Central of Georgia Railway Depot, 1912, Barnesville

Barnesville was among the earliest towns in Georgia with a railroad presence, beginning with the Macon and Monroe Railroad [later the Macon and Western, one of Georgia’s three oldest railroads] in 1841. It thrived as an important transportation crossroads before the growth of Atlanta and a depot was built in Barnesville by 1852. The Central of Georgia later acquired the Macon and Western line and in 1912, the old depot was razed and this one built on the site. It opened sometime in 1913.

On 11 August 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stopped here on his way to dedicate the Lamar Electric Cooperative in front of 50,000 people at the nearby Gordon Military College stadium. The Rural Electrification Administration was one of FDR’s most progressive programs and literally brought rural America out of the dark ages. It’s believed that this was the only such cooperative he dedicated personally.

The depot served until 1971, when the passenger train the Nancy Hanks made her last stop here. When the Southern Railway, successor to the Central of Georgia, planned to raze the depot in 1973, locals successfully lobbied to save it.

National Register of Historic Places

1 thought on “Central of Georgia Railway Depot, 1912, Barnesville

  1. Anonymous

    Good post! One interesting tidbit omitted from the story.: The trip by FDR was noteworthy for an important reason (probably the reason, apart from FDR’s relationship with the area, why he attended the dedication in the first place): It was at the dedication ceremony where FDR announced his opposition to Walter George, who, sitting on the same podium, was up for re-election that year, and announcing his support for George’s opponent, because George opposed FDR on a number of issues, especially his court packing plan. After FDR had shocked the world with his announcement, George merely replied, “Mr. President, I accept your challenge.” George went on to win big, driving a big nail into the court packing coffin.

    — John Barrow



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