid of the colored vote. A number of Democrats who have abused the Republican Party for 14 years because of the appropriation of State bonds in 1869 in aid of railroads are now seeking through the voters who own no property and pay no taxes to put in operation by voting for subscriptions the very same principle upon which the Republicans were wrecked in the campaign and election of 1870. It is certain that subscription will carry in Little River and Mark's Creek Townships. In St. Matthews and Raleigh Townships the contest will be heated and close, and if subscription carries, it is asserted that there are good grounds upon which to have the election declared void, and also to enjoin the issue of the bonds. There is a branch of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad running from Rocky Mount to Tarboro, a distance of 17 miles, which, it is understood can be leased as a part of the line from Jamesville to Raleigh. It was thought that the Richmond and Danville people would oppose the subscription, as their line runs from here to Goldsboro, but Col. A.R. Andrews, Assistant President, who resides in this city, is of the opinion that the road to Raleigh would be a feeder to his line. The Albemarle and Raleigh Road is really intended by its projectors as a rival and competitor of the Raleigh and Gaston and Sea-board and Roanoke Railroads, which run from here to Portsmouth, Va. But how this can be when there is no connection by water at Jamesville to Norfolk, Baltimore, and New-York, by which another line would be established over the Albemarle and Raleigh Railroad in the places named is exceedingly difficult to understand. 

From a December 18, 1885 article in the New York Times:

RALEIGH, N.C.,. Dec. 17. - It is authoritatively announced that the Albemarle and Raleigh Railroad has passed into the hands and ownership of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Company, and after this will form a part of the Atlantic Coast Line. This road is in running order from Tarborough, in Edgecombe County, to Williamston, in Martin County. It is given out that an extension will be built from Williamston to Plymouth, where there is a fine harbor, with a water front sufficient for all purposes, and that a line of steamers will be put on to Baltimore and New-York. The Wilmington and Weldon Company already has a branch road running from Tarborough to Rocky Mount. It is proposed to extend it from Rocky Mount to Raleigh, a distance of 40 miles. This would give Raleigh another competing line. Herman R. Baltzer, of New-York City, passed through here two days ago on his return from Tarborough, where he has been to transfer the Albemarle and Raleigh Road to the Wilmington and Weldon Company. The Raleigh and Gaston, the Wilmington and Weldon, and the Richmond and Danville Company all belong to what is known as the Associated Line of Railways, and they have had an understanding that neither was to enter the territory of the other. If the road is built from Rocky Mount to Raleigh, this will cause a warfare between the seaboard system, which includes the Raleigh and Gaston Road, and the Richmond and Danville Company and the Wilmington and Weldon Company. The purchase by the latter company was made to prevent the extension of the road from Tarborough to Raleigh. The Raleigh business men will most probably make a proposition to the Wilmington and Weldon Comapny to secure the extension from Rocky Mount to Raleigh.

Towns on Route:

Original Line - Tarboro to Williamston (1882):

Tarboro

Mildred (1886)

Conetoe (1883)

Bethel

Parmele (1891)

Robersonville (1874)

Wilsonville (1882) > Everetts (1884)

Williamston

Line Extension - Williamston to Plymouth (1890):

Williamston

Dardens (1890)

Plymouth



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