Category Archives: Camak GA

Georgia Railroad Depot, 1898, Camak

Camak’s rare two-story depot dates to circa 1898. It’s still used by CSX. The town itself was named for James A. Camak (1822-1893), who served as the first president of the Georgia Railroad, and was incorporated the year the depot was built.

The Warren County website details the importance of railroads in the area: The Georgia Railroad Company was chartered December 21, 1883, to build a line of railroad from Augusta to Athens with branches to Madison and Eatonton. Camak became the location for that line. The charter was accepted March 10, 1834, in Athens, Georgia at the home of James Camak, for whom the town is named.  Construction began early in 1835. The charter was amended in 1835, to permit the company to go into the Banking Business. Under the amendment, the company became The Georgia Railroad & Banking Company. Upon the opening of the road through Warren County, stations were established west of Thomson at Camak.  By further amendment to the Charter, a branch from Camak to Warrenton was authorized. This line was completed and opened for business in 1839. Georgia’s first railroad tracks were laid in the mid-1830s on routes leading from Athens, Augusta, Macon, and Savannah. Some twenty-five years later, the state not only could claim more rail miles than any other in the Deep South but also had linked its major towns and created a new rail center, Atlanta. The railroads continued to expand until the 1920s, when a long decline began that lasted into the 1990s. The rail line between Augusta and Atlanta is studded with towns named for early company officials: Camak (James A. Camak, president), Dearing (William E. Dearing, president), and Thomson (J. Edgar Thomson, chief construction engineer)...

William M. Moore General Merchandise, Camak

These and a few other buildings on Railroad Street are all that remain of the commercial heart of Camak. The railroad still stops here, but the town’s heyday is long past.

Railroad Street, Camak

Downtown Camak looks like a movie set. These old businesses thrived in the days of railroad dominance.

Chapman House, Camak

It’s hard to miss this once-grand old mansion as you approach Camak from Warrenton. It’s been a symbol of the town for over a century, but it’s days appear to be numbered. It was home to the Chapman family for many years, and in its early days, the second floor was used as a boarding house for railroad men.

Update: As of 2017, I understand the Chapman House is being restored. I hope to post an “after” photo in the future.