Trail Marker #16 -  E & A Railroad Construction

The construction of the Elkin & Alleghany Railroad began in 1907 with a vision of connecting the rich timberlands of northwestern North Carolina to the coal-rich fields of West Virginia; a span of over 60 miles.  The North Carolina State Board of Prisons provided between 50 and 100 convicts for the actual construction of the railway.  A report of an inspection made by Commission A.C. McAllister on October 24, 1910 reported on the camp established two miles northwest of Elkin to house the convicts.  He reported 13 guards and 76 prisoners.  The State received a payment of $1.50 a day per man in stock of the railway.  Guards were compensated at a salary of $25.00 a week.  These convicts blasted rocks and graded the land while a professional construction company laid the rails.