The Cy Crumley Scrapbook
ET&WNC Railroad

Tour 6a: Postcards and Excursions

Your host and narrator for this tour is Ken Riddle, close personal friend of Cy Crumley, legendary conductor of this great railroad. From 1906 until 1960, Cy worked on the ET&WNC as Brakeman and Conductor. This is his scrapbook of those years and his story.

Click on each photo to see a larger view.

Date: 1930s

Old coach 4 is slammed full of passengers on this excursion.  This is a shot made by a photographer for the Saturday Evening Post in the late 1930's.


Grandfather Mountain
Date: Late 1930s

This is the last excursion before the August 1940 flood (which basically wiped out the Linville River portion of the railroad on the NC side) and was for the Cannon Mills company. Here is the train pounding up Grandfather Mountain near Foscoe, NC. Noting how beautiful the High Country area of North Carolina is today, the views from Tweetsie surely astounded excursionists and vacationers in the first half of the 20th Century.


Grandfather Mtn. Postcard
Date: 1930s



Famous Excursion Train
Date: 1939

Possibly the most famous Tweetsie postcard. This was in circulation about the time of the "Tennessee Tweetsie" movie. Postcard courtesy of Bob L. Cox.


Pardee, NC?
Date: 1940's
From the Mike Hardin Collection this one is captioned, "On a Train in the Mountains of Western North Carolina".  This looks a lot more like Pardee Point in TENNESSEE to me! Mike has an incredible ET&WNC collection via the Hardin family and his own pursuit of historical treasures related to the famous mountain railway.




In the Gorge
Date: 1905

Above is a great close-up view of the rock cliffs at Doe River Gorge. From the Mike Hardin Collection. This example of a colorized blank and white photo reflects enormous graphic quality and detail for its publishing era.

Shown below from the Chris Bryant Collection, is a rare very early postcard of a Tweetsie excursion. Note again how packed the cars are which bears testimony to the popularity of the trips via the Doe River Gorge and Pardee Point. Also this view is prior to the retaining wall being built as is the original trestle is shown in the photo. It is Engine 3 pulling an excursion train around the turn of the 20th Century or perhaps earlier.


All Seats Taken
Date: 1902




The "Narrows"
Date: 1908
From Mike Hardin, an old postcard of the narrows of the Doe River, between the first tunnel and Hampton.  Highway 19-E/321 runs on the opposite side of the river today.




Pardee Point Postcard
Date: 1910
Above is a color version of the Pardee Point retaining wall. Pardee Point and the Doe River Gorge were the most popular scenes featured on vintage ET&WNC postcards, however the overall scenic quality of Tweetsie was quite astounding. Portions of the route including the Gorge and approaching Grandfather Mountain, may have been considered as "thrill rides" for that era.

From Mike Hardin the postcard below features a quality early photo of his great-grandfather's retaining wall.


The Retaining Wall
Date: 1905


Halfway to Cranberry
Date: 1911
From Mike Hardin "Halfway to Cranberry on the ET&WNC Railroad."  Well, never gave it much thought but I guess it is.


Bee Hive
Date: 1908
Almost identical to the postcard "Halfway to Cranberry," notice the J - shaped tree growing out of the rocks at the top of the cliff in both views. Way down in the corner of the postcard above it notes that this was published by the Bee Hive.  That is the store at which Mr. Crumley talked about shopping in downtown Johnson City to pick up items for ladies in mountain communities such as Montezuma and Elk Park. Cy would pick up shopping lists from residents of the remote areas, shop at Johnson City stores while waiting for the return trip to Boone, and deliver the goods via Tweetsie.

The Bee Hive
Date: 1904
The Bee-Hive, located at 207-209 East Main Street, was Johnson City's largest department store in 1890, when it was established. It was owned and operated by P.W. Ward and C.D. Friberg. The store had 3 stories and a basement and employed 20 persons. Available in the store were items ranging from drugs, wallpaper, men's and ladies' clothing, and noted in the photo above gasoline, machine oil, and stationary. Along with the stationary were a series of local and regional postcards, some of which featured quite rare views of Johnson City during its railroad glory years. Photos from the Archives of Appalachia; Notes from Historian Ray Stahl. In March 2008, the Bee-Hive sign was uncovered in the facade renovation of the Fountain Place office building, also the former home of the Parks-Belk Department Store.
  2008: Re-Discovery of the Bee-Hive

Inside the
Bee Hive
Date: June 1900




Linville, NC
Date: 1930s
This old postcard from Mike Hardin says "Scene of Road and Railroad near Linville, NC.  Look at Grandfather Mountain in the background.

If you have any vintage ET&WNC related postcards not seen in this online collection and are willing to scan it and send a copy, please contact



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Feel free to copy and use these photos.


Kenneth Riddle
Johnson City, Tennessee
November 2005