Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway aka NC&StL, NC&Stl.L, ncstl,  




Dennis Lambert

Dennis Lambert has graciously agreed to be the guest speaker at our NCPS 2021 Reunion dinner on Friday night, which will be held at Café 41 in Jasper, Tennessee. In addition, Dennis will serve as our tour guide on Saturday as we tour the NC&StL’s  Sequatchie Valley branch line, and the Orme branch line. Dennis is a lifelong resident of the northeast corner of Alabama and southeast Tennessee where our Reunion will be focused. His knowledge of that area, and its railroad history is extensive. I asked Dennis to provide us with some idea of his family’s background in railroading, and the NC&StL in particular. His response follows:

My paternal great-grandfathers, Joseph Ezekiel Monroe Lambert and Joseph Allen Moon, both worked for the N.C.& St.L. Rwy. as section crew members. Eventually, both families moved into two of the section lot houses in Bridgeport and it was here that my grandparents, Alfred Monroe Lambert and Anna Belle Moon, first met as children and played with other children living in the section houses. When their son, my grandfather Alfred, grew up, he also started work for the N.C. & St. L. Rwy. as a section crewman. That work experience on the railroad helped keep Alfred out of conflict when he was drafted into the army in 1942 during World War II. He was assigned to the 719th Railway Battalion, which was sent to Alaska to build railroads there. After the war, he returned home and to his job on the railroad where he retired around 1978.

Also interesting is the fact that my maternal grandfather, Claude Cain, worked early on for a coal mining railroad in Kentucky. His father-in-law, Alexander Harrison Burkelow, worked as a section crewman for a railroad in eastern Missouri. That is three of four great-grandfather's, and both grandfathers, having worked for a railroad.

Growing up I sometimes played on the railroad in South Pittsburg, Tennessee where we lived until I was 9. When visiting my grandparents in Bridgeport, I spent many days down on the switchyard in Bridgeport along with my cousin, Paul Born. We loved trains, and on one occasion a conductor on a caboose let us ride to town in the caboose, which saved us several blocks of walking. Often I would go with my grandparents walking the switchyard tracks and the main-line picking wild asparagus growing alongside the tracks. I do have a few railroad items that belonged to my grandfather, including one of his pocket watches.

I have served as historian for the Bridgeport Area Historical Association and for the South Pittsburg Historic Preservation Society. I am also historian for the city of Bridgeport, Alabama. I co-authored a Bridgeport Alabama history book, along with Ron Lee, that was published in 2007. I wrote a short history of the Sequatchie Valley Railroad that has many photos of depots, and other railroad related photos, that appear on the web site for the SPHPS. These photos are also contained in the Bridgeport book.



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