April 8 - July 23, 2017

Explore the history of the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC) and its place in the history of the High Country. The ET&WNC began operating in 1881, stretching from Tennessee to North Carolina. The line was extended to Boone in 1919. The ET&WNC discontinued narrow gauge rail service in 1950. Each year, thousands of visitors take a trip back in time when they visit the Tweetsie Railroad Ⓡ Wild West theme park, which opened in 1957, making it the first theme park in the Carolinas. Among various attractions, the park allows visitors to take a ride on the original engine No. 12, an authentic narrow gauge steam locomotive, which turns 100 years old in 2017. No. 12—also known as “Tweetsie,” which references the "tweet, tweet" sound of its steam whistle—is the last operating locomotive of the ET&WNC. It was a mainstay of the ET&WNC Railroad, winding through rugged terrain and steep grades. When you step onto a train pulled by No. 12 at Tweetsie Railroad, you are truly experiencing a bit of mountain history. It was locomotives like No. 12 that spread commerce and spurred settlement across the frontier.

The exhibition is generously sponsored and supported by Tweetsie Railroad Ⓡ.

History of Tweetsie Railroad