ECU’s Historic Relationship with the Railroad
Source: University Archives
Staff Person: Kacy Guill
The first years of East Carolina University’s history are in many ways tied to the railroad. The Atlantic Coastline Railroad was built through Greenville in 1889 and the Norfolk Southern intersected Greenville and the Atlantic Coastline in 1907, making Greenville accessible to the rest of the state and a possible location for a normal school. The first students at East Carolina Teachers Training School came to Greenville by train, and then took the school jitney from the train station to the campus. Students continued to come primarily by train through the 1940s.
The back of the luggage tag was used to label the ceremonial shovel supposedly used in the college’s groundbreaking. The first men’s dormitory referred to on the tag would have been Jarvis Hall. Two other men’s dormitories were established in 1947, when the number of men enrolled surpassed women for the first time.
In the late 1920s a supply track was built from the Norfolk Southern tracks to haul coal to the campus power plant.