Preservation Network: Lecture - Remembering the "Slow and Easy"

Preservation Network: Lecture - Remembering the "Slow and Easy"

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 | 6:00 PM
Laurel Church of Christ | 3457 Kingston Pike
Contact Hollie Cook, hcook@knoxheritage.org
Date & Time Tuesday October 15th 2019 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Location
Laurel Church of Christ
3457 Kingston Pike

For a half-century, a 28-mile shortline railroad linked Knoxville and Sevierville. This was the Smoky Mountain Railroad, originally built from 1908 until 1910 as the Knoxville, Sevierville & Eastern Railway, or KS&E. Those initials, along with the unhurried pace of its trains, prompted the line’s still-used nickname, “Knoxville, Slow & Easy.” For most of the 1920s, the railroad extended ten miles further to McCookville, just upriver from Pigeon Forge.

In a much simpler age, before Chapman Highway and Exit 407 were even dreamed of, the “Slow & Easy” provided new forms of transportation and entertainment to rural South Knox and Sevier Counties. Under five different owners, the railroad nearly always struggled financially. Yet, it did serve several shippers through the years and was integral to the construction of TVA’s Douglas Dam during World War II. Its deteriorating infrastructure, as well as competition from highway trucks and buses, forced the Smoky Mountain’s shutdown in 1961. Its rails were scrapped in 1966.

Native South Knoxvillian Joe Holloway has studied the “Slow & Easy” for decades, hiked its abandoned right-of-way and will soon release his first book about it. During this “Preservation Network” event, Joe will guide guests through a brief, nostalgic history of the railroad, including many rare images of it. Joe’s presentation will conclude with a question and answer session.

RSVP to hcook@knoxheritage.org by October 14th.

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Organizer’s Information
Hollie Cook