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Chatham County Historical Association

Preserving and sharing the history of Chatham County North Carolina

Bonlee and Western RR

31 May 2024 8:23 PM | Anonymous

The Bonlee and Western Railroad 1915.

This short line, home-owned and operating entirely within the county, was incorporated in 1908 for the transportation of freight and passengers. It extended from Bonlee in a southwesterly direction for about ten miles to Bennett. It was completed in 1910. The locomotive was a wood burner.

At Bonlee, the Bonlee and Western connected with the railway running between Greensboro and Sanford. The train made four round trips a day. The line primarily served the lumber business of John H. and Isaac H. Dunlap, who were also its principal stockholders. It also provided important freight and passenger service to the general public.

For several years, the Bonlee and Western ran a special on July 4 to take passengers to the celebration in Siler City.

The railway operated until the early 1930s. The principal station between terminals was at Wells, located three miles northeast of Bennett. There, a dilapidated building remained as late as 1971, when the county history, Chatham County 1771-1971, was written.

Folks from that part of the county have told us that they have found spikes from this line. If you have some, how about donating one for the Chatham County Historical collection?

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Chatham County Historical Association  ~   ~  PO Box 93  ~  Pittsboro NC 27312  ~  919-542-6222  ~  

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