ET&WNC in the Gorge



Following the track of the old ET & WNC Rail Road through Doe River Gorge is a fine hike, except in winter.  If there’s been some snow or freezing rain, getting across the derelict bridges can be dangerous.

This card was published by the American News Company of New York, but it was printed in Germany before the start of WWI.

I can’t read the place name on the postmark, and I’ve tried.  All I can see if the final “…ONE”.

I hope Dolly got home okay, though.

The Intermediate Tweetsie

doerivergorge1 doerivergorge2

Both of these chrome postcards are from the late ’60s, when Doe River Gorge Playland was in business (check this link).  As you’ll read on that webpage, for about a year, it was Hillbilly World and it closed in 1971.  I’ve hiked the gorge twice, once from the Ministry side and once from the highway side.  I think the one on the left shows the Engine #1 at Pardee Point, the one on the right is just a general shot of the engine steaming along.
The technical details: On the left: the card is badly creased end to end.  Shame, that.
On the back: “Doe River Gorge, Highway 19-E, Hampton, Tennessee
A panoramic view of the Doe River as it winds through the Doe River Gorge.  This is just one of the many scenic views of natural beauty seen from “Little Whistler” as Engine Number 101 puffs through the 3 1/2 mile trip in the Gorge.”
Published by KING PRINTING 509-511 Shelby Street, Bristol, Tennessee 37620
It’s been scribbled on, apparently by a child.  Postally unused.

On the right: Card is in pretty good shape.
On the back: “Doe River Gorge Highway 19-E, Hampton, Tennessee
The “Little Whistler” puffs up the 2% grade road bed of scenic Doe river Gorge.  Steam engines have been pulling this grade for nearly one hundred years. A trip through Doe River gorge offers one of the most scenic natural beauty views in the southeastern United States.”
All rest is same as above.

ET&WNC tunnel #2 – Doe River Gorge

This is the second tunnel on the line heading away from Johnson City up through Doe River Gorge.  It’s centered at 36.265916, -82.171331.









My hiking buddy, clad in plastic against the cold, January rain, is standing in the western portal.  This part of the line is intermittently active during the summer for excursions from the Ministry.

ET&WNC Tunnel #1

Traveling out of Elizabethton on 19E to Hampton, as you begin to cross the first bridge over the Doe River, look to your right.  Down below is the first tunnel on the fabled ET&WNC railroad.  Find someplace to do a uie, come back, do another uie and park off the highway just before you get to the main bridge.  You can walk on down and you’ll see this very decrepit and probably dangerous, former auto bridge over the Doe.  It crosses the Doe over to where the tunnel is. Here it is:








It was kind of cold that day.  I am standing (that’s not me on the bridge) with the tunnel behind me, looking westerly.  Here’s the tunnel:











It’s not all that long, but it was a cloudy day and you can’t see the other portal.  The concrete to the left is a conduit for telephone lines or something.  The thing on the right is a container of some sort. The line went through here (coming from Johnson City) and on down the Doe, up Doe River Gorge and out again near Hopson.  There are several tunnels in this stretch of line.  I’ve got pix.  Coming up.