By Cory L. Higgs
A loud whistle ringing through the air, the sound of metal coming to a screeching halt, and the acrid smell of industry brought by locomotives filled the air in Stuart some 136 years ago. The sleepy town of Stuart once served as the last stop along the Danville-Western Railroad, nicked-named the Dick and Willie. The railway connected Stuart and Danville and stopped in small towns and factories along the way.
These iron giants barreled into Stuart in 1884, delivering goods, frigate, and some passengers along the way. The railway in Patrick County was functional from July 1884 to July 1942. Some segments in Henry County remained in use into more modern times, according to Greg Arens a spokesperson with the Patrick County Historical Museum. Arens said that the track was pulled up in 1942 to help supply steel to the war effort of WWII, removing any lasting mark of the Danville-Western line.
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