Central of Georgia Steam Locomotive 58 Central of Georgia Locomotive 401 Central of Georgia Locomotive 776 Central of Georgia Locomotive 486

Welcome to Harpswitch.com

Thank you for visiting the web site of Harpswitch.com! We are located near historic Chickamauga, Georgia and nearby Chickamauga Battlefield.

Why the name Harpswitch?

Simple answer? I have an affinity for trains. On the property where we live there are the remnants of an old railroad, the Durham-to-Chickamauga line. The railroad was used to carry coal from the Durham mine, on nearby Lookout Mountain, to the Coke Ovens, in Chickamauga, where the coal was converted to coke. In turn, the coke was shipped to nearby Chattanooga, Tennessee, to be used as fuel for the iron and steel industry.

The use of this historic line was discontinued in the early 1950's and disassembled shortly thereafter. When the Durham line was active and carried passengers, there was a flag-station passenger stop, called Harp, that was located approximately 3.3 miles from Chickamauga, very near my home. The name, Harp, most likely came from the placement, nearby, of a three-way track switching device, called a Harp Switch, used by railroads (getting its name from the harp shape at its base). The harp 'switching' lever could be fastened in any of three positions and could be easily seen by the train's engineer. It is known that there was a nine car siding at the Harp flag station and, likely, a Harp Switch was in use to control the sidings. There are references on old documents and maps of the area that refer to Harpswitch, Harp Switch and Harp's Switch. In fact, one of the nearby county roads is named Harpswitch Road. No matter the spelling, the most common assumption is that, since railroad personnel commonly named areas along a railroad line by features of the railroad line itself, the name was ultimately derived from the lowly piece of railroad equipment with the angelic name.

When it came to choosing a domain name for our website it sounded like a natural, but unique fit while, at the same time, paying honor to a little bit of area history. We've been able to accumulate a small amount of historic information and photos about this railroad and we've placed that information here on our site. If you have any kind of information, stories, photographs or other memorabilia about the Durham-to-Chickamauga Railroad, please let me know and I will gladly add it to the site.

Please take a look around our site, enjoy your visit, and do come back often.

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