The Cliffside Railroad
Apparently, the Seaboard Air Line Railway originally intended to extend its route from Henrietta into Cliffside. In The Sun of May 19, 1904, was an item, buried in a Caroleen community chat column: “Mr. Oats, a railroad contractor from Asheville, was here last week looking over the route to Cliffside, where the S. A. L. is to be extended. There will be about three miles of road to build.”
Raleigh Haynes was having none of that. Only three months later, he—and his Charlotte backers—revealed plans for his own railroad (and hinted at greater things to come, namely a power generating plant). The Sun article below was a reprint of two stories that had appeared the previous week in The Charlotte Observer.
The Rutherford Railway and Power Company, a newly organized corporation, is building a short railway line in Rutherford county, connecting Cliffside, the new mill town, with the Seaboard Air Line Railway. The road, the grading for which has just begun, is being built mostly by Charlotte capital, the stockholders of the company being interested in the cotton mills at Cliffside. B. D. Heath, of Charlotte, is president of the company; R. R. Haynes, of Cliffside, secretary and treasurer; John M. Scott, of Charlotte, traffic manager; Mr. W. C. Heath, of Monroe, is another (sic) stockholders.
The new road will be only six or seven miles long and, extending from Cliffside, will tap the Seaboard at a point mid-way between Caroleen and Henrietta. Mr. Scott yesterday stated to an Observer reporter that the road would be equipped with its own engines and passenger coaches, but would have no freight cars, these to be furnished by the Seaboard or other roads over which the product of the Cliffside Mills and other freight is to be hauled. The construction of the road and the equipment will cost $50,000 to $75,000.
There are several water powers beyond Cliffside that will probably be developed in the near future and when they are, the road will be extended to them. So it may be that within a few years this new road will be a very important industrial factor in the section of the State in which it is being built.—Charlotte Observer, 24th.
In the list of officers of the Rutherfordton Railway & Power Company, which has begun the construction of a railroad in Rutherford county, connecting Cliffside and the Seaboard Air Line Railway, published in yesterday’s Observer, some of the officers were omitted. A complete list of the officers follows:
President, B. D. Heath, Charlotte; Vice-President and Treasurer, R. R. Haynes, Cliffside; General Manager and Passenger Agent, W. C. Heath, Monroe; Traffic Manager, John M. Scott, Charlotte; Auditor, Charles Haynes, Cliffside.—Charlotte Observer, 25th.