Remarks at the Georgia Archives, June 10, 2022

As prepared for delivery.

“Cobb County’s Commuter Railroad: The Atlanta Northern Railway”

I appreciate the opportunity to be here today. I’m particularly excited to be presenting about the Atlanta Northern Railway.

I have a short presentation today about the Atlanta Northern, and my favorite part of any presentation is the time for questions. I like to point out that I may or may not know the answer to your question, but I usually don’t hesitate to make one up!

Before I jump in, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to say how important the Georgia Archives is and the many stories it holds within its four walls. I visited the archives twice while writing my book on the Atlanta Northern, and the information I gathered here was indispensable to the story.

What’s fascinating about researching railroads is often, there is a distinct lack of facts. It sounds funny. What happened, happened, and it should be undeniable. But history has a funny way of obscuring the past.

Official records sometimes lack clarity, and newspaper accounts may be unreliable. But that’s what makes trying to tell a story such a fun challenge to tackle.

As I begin my presentation today, I wanted to start with a story about a catastrophe that transpired on the railroad — it was an event I researched here at the archives. Perhaps now is the right time to mention I have a knack for beginning or ending my presentations on a macabre note.