Located at 306 West Depot Avenue is the Southern Railway Station which was placed on the National Register of Historic Railroad Landmarks in 2003.
Completed in 1903, the station was designed by Frank Pierce Milburn, the company architect for the Southern Railway, who designed some of the largest train stations throughout the southeast in his day.
and , the station houses Blue Slip Winery, serves as an event space, and also combines with the Old Smoky Railway Museum on the tracks behind.
When the station opened, the only large railroad serving Knoxville was the Southern Railway. Freight trains and passenger cars both used the station.
Passengers encountered some problems right from the outset. The projected population of Knoxville, calculated way before the new station was completed, was woefully inaccurate and therefore seriously underestimated the number of passengers using it. Compounding this was the capacity of the waiting rooms – both black and white passenger waiting rooms were of equal size but this didn’t reflect that blacks only accounted for 10% of the local population at that time.
In its heyday, the Southern Station was open 24 hours a day and greeted millions of passengers, some of them notable including U.S, Presidents Wilson and Taft, Buffalo Bill, actress Tallulah Bankhead, and Al Johnson.
The darkest day in the station’s history was undoubtedly the New Market Train Wreck of 1904. A train collision 20 miles east of Knoxville involved one train headed to the station and another train which had just left it. 70 passengers were killed in the wreck, with many more seriously injured.
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