Remembering the Marketplace of the Midsouth

Cordova Ammunitions Plant

Cordova (originally known as Maryville) was one of the many small railroad stops along the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis railroad route to Memphis, Tennessee. A named train, the Memphian from Nashville to Memphis stopped at the former Cordova Railroad station. (this station is still standing and has been sold to an individual that is renovating it so it can be utilized as a retail business). An important ammunition plant was near Cordova and was served by the railroad during World War II.

Wikipedia reference to ammunition plant

The plant was located in what today has become the industrial park for the Cordova area. The train tracks were directly across the street from the base, along the top left corner of the property, along Macon Road. Up into the early 80's you could still see much of the layout of the plant, including a fire station, numerous general buildings and warehouses. The buildings were all wood construction and didn't look to have been designed as permanent structures, though most if not all were still standing, though abandoned and in significant disrepair.

There were a few buildings in use commercially as cabinet or work working shops.

These buildings were located in the top half of the box shown in the photo below, where new buildings exist today, though the road layout appears to have changed little. All roads were still gravel back in 1978. Of note is a reference to the areas past in the road names: Bullet and Caliber streets meet at an intersection.

The buildings located in the lower half of the boxed area did not exist in 1978 and there were numerous concrete bunkers visible in this area of densely overgrown fields. The bunkers were built inside earthen hills located around the fields, each quite some distance from one another. These may have been testing facilities or more likely storage for ammunition produced but not yet shipped.

These pictures were made in April 1978 and show the inside of one of the abandoned warehouses. The crates had military markings, and a few crates were open with visible contents. The items appeared to be mechanical in nature, perhaps tank, cannon or gun parts and supplies.

The building shown was located on Cordova Park road at it heads toward the buildings on Macon. There were numerous openings in the building so access would have been as simple as just walking in, although these photographs were made from outside the building looking in.

To see whats left of the plant, go here Cordova Ammunition Plant Page 2


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