In 1912, W.J. Grandin came from Pennsylvania to Wilkes County to build the Watauga Railroad. The completed line ran from Wilkesboro to Elkville, where there was a switch. One section of the line went to Gardin and the other to Darby. Although mostly for freight, the train ran one passenger excursion on Sundays. The railroad was ruined by the flood of 1916, and again in 1918, after which it was not rebuilt.