The Cy Crumley Scrapbook
ET&WNC Railroad

Tour 8a: Tweetsie in Color


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.

Freight Train at Roan Mountain
Date: 1950
Here is a color shot of a freight train switching Roan Mountain in the last year of the narrow gauge.



Whisman and Wilhoit
Date: 1950
Here is a great shot of General Manager W.W. Whisman and future CEO K. E. Wilhoit on the pilot steps of the 11 September 24, 1950.  Mr. Wilhoit was the head man from the early 1960's until Red Ball bought them out.  He got the stock up to a huge number and made a lot of Johnson City folks a trainload (maybe I should have said a truck-line load) of money,  He had a large collection of ET&WNC paperwork and donated it to the Archives of Appalachia just last year. 


Caboose 505
Date: 1950
Caboose 505 got to looking pretty bad there toward the end.


In the Weeds
Date: 1950
George W Hardin would roll over in his grave if he saw what shape the track was in by 1950.  Here the little 11 waddles up what is now old Railroad Grade Road in Carter County.


Cy and Earl Vest
Date: 1950
Mr Crumley talks to one of the officials just inside tunnel 2 in the gorge.  That's Earl Vest up in the cab looking back at them.  He was a fine old man and his son Jack is a great tenor sax player.  He played many a job with Gene Young.




Top Officials
Date: 1950
Here are all the brass hats lined up with the 11 at Cranberry.  The only ones I recognize are the second from left is company lawyer James Epps, and next to the end on the other end is Alfred Steele.  I expect all these guys were from Philadelphia except Mr. Epps.  His office was in Johnson City.



Backing Up
Date: 1950
After the war there were no places to turn the engines around in Elizabethton, so they backed up from Cranberry back to O'Brien.  The exception was the official trains, which ran the wye in Cranberry and headed back to Elizabethton.  The engine was then backed to Cranberry, turned around, and backed up all the way back to Elizabethton.



Board of Directors
Date: 1949
The 11 smokes up the hanging rock at Pardee Point with the 1949 official trip.  This is the same spot we park the engine today at Doe River Gorge.  The rock hangs out over the track for several feet at this point.


11 at O'Brien's Crossing
Date: 1950
The old 11 blots out the sun leaving O'Briens Crossing, Tennessee in October 1950.



Roan Mountain
Date: 1950

That's Mr. Crumley on the ground in the blue suit.  Roan Mountain September 24, 1950.



11 Close-Up
Date: 1950
D. B. Marion made some great color slides at Roan Mountain that day, and I am sure glad that he did.  That's Brownie on the 11.  They are sitting right in the middle of what is Highway 19-E today.

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Feel free to copy and use these photos.


Kenneth Riddle
Johnson City, Tennessee
November 2005