The Sardis & Delta Railroad
|Image: Sardis & Delta Steam Engine #10. Gil Hoffman Collection|
"The story begins as C. M. Carrier’s hemlock sawmill at Carrier, Pennsylvania, cut out and closed in 1897. As an investment, Carrier purchased a tract of 35,000 acres of hardwood timber land in Panola and Quitman Counties, Mississippi. After a cruise was made to determine the value and quality of the timber, Carrier decided to build a sawmill to cut this timber instead of selling it as originally planned. The business was known as C. M. Carrier & Son. A single band sawmill was built on the south side of Sardis, a town on the Illinois Central mainline." (MS Railroads)
Built to somewhat higher standards than some other logging railroads, it nonetheless had a minimum of grading, and thus the line was curvy and hilly.
Many logging spurs were built, in addition to two small branches to Red Gum and Eckles, MS. While the railroad was a common carrier, logging was 90 percent of its revenue, and when the timber began to decline, the railroad quickly declined with it. In 1928, after the sawmills had shut down, it petitioned the ICC to allow the line to be abandoned, and the request was approved the following year.