Little River Railroad & Lumber Museum

About Little River Railroad & Lumber Museum

The Little River Railroad and Lumber Company is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1982 to preserve the heritage of the the Little River Lumber Company and the Little River Railroad. We operate a museum in Townsend, Tennessee, collecting, preserving and exhibiting the history of these companies, and of the people in this region.

Townsend was the site of the sawmill, and headquarters of this operation, which logged huge portions of what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, from 1901 until 1939.

The Little River became famous far beyond its remote mountain origins, due in large part to its innovations in railroad motive power, which included invention of the first 2-4-4-2 articulated Mallet, and the smallest 4-6-2 Pacific ever built for North American standard gauge. 

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