Once called Branchville, then Rogersville Junction and, finally, Bulls Gap, after a Mr. Bull who ran a stage through the gap (this is all from the Bulls Gap town website). As the website notes, the first railroad through here, built by slave labor in 1857, ran from Bristol to Knoxville, with a post-bellum line up to Rogersville. These lines through here form a wye, with traffic coming out of the Virginia coalfields and heading to various locations. This is the line that takes a sharp turn north at Mt. Carmel TN, almost seeming to recoil from any CSX traffic, and goes up to Frisco.
Welcome to Bulls Gap:
Next is Bulls Gap Town Hall. To the right, just out of the picture, is the entrance to a railroad museum, which features a lot of interesting pictures, artifacts, and rail company displays.
And this dilapidated structure used to be a highly-regarded hotel…Gilley’s Hotel. Next to it was Smith Hotel. Don’t know a thing about that one. This, I guess, is why they call this part of Bulls Gap “old town”.