Central of Georgia Steam Locomotive 58 Central of Georgia Locomotive 401 Central of Georgia Locomotive 776 Central of Georgia Locomotive 486 Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Steam Train at Summerville, Georgia, Depot

Welcome to Harpswitch.com and Harpswitch Woodworking

Thank you for visiting the web site of Harpswitch.com! We are located in Walker County, nestled in the ridges between historic Chickamauga, Georgia, and Scenic Lookout Mountain. We are also located close to Chickamauga Battlefield National Military Park.

Why the name Harpswitch?

The simple answer is that I needed a domain name and I have an affinity for trains. On the property where I 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.

Harpswitch Woodworking

I have enjoyed the hobby of woodworking over 50 years now! Since I've retired, I have a lot more time to dedicate to something I love!

Lately I've been turning wood and acrylic pens and pencils on the lathe and have also been making cutting boards and charcuterie boards using both domestic and 'exotic' woods.

Check out the blog entries below to view stuff that I've made, some for myself or my family, some as gifts, and some stuff that I currently have for sale. If you see something you like, drop me an email at wootend@harpswitch.com and we can negotiate a deal!

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer