The Heritage Center Museum is your starting place when visiting the Tunnel Hill Heritage Park.
- Learn of the Clisby Austin family who settled the area
- Discover the steps to restoring one of the South's oldest railroad tunnels
- See how the American Civil War left its mark in Tunnel Hill following the Battle of Chickamauga and the planning of the Atlanta Campaign
- Remininsce on the glory days of the chenille bedspread industry and the Dixie Highway's nickname of "Peacock Alley"
Historic Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel
Construction began on the tunnel in 1848, during which the city of Tunnel Hill sprung up from people moving here to supply accommodations to the railway workers. The tunnel, which spans 1,477 feet, was dug through the base of Chetoogeta Mountain.
On May 9, 1850, the first Western and Atlantic train passed through the mountain tunnel and the new town of Atlanta became one of the railway’'s major hubs.
The tunnel became part of several historical events during the Civil War, before heavy railroad traffic and larger train cars getting stuck in the tunnel led to the building of a larger parallel tunnel, ending the use of the tunnel in 1928.
Clisby Austin House
Built in 1848 by the house's namesake, the Clisby Austin house is a prime example of the antebellum style of housing. It has experienced several interesting events since its construction, primarily during the Civil War.
The house served as a hospital during the battle of Chickamauga. It was here that Confederate General John Hood was sent to recuperate after the amputation of his leg, which accompanied him along his journey (so it could be buried with him in case he died). The leg is buried near the house. The house also served as headquarters to William Sherman during the Battle of Dalton and it has been said that Sherman planned the final legs of the Atlanta Campaign here.