Photo of The Month – May 2005
Picture contributor: Hazel Haynes Bridges
The caption on this Hames Studio photo says “Horseshoe Bridge over Second Broad River – Cliffside Railroad.” This was a puzzler. The CRR as we remembered it never crossed the river. Well, all you have to do is ask around, and your ignorance will be diminished. Charles “Red” Humphries told us that, not long after the establishment of the Cliffside Railroad, the Company decided to run a spur from the tracks near the junction at Avondale, south across the river into Henrietta. In other words, the tracks crossed the road (now 221A) somewhere near the new mill north of town. Red says the trestle itself was removed long ago but the stone abutments can still be found, if you’re curious enough to brave the ticks and snakes that reside in this isolated place on the river.
It’s not clear which side of river we’re facing. The settlement in the background may be Henrietta. This closer look at the workers may reveal the face of an ancestor. Let us know.
Update: Mike Buckelew (“not a Cliffsider, just an interested outsider”) points out the boxcar in the distance reveals which side of the river we’re facing. “It must have been brought there with supplies for the construction, which indicates the far end of the bridge is in the direction of the Cliffside’s junction with their mainline connection.” Myles Haynes, Jr. ponders this question: The Henrietta mill (where the train would need to go) and the train tracks were on the same side of the river, so why would they have built this trestle?
And yet another update, from William Wallace, of Cherryville, N. C.: “I believe I have the answer you’re looking for about the RR spur that crossed 221A and the trestle that crossed the Second Broad River. I found it in the 1954 book Mrs. Grover C. Haynes wrote on Mr. R. R. Haynes.”
Mrs. Haynes wrote (in Chapter 17, page 51):
In West Henrietta he [R. R. Haynes] had built a large warehouse with the expectation of building a mill later on. The Cliffside Railroad was extended to this location, crossing the Second Broad River at near where the old iron works was located. His death occurred before building plans had begun to materialize. The mill was not built and that part of the railroad running into West Henrietta was dismantled, and the bridge across the river was removed.
Sometimes you can’t see the trees for the forest. This probably means the trestle was constructed around 1914 or ’15, before Mr. Haynes’ death (in February 1917). Our thanks to Mr. Wallace who works at the Cliffside Steam Station. His father is Jack Wallace, who was the second shift supervisor of warp preparation at the Cliffside Mill in the 1960s and ’70s.