Tag Archives: Georgia Depots & Railroadiana

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

Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Freight Station, 1941, Albany

Although it is better known today as the Water, Gas & Light Commission headquarters, this structure was built in 1941 to replace the original Atlantic Coast Line Railroad freight station, which was destroyed by the tornado of 10 February 1940. It was renovated in 1990-1991 for the purpose it presently serves.

Central of Georgia Railroad Depot, Circa 1901, Pulaski

The Bruton [the spelling was changed to Brewton in 1895] and Pineora Railway ran a line from Brewton to Register in 1900 and H. L. (Leonard) Franklin, who owned much of the surrounding land, established the town of Pulaski soon thereafter. The depot was built at this time but would have most likely been identified as a Central of Georgia facility since the larger line controlled the Brewton and Pineora and owned them outright by 1901.

Tarrer House, Macon County

This Ludowici Tile-roofed farmhouse has always been a landmark in my travels. It’s an unusual example of a common vernacular form [saddlebag]. Virginia Tarrer identified it as her home and added: …we redid it around 1976. [It] used to be at the bottom of the hill in Ideal, it was a railroad foreman’s house and was moved to this location but I have no idea what year. She notes that they purchased the home from the Clifford Hines family and that the Cannon family were also earlier owners.

Hobo’s Grave, Woodbine

Hoboes were ubiquitous characters in the American landscape of the late 19th and early-mid 20th centuries. They were often depicted as bums and were the bane of the railroad police at various times, but many were simply vagabonds who had fallen on hard times and ostensibly began their journeys in search of work. Local legend holds that one such hobo, Campbell Johnston (24 January 1874-15 December 1905), fell from a train one night and died at this site. Local officials took care of his burial and his headstone was donated by the Woodmen of the World. It seems odd that such a character would have been afforded this memorial, and therefore, his story would be fascinating to track down.

The gravesite is located within the Satilla River Waterfront Park.

Gainesville, Jefferson, & Southern Railroad Depot, Circa 1900, Talmo

The Gainesville, Jefferson & Southern Railroad line reached Talmo circa 1883 and was integral for the shipment of the highly prized short-staple cotton being grown in the area. It was an important catalyst for the growth of the community and is well-preserved today.

Talmo Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Seaboard Air Line Railway Depot, 1892, Colbert

Like many towns across Georgia, Colbert saved and restored its historic depot, which now serves as city hall. [One source dates the depot to 1892 and another, to 1907. I am unsure which is correct]. First incorporated as the Town of Five Forks in 1899, community’s name was changed to Colbert in 1909, after early settler James Fletcher Colbert.
This Seaboard Coast Line/Louisville & Nashville caboose was acquired by the city circa 1976 and is located adjacent to the depot.

Colbert Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Western and Atlantic Railroad Depot, 1854, Cartersville

One of just a handful of surviving Western and Atlantic Railroad depots, the Cartersville depot now serves as the town’s Welcome Center. That it has survived at all is a bit of a miracle, considering it was in the direct path of Sherman’s forces as they headed into Atlanta. On 20 May 1864, Confederate forces occupied the depot in an effort to protect it, knocking out sections of the wall for use as gun ports. Due to other concerns, Sherman, let the depot stand, but there were light skirmishes between the Confederate and Union forces at the site. About six months later, when Sherman returned to Cartersville, a Union soldier cut the telegraph line from the depot, isolating Cartersville from the outside world, and the March to the Sea was underway.

Cartersville Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Overpass, 1938, Byromville

This steel stringer overpass has become a landmark because it retains the original Atlantic Coast Line signage. The line is presently owned by CSX.

Atlanta Birmingham & Atlantic Railroad Depot, Circa 1906, Ideal

This has been restored for use as a community center. This is nearly identical to the old Montezuma depot, now located at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture in Tifton.