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Beaver Dam

C&O Milepost 124.4


Station Number: 124
Code Number: 0188
Telegraph Callsign: BD

Beaver Dam is approximately 40 miles west of Richmond. The station name is taken from the plantation of Col. Edmund Fontaine, once a president of the railroad. The plantation itself was named for the creek which bisected it.

The original Beaver Dam station was built in 1840 and was one of only 10 depots on the line in 1850. It was burned several times during the Civil War. On July 20, 1862, a U.S. army raid destroyed the depot and captured Colonel John Mosby. The station was rebuilt and then destroyed again on February 29, 1864. Once again the station was rebuilt. In May of 1864, Sheridan was assigned to disrupt Lee’s railroad operations. On May 9, Sheridan’s advance brigade, commanded by Custer, attacked Beaver Dam. The U.S. troops burned supplies intended for the Army of Northern Virginia, including nearly all of the medical supplies. They also destroyed 29 loaded freight cars, 2 locomotives, and about 1 mile of track. In 1866 a brick station was built on the site of the stations destroyed in the Civil War. That station is still standing and is now in the National Register of Historical Places.

In December, 1923 the passing track in Beaver Dam was extended and a new spur track was added. The 1937 Side Track Record showed a 496' house track (track number 851), a 3365' passing siding (track number 849), and a 522' team track (track number 850). In May, 1940 the C&O retired the water station in Beaver Dam. Track 850 was extended in August of 1948. According to the C&O’s 1950 Industrial Directory, Beaver Dam had a team track with a capacity of 13 cars. For some reason, it also listed the Teman team track under Beaver Dam; that siding had an 8 car capacity. Those sidings served the following industries: the Birchall-Hammer Lumber Co. (sawmill), the A. L. Luckado coal yard, Linwood Marks (pulpwood shipper), the R. S. McDonald lumber yard, and E. C. Terrell (pulpwood shipper). A turnout was added to the east end of track 850 in July, 1957 and the track was again extended in July of 1960. A final extension occured in June, 1972. The Beaver Dam station still stands. It was sold to a preservation group (along with 294' of the house track) in 1987.


The Beaver Dam station as shown on a 1919 postcard (from the collection of Larry Z. Daily).
[NEW] This image shows the Beaver Dam station in 1975. (Photographer unknown. From a slide in the collection of Larry Z. Daily).
This image shows the Beaver Dam station on September 6, 1982. (Photo by Joe Kmetz. From a slide in the collection of Larry Z. Daily).
The Beaver Dam station as it appeared after restoration in 1998. It was closed the day I visited, but a peek through the windows showed that the interior had been as nicely restored as the exterior. (1998 photo)

This store was owned by Everett C. Terrell from 1892 until 1942. It was a popular gathering place in Beaver Dam. The store was built over a tavern and was the first post office for the town. The left door reportedly still has the old mail slot in it. Terrell bought the store from the estate of George Marion who ran the store during the Civil War era. Marion’s first wife is buried behind the building. Upon his retirement Terrell turned the store over to his clerk William Vance Hall, whose father was a nephew of George Marion. (1998 photo)

This sand loading facility is currently in operation, just east of the Beaver Dam depot. I assume that some of the revisions to track 850 (see above) were made to facilitate serving this facility. (1997, Jerry Simonoff photo, used with permission)


This map was prepared from U.S.G.S. topological maps, C&O track charts dated 1963, C&O Side Track Records dated 1937, a copy of the Side Track Records updated through the 1990’s, and C&O Valuation maps, also updated through the 1990’s.


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