Tag Archives: Georgia Depots & Railroadiana

Atlanta and Hawkinsville Railroad Depot, 1888, Zebulon

The Atlanta and Hawkinsville Railroad was chartered in 1886 and, though it never reached Hawkinsville, built this depot along the way in 1888. The line was renamed the Atlanta and Florida Railway in 1893 and was sold to the Southern Railway in 1895.

In recent years, the depot was beautifully restored and is now home to the Lions Club and used for other functions, as well.

Louisville & Nashville Railroad Depot, 1916, Tate

The Louisville & Nashville (L&N) Railroad built this depot to serve Tate, which was the busy company town that grew up around Samuel Tate’s Georgia Marble Company. After passenger service was ended in the 1940s, the depot was eventually owned by CSX. The structure was abandoned for many years, and located across Georgia Highway 53, where it was located dangerously close to the roadway. It was moved across the road and restored in 2016 and will eventually serve as an event space for the community.

Georgia Marble Company and Tate Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Chambers Street Bridge, 1912, Jasper

This wooden truss bridge was built in 1912 and rehabilitated in 2009. It serves as an overpass over the Georgia Northeastern Railroad line.

Central of Georgia Railway Depot, 1880, Jonesboro

Most sources note that this depot was built in 1867, which it was, but it wasn’t built in Jonesboro. During the Battle of Jonesboro, on 31 August 1864, Union troops burned the original 1846 Macon and Western Railroad Depot and the rail bed turned into what came to be known as “Sherman’s neckties”.

As Todd DeFeo notes, It’s not enough to say Jonesboro’s depot was built in 1867. The structure seen here was built for the Macon and Western in Barnesville in 1867 and moved stone-by-stone and rebuilt at this location in 1880. By this time, it would have been a Central of Georgia-branded property.

It’s home to the Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Road to Tara Museum.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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