History

The Chattooga County Historical Society

The Chattanooga County Historical Society promotes the preservation and conservation of historical sites, papers and resources in Chattooga County.

The Historic Summerville Railroad Depot

The Chattanooga, Rome, and Columbus Railroad was built to Lyerly, Summerville, and Trion in 1889. The depot was constructed at that time. The railroad was merged into the Central of Georgia system in 1901. Sometime later the first depot burned and a second depot was constructed. This depot burned May 4, 1917. The current depot was then constructed and operated as a depot until the fifties. The depot was placed on the National Historic Register of Historical Places in 1992.

The Summerville Railroad Turntable

The historic Summerville Railroad Turntable which was restored to its current site in 2003 was made during an era when railroads served as the primary means of long distance commerce and travel. The turntable was used to rotate locomotives and place them in the desired direction while using a lesser amount of land than otherwise needed to maneuver such a turn. This massive 90 ton steel structure was built in 1916 in Ambridge, Pennsylvania by the American Bridge and Iron Company, which is now part of U.S. Steel.

As a donation from the CSX Railroad, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum acquired the historic turntable and saved it from being turned into scrap metal. The massive load was moved from Birmingham, Alabama to Lafayette, Georgia by a large truck then transported by railroad car over the rails to J. R. “Dick” Dowdy Park in downtown Summerville. The installation of this railroad antique restored one of very few operational turntables in the United States.

The Couey House

Built in the early 1840’s by Andrew McSelland Couey and his sons, this log house was one of the earliest pioneer homes in Chattooga County. As the land was cleared, the house was constructed of huge logs, which were hoisted into place and carved into half dovetail ends as the house was erected. The house was restored to J.R. Dick Dowdy Park as it was considered to be a significant representative of the craftsmanship and lifestyle of early pioneers in this area of north Georgia. Also, the house was significant of its architecture as an example of the single pen house type.

The Chattooga County Court House

The present day neoclassical revival court house was built in 1909 and designed by Bryan Architectural Firm and constructed by Falls City Construction Co. It is located at the corner of Commerce Street and West Washington Street. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and is still used for court and county records in Chattooga County.