History of "Gold Coast", ex Georgia Northern 2nd "Moultrie"

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I'm trying to resolve a question concerning the office car "Gold Coast", currently located in the California State Railway Museum (CSRM) in Sacramento, CA. The car is lettered "GEORGIA NORTHERN" and was acquired from the Georgia Northern Railway by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg for their private use.

According to the Central of Georgia Railway Album (Beckum & Langley, 1986) this car began as CofG 98, which was sold to Live Oak, Perry & Gulf (LOP&G), then going to the Georgia Northern where it became No. 100. This car is then noted as being sold to Beebe and Clegg to become the "GOLD COAST". There is another notation in the roster notes of the book that CofG 97 was sold to the Georgia Northern in 1933, and that this car later went to the LOP&G.

The late Frank R. Pidcock III, in his book "Rails, Quail and Ashburn Hill" (1988) wrote that the 2nd "Moultrie" had been built for Mr. Quinto Wright, President of the CofG. Its primary use was for entertaining. The car was sold by the CofG to a Mr. Joe Foley, who bought it to use as a "fish camp". It was soon bought by the Georgia Northern, renamed "MOULTRIE" and was sent to the CofG shops in Savannah to be "completely overhauled". Mr. Pidcock notes this car as having been sold to Beebe and Clegg, becoming their "GOLD COAST".

The following may help: The first "MOULTRIE" (Jackson & Sharp, 1886)was purchased from the FEC in 1934 and was sold in 1947. This car was Henry Flagler's private car and was named "RAMBLER". The 3rd "MOULTRIE" (Pullman, 1901)was acquired from the Chicago & Eastern Illinois (C&EI) in about 1958. This means the 2nd "MOULTRIE" was bought (probably) after 1947 and sold to Beebe and Clegg in the mid- to late 1950s.

So, the question is: Was it CofG 98 or CofG 97 that was built for President Wright? When was it built and by whom? According to Beckum & Langley, the 98 was built in 1906 by CofG, while the 97 was built by an unknown company in 1905. Can anyone help?


-- Stephen S. Syfrett (ssyfrett@bellsouth.net), November 23, 2001


Stephen -- Hope this helps. Look in MANSIONS ON RAILS, Lucius Beebe, Howell-North Press, 1959 on pages 160-161, 173, 204, 324-325, 346, 361-364 for information and pictures to assist you in answering your questions. Also, Rambler information is available from the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in FL. Further Gold Coast info available from the California State Railroad Museum. Moultrie 3 info available from July, 1974 TRAINS Magazine on page 14. CBrown

-- Charles Brown (cdb01@alltel.net), January 13, 2002.

I can add a small bit to Allen's answers.

My diagram book shows the penciled notation "Sold to IC" on the page for car 98, so I believe we can eliminate this one from being the "Gold Coast". Also this car is only about 62' over buffers, whereas the 97 is shown as being 80'in length.

Authorization to dispose of Car 97 was requested of the receivers on November 7, 1933, and permission was granted on November 21, 1933. The car was sold to the LOP&G for $2000, FOB Albany, GA.

Hope this information helps.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (RHanson669@aol.com), November 29, 2001.

Allen, This would be an excellent article for "The Right Way", and much appreciated by us Georgia Northern fans....

-- Russell Underwood (Jay611@home.com), November 29, 2001.


Amazingly enough, after writing the previous answer, I was browsing through some CofGa files, copies of which were recently added to our archives. One file is a Georgia Northern - General Subject matter file from mid-1942 through 1967. Included in the file is a clipping from the June 27, 1948 issue of THE ATLANTA JOURNAL MAGAZINE. The article is about the GOLD COAST! It verifies that it was indeed Central of Georgia business car No. 97, although it states the car was built in the Savannah shops in 1906. It doesn't provide a date of sale; it merely states that No. 97 "was acquired by C. W. Pidcock, president of the Georgia Northern and other Georgia railroads." It became Georgia Northern No. 100. The article includes a photograph of the car, which clearly shows the Georgia Northern lettering and road number. Unfortunately, the car name isn't clear, so I can't be positive that it says "Moultrie."

The article makes no mention of ownership by the LOP&G. It does state that as of the article date (June 27, 1948), the car had been GN 100 "until a few months ago when it became the personal property of Lucius Beebe and Charles M. Clegg."

As an aside, the file also contains correspondence regarding the Georgia Northern's purchase of a couple of other wooden CofGa passenger cars in the early 1940s, as well as the construction of side-door caboose no. 51 in the CofGa shops.

Allen Tuten

-- Allen Tuten (allen@cofg.org), November 25, 2001.


I can't completely answer your questions, but here is some information that may help us figure it all out.

First, I don't have any record of a CofGa (or CRR&B) president named Quinto Wright. At least his name and photograph don't appear on the famous print of the CofGa presidents. It is possible that he may have been a superintendent, but I haven't had time to research that.

Based on a 1920s era CofGa passenger car diagram book in our collection, I believe that the GOLD COAST was originally CofGa Officer's Car Number 97. That car was an 80' car which had about 8 large curved window openings per side, all but one of these having two windows. There were also 4 smaller windows on each side. Car 97 was built in 1905 by the Central of Georgia. It was rebuilt in January 1918 at Savannah. The last revision to the diagram is 1-23- 18, so it doesn't give disposition information.

This matches my recollection of the size and layout of GOLD COAST. (I don't have a photograph close by.)

Central of Georgia Officer's Car Number 98 was built in 1889 by Pullman. (See note below*). It was rebuilt in 1910 at Savannah. Car 98 was 62' long. All of its 14 side windows were square, except for two which were arched at the top. (Note: I don't know how accurate the 1889 date is. Many cars in the 1920s passenger car diagram book give the built date as 1889. It's likely that 1889 was a date that was arbitrarily assigned to all older cars when that book was issued. It's possible that selection of the particular year was related to the consolidation of many of the various shorter railroads into the Savannah & Western in 1888.)

All of that being said, it is possible that these cars were renumbered at some time prior to being disposed of. For instance, Officer's Car 99 was renumbered to 95 on 11/25/18. Car 100 (the original wooden car, not the Columbus) was renumbered as U.S.R.A. No. 73 on 10/16/18 and then to CG 99 on 3/22/20.

I hope this helps.

Allen Tuten

-- Allen Tuten (allen@cofg.org), November 25, 2001.

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