1918, North Carolina Farms Company hired Karl Lewis Ponzer, C.E., as its
chief engineer over the entire lake development project. Ponzer advised the
drainage commissioners on pumping and dredging issues and began addressing
the engineering needs of the new owners of the lake. From the start, Ponzer
enjoyed hunting and fishing in Hyde County.
surveyed the railroad line and oversaw the contractor hired to build the
35-mile short line railroad named the New Holland, Higginsport, and Mt.
Vernon Railroad, a mouthful for
such a short railroad line. The railroad
began operating in 1921, providing freight and passenger service to the
people of New Holland and Hyde County.
North Carolina Farms Company went into bankruptcy in 1923, scheduled
passenger service on the New Holland line ended forever. The next owner, New
Holland Corporation, chose not to operate the railroad as a public carrier
and used it as a private carrier for their freight.