Charles Ken Marsh Gallery
The mountains of east Tennessee and western North Carolina were noted for rich natural resources. The George L. Carter Railroad Museum is recreating in miniature of a special and beloved little railroad that once served the rich ore deposits of Cranberry, N.C. from its Johnson City terminus.
Named the ET&WNC but noted as the Tweetsie for its diminutive equipment, this was a 3’ or narrow gauge line that served many communities before better roads made them easily accessible. Even today, portions of the original trackage remain in the Doe River Gorge, the right-of-way became part of Route 19E as well as the local ‘Tweetsie Trail’ for recreation, and its original depot is now the site of the YeeHaw Brewing Company.
This layout takes up the majority of the Ken Marsh Hall, a room that measures 1300 square feet. Under construction now, our HOn3 layout will be the largest representation of this railroad in the world once completed. Featured prominently in both local and national media, the Carter Museum’s ‘Tweetsie’ display is accurate to scale in most of its historical structures and also gives a practical demonstration of the rigors of mountain railroading, as it features a true ruling grade to climb from the Johnson City yards to the ore mine.
Also already on display in the Marsh Hall are unique, one-off artifacts from the original business, some dating to the beginning of the 20th century. The final part of the museum’s interest in this project has been the preservation of real material like paperwork and photographs from this enterprise, which has come from many local individuals who have recognized the importance of saving it for generations to come.