Transportation and Transformation in Tennessee's Upper Cumberland: The Rails and Roads of Warren and White Counties, 1870-1940

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Foster, Elizabeth Ann
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Middle Tennessee State University
Between 1870 and 1940, Warren and White Counties saw a transformation in transportation that dramatically changed their rural landscape. By 1855, Warren County gained access to the main line of Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad from a branch that began in Tullahoma and ended in McMinnville. In the following decades, McMinnville prospered from having greater accessibility to larger national markets. In 1884, the branch extended past McMinnville and into Sparta. For Sparta, the railroad provided access to largely untapped resources such as coal and timber. Transportation continued to evolve with the mass production of automobiles. In 1915, the route of the Memphis-to-Bristol Highway through Warren and White Counties further transformed the landscape of the two counties, providing even larger connections to national markets. Due to the presence of the railroad and the first state highway, Warren and White Counties stood out from the rest of the Upper Cumberland.
Coal & Lumber Industry, Cultural Landscapes, Highways, Historic Preservation, Railroads, Upper Cumberland History