locked structures--specifically "section dwellings" -- how were they used?

A&Y Dave in MD

Hi all,

Can anyone help me?

I have been having fun searching through and understanding materials I have collected from the ICC valuation documents at the National Archives.  I live much closer to them than to the SRHA archives in Chattanooga :-(

I noted that the ICC designated structures by "Type" based upon the engineer's assessment of materials, design, and dimensions.  One category of structures was termed "Section Dwelling" and on the CF line there were two types (XII and XI) referring to a 4 room and a 2 room version.   See attached examples from Dalton, NC used by the ICC engineer to illustrate the 'types' for Val section 27.  As an aside, I love the engineer's notes talking about materials and construction techniques.  This could be useful to restoration of existing structures (Tim Carroll found the description of a lever car shed useful for that purpose) and of some use to modelers (at the risk of mentioning that on the wrong list).

Does anyone know how these would have been used?  Did the Southern consider them bunkhouses?  Or perhaps they were for section foremen to live in?  The photos and descriptions I have do not suggest they were used for family living.   These are the times that I wished I lived closer to Chattanooga and TVRM, sigh.  I'd be happy to write up an article for TIES about these interesting but often overlooked structures (as well as the tool houses and lever car shed) found on the CF line, if I had the details.

Dave Bott

P.S. I created a Group on Facebook to address the history of the Atlantic & Yadkin Railway, and I have been pleasantly surprised at the interest levels by people and all the historical information being collected and shared by folks other than me.  I've had a website on the A&Y for 15 years and am surprised how little people were aware of the depth of information in it. FB has increased awareness of the information, even though there are LOTS of concerns about FB.  By creating a focused group with control over membership, I can stay away from distracting and immaterial posts, but we can connect to the pages and groups dedicated to local and regional history. There is a Greensboro history group and a Chatham county group that have been particularly interesting and useful.  Not every one of the 130+ members  is interested in railroads, but they often have materials and photos that are relevant.  I mention this not to convince anyone to visit or create a FB group, but just in case you are interested in learning more about the history of the A&Y or the Piedmont region of North Carolina (which includes Winston-Salem as well as Greensboro and the A&Y).  Here's a link if this interests you:


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