East Carolina Railway and Henry Clark Bridgers, Sr.

Source: Henry Clark Bridgers, Jr., Papers, 1870-1981, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #558

Staff Person: Martha Elmore

East Carolina Railway/Wilmington and Weldon Rail Road Company  Agreement

East Carolina Railway/Wilmington and Weldon Rail Road Company Agreement


Henry Clark Bridgers, Sr. (1876-1951) of Tarboro, N.C., was born into a railroading family. His family Robert R. Bridgers was president of the following three North Carolina railroads: the Wilmington and Weldon, the Albemarle and Raleigh, and the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta. Robert Bridgers also created an association of railroads over the years that came to be known as the Atlantic Coast Line system.

Henry Bridgers was heavily involved in the incorporation of the East Carolina Railway on July 1, 1898, and was the first president and general manager of the railroad at age twenty-two. Early funding problems were somewhat eased with the purchase of all the capital stock of the East Carolina Railway by the Wilimington and Weldon Rail Road Company on May 24, 1899.

This letter, sent from the Atlantic Coast Line President W. G. Elliott to East Carolina Railway President Henry Clark Bridgers, is one of three letters Pres. Elliott wrote that day spelling out the agreement between the two companies. The East Carolina Railway ran from Tarboro to Hookerton (Greene County, N.C.) and was led by Henry Clark Bridgers until 1935. The last run made on the railroad was on November 16, 1965.

The undated photograph below is of an East Carolina Railway train car.

East Carolina Railway train car

East Carolina Railway train car

For more information concerning Henry Clark Bridgers, Sr., or the East Carolina Railway, please see the Henry Clark Bridgers, Jr., Papers at http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0558. Background information for this article was gathered from East Carolina Railway, Route of The Yellow-hammer by Henry C. Bridgers, Jr. (1973) which can be found in the North Carolina Collection in Joyner Library.