The Covington and Oxford Street Railway
In April 1873 a group of leading citizens of Newton County applied to the Georgia General Assembly for a charter to build a street railway, or trolley line, connecting Covington and Oxford. The street railroad was designed to be an efficient, inexpensive form of transportation, and give Covington and Oxford residents an easy way to reach the Georgia Railroad depot located between the two towns.
The General Assembly granted the charter and right-of-way, but the first attempt at building the line failed. The idea of the trolley, however, did not. Fifteen years later, “The Covington Star” newspaper reported that a movement was again underway to build the railway, and announced that $8300 had already been subscribed to the project.
Ground was broken in April, 1888, and crews began laying track. Byt the end of May, track was completed from the depot to the Covington square. Track was completed to the Methodist Church in Oxford by Late October. The first passenger car, powered by a pair of mules, was put into operation in July, and the mule-drawn cars became a very familiar sight along the streets.
The Covington and Oxford Street Railway was a real boon to communities on both sides of the Georgia Railroad tracks. The line flourished until service was halted in 1917 when the C&O became one of the two last mule car lines operating in the U.S.
Ground was broken for the Covington and Oxford Street Railway on April 2, 1888. Today – a Newton County Moment in Time.
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