The Savannah, Americus, and Montgomery Railroad. : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

Hello, I'm looking for info. on my Great Great Grandfather, Colonel Samuel Hugh Hawkins. Mr. Hawkins built an extention of the Central Line to reach Americus Georgia in 1888. This resulted in The Americus, Preston and Lumpkin Railroad, Later given the name The Savannah, Americus, and Montgomery Railroad. The Central line after Mr.Hawkins built the extension with his own funds was forced to terms and abandoned the line to Andersonville GA. in favor of Americus GA. This decision was made in the result of Mr. Hawkins 45 mile track he built. Please contact us with any info. you have we are looking for any type of publications we can get. Thank You very much for operating this forum. Ed Burton Jr.

-- Edgar T Burton Jr. (, January 14, 2002


... although to an extent, the SAM did eventually fulfill its purpose of connecting the midwest to Savannah: the GM&O handed over considerable interchange to the SAL at Montgomery. However, this too was short-lived, as both the ACL/SAL and IC/GM&O mergers put an end to this interchange, and the Montgomery end of the SAM was eventually abandoned.

-- Chuck Till (, January 15, 2002.

The Americus Preston & Lumpkin was a three-foot gauge railroad financed by local capitalists, including my great great-grandfather, to connect Americus with Preston and Lumpkin, both located west of Americus in an agriculturally rich part of Georgia.

Construction began on the AP&L late in 1884, and service began early in 1886. It was not long before the promoters began extensions east and west. The eastern extension of the line took it to Abbeville on the Ocmulgee River by August of 1887 and the western extension to Louvale near the Chattahoochee River earlier in the same year. The AP&L operated five steamboats from Abbeville down the Ocmulgee to Savannah and Brunswick.

By the end of 1888, the president of the line, Col. Samuel H. Hawkins, and his investors had decided to convert the 106 miles of narrow gauge track to standard gauge and to extend the railroad west across the Chattahoochee to Montgomery, Alabama and east to Savannah, Georgia. The railroad's name was appropriately changed to the Savannah Americus & Montgomery, or the SAM. By 1891, the SAM converted its last section of narrow gauge track and reached Savannah through both new construction and trackage rights over the Central of Georgia.

Sadly, on December 10, 1892, not long after the SAM had reached Montgomery, the railroad fell into receivership. Hurt by the depression of the early 1890s, Col. Hawkins and his associates would never realize their dream of building a railroad to link the Mid-West with the Atlantic through the port of Savannah. Purchasing the SAM in 1895, John Skelton Williams of Richmond, Virginia reorganized the company as the Georgia & Alabama Railway, which in turn became one of three lines Williams merged to form the Seaboard Air Line in 1901.

-- Lee Kinnamon (, January 14, 2002.

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