The town takes its name from Andrew R. Ellerson who owned a mill
on the Beaverdam Creek. On June 26, 1862, the seven day’s battles were begun here and
at nearby Mechanicsville, though Ellerson, a Confederate
soldier, was assigned elsewhere at the time. He returned home after
Ellerson had a station and agent listed in 1948. During the mid-1970’s
passengers from Richmond were bused to the Ellerson depot to catch trains going from Newport News to
Charlottesville. According to a 1994 article by Tom Dixon (see references)
the station at Ellerson was a modified version of a combination depot used on both
the C&O and the Pennsylvania. Dixon describes the depot as having weatherboard
sides, board-and-batten wainscoting, and decorative vertical boards above the window
line. A 1949 photo of the Ellerson depot, however, was of a much plainer station with
board-and-batten siding and none of the trim that decorated the Pennsy design station
(see below). Most likely the earlier station burned, but whether that’s true or
not and when it occurred is just one more little mystery to solve...
According to the 1937 Side Track Record, Ellerson had a house track (track
number 820) 1617' in length that ran behind the station. It served the A&UI Manufacturing
Company, Fred S. Bock (I don't know what this business did), and Bradley & Boswell (a
fertilizer dealer). The C&O’s 1950 Industrial Directory listed
Ellerson as having a team track with a capacity of 12 cars that served the following
industries: the Alliance Fertilizer Co. and Bradley & Boswell. The run-around track (track 2659)
was added in March, 1954 and the siding was extended in April, 1964. Another track (number 2900) was
added in April, 1963, but I’m not sure where it was located. This track was revised in 1977.
Portions of tracks 820 and 2659 were retired in April, 1991. Both are gone now.
A C&O passenger train, led by 4-8-4 #613, passes the Ellerson depot. The slide has what looks like
a date of 4-5-51 written on it, but Bill Sparkmon pointed out that that date cannot be correct: at that
time the 613 had smoke lifters. (Photographer unknown. From a slide in the collection of Larry Z. Daily.)
The Ellerson depot in November of 1970. The photographer must have been aboard
the George Washington. (Photographer unknown. From a slide in the collection of Larry Z. Daily.)
This is the C&O depot in Ellerson in January of 1971. The
photographer was facing west. At one point, Amtrak was busing
Richmond passengers to this building to board trains. It was
demolished in 1985. (Photo by Thomas W. Dixon, Jr. Used with
This photo of the station was taken in June, 1983. Gleb Taran, the photographer, was facing north.
In the background you can see the Bradley and Boswell fertilizer warehouse. The end of the warehouse
facing us housed a 1930’s (or 1940’s) era Amoco station with a general store. The store was
known as the Bradley and Boswell store and closed in the early 1970’s. (Photo by Gleb Taran. Used with
Taken at the same time as the previous photo, this one shows the view to the south.
The large building in the background is the Alliance Fertilizer Company. The small white
building between the station and the warehouse had once been the Ellerson post office, but
in 1983 served as offices for the fertilizer company. (Photo by Gleb Taran. Used with
I’m guessing that this photo was taken at about the same time as the previous
two photos. (From a slide in the collection of Larry Z. Daily.)
Looking towards Richmond over the C&O bridge across I-295, from
the grade crossing at Holly Grove Road, between Ellerson and Atlee.
(2002 photo by Stephen Willard. Submitted by Charles Willard. Used with
This map was prepared from U.S.G.S. topological maps, C&O track charts dated 1963, C&O Side
Track Records dated 1937, a copy of the Side Track Records updated through the 1990’s, and
C&O Valuation maps, also updated through the 1990’s.
In 1971 the C&O built several spurs to serve the Richmond Food Stores facility. Track number 2984 was
retired in 1987. This map was prepared from U.S.G.S. maps, C&O track charts dated 1963, and the 1937 C&O Side Track Record.
Please note that, due to a huge volume of spam coming in on my email account, I’ve had to change my email address.
The new address is firstname.lastname@example.org (but remove the nospam and the dot before piedmontsub.com).
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