Donate To the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum

The Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum is a small, local history museum telling the story of how the town of Townsend began, along with the efforts to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Museum was incorporated in 1982 and with the help of the then Townsend Chamber of Commerce, the steam locomotive #2147 was purchased and moved to the Townsend location just before it was sold for scrap. The Museum offers Free Admission and is open seasonally.

The Museum continues to operate through Donations and Souvenir Sales. Donations support general operations, the care, preservation, restoration, and display of our historical artifacts. The preservation of the Shay Locomotive # 2147 is an ongoing effort and continually needs work to preserve it from the elements, this past year we completed reconstruction of a ‘Little Woody” Caboose converting it into a replica of the “Elkmont Observation Car.”. This will portray the history and the openness of the car will have many benefits for possibly entertainment platforms and sitting areas. We have several upcoming projects in the works, one being to build a new deck/platform and ramp onto the Depot Building that houses the Museum to provide access and aid visitors that are handicapped. Large or small, every donation helps ensure that future generations can benefit from our town’s history.

Please consider making monetary donations using the form below. Also, if you’re looking for ways to donate your time, we offer several rewarding opportunities when you join our volunteer team. Some examples include helping with special events, general maintenance and upkeep or training to become one of our dedicated docents.  If you wish to join the volunteer team, please contact us at

Shay Locomotive # 2147

Locomotive 2147 shay black


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