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Newton County Moment In Time – C&O Street Railway

April 2, 1888: Ground Broken For Covington / Oxford Street Railway

In April 1873 a group of leading citizens of Newton County applied to the Georgia General Assembly for a charter to build a street railway, or trolley line, connecting Covington and Oxford.  The street railroad was designed to be an efficient, inexpensive form of transportation, and give Covington and Oxford residents an easy way to reach the Georgia Railroad depot located between the two towns.

The General Assembly granted the charter and right-of-way, but the first attempt at building the line failed.  The idea of the trolley, however, did not.  Fifteen years later, “The Covington Star” newspaper reported that a movement was again underway to build the railway, and announced that $8300 had already been subscribed to the project.

Ground was broken in April, 1888, and crews began laying track.  Byt the end of May, track was completed from the

Covington Rapid Transit

depot to the Covington square.  Track was completed to the Methodist Church in Oxford by Late October.  The first passenger car, powered by a pair of mules, was put into operation in July, and the mule-drawn cars became a very familiar sight along the streets.

The Covington and Oxford Street Railway was a real boon to communities on both sides of the Georgia Railroad tracks.  The line flourished until service was halted in 1917 when the C&O became one of the two last mule car lines operating in the U.S.

Ground was broken for the Covington and Oxford Street Railway on April 2, 1888.  Today – a Newton County Moment in Time.

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Comments

  1. Darlene B. Lauth says:

    Great article! I was unaware of a trolley service there; my maternal Grandfather drove trolleys in Atlanta. My grandparents (fraternal) lived in a duplex right across from the train depot. Great memories of visiting for the summer and listening to the trains coming through; waving at the conductor!

    • Darlene,
      Thanks for the comment. Glad you have good memories of Covington. I certainly remember going to Atlanta with my parents, shopping at Rich’s, having lunch at the S&W Cafeteria, and riding the trolleys there. I’ve probably waved at a few conductors too. Thanks again, and hope you stop by again. The next “Moment In Time” is scheduled for Monday the 9th.

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