Palmetto’s Railway Depot Museum

By the time I knew the Atlanta and West Point Railway depot structures they were all but deserted since the railway not used them by the mid-1960s.

Red Oak’s depot was relocated to another location. I make sure the depot in College Park was utilized for something, but I can’t keep in mind. I do keep in mind a law office making their house in Fairburn’s depot (it’s still there), and the city of Palmetto utilized their depot for city offices consisting of the cops department.

Recently as I was heading through Palmetto I discovered they had opened a museum in their depot.

I chose to take a few minutes and stop. I’m grateful I did. The docent and I had a charming time sharing history.

Palmetto’s depot was constructed someplace in between 1914 and 1917 with a lot of space for freight on one side of the building and passengers on the other. At the time the depot was developed, the rails through Palmetto didn’t set up as high as they do now. In truth, they dipped down to the point that in some cases the train would get stuck and an engine would be dispatched to come behind the train to “push” it along. The passengers would disembark and then need to come through a small tunnel below the depot and climb the steps to reach the traveler waiting space.

Once the depot was not required for rail travel the city handled to rent it from CSX Railway for $100 a year. The sweet deal concerned fulfillment because a former mayor was a CSX employee.

When the city vacated the building sat, and like so many older beauties, it started to decay. Many believed it simply needed to be taken apart. After all … the roof had holes in it, and there was an asbestos concern.

The good news is, in the year 2000 the railway sold the depot to the city for $14,000. As soon as the deed was in the city’s name, a group of traditionally minded citizens applied for a few grants. One in specific was a Georgia Transportation grant for $1.2 million dollars with an 80/20 split. The city would have to contribute 20 percent of the money utilized to bring back the depot, but the majority of funds would be offered. A second grant was acquired for $200,000.
Eighteen months later and just one year earlier, a ribbon cutting event was provided, and there was quite a bit to display.

The brought back depot houses a meeting room at one end and area for special events on the other end. The unique events area of the depot has the initial depot flooring consisting of the original freight scale embedded in the floor.

You can see the depot agent’s office, the original ticket window and all the doors and windows are original to the home. There is likewise a train-side deck/patio.

Obviously, for some folks the word “train” in the main name of the museum is confusing since the focus is Palmetto’s history and NOT trains. There are no trains included in the historical displays, however they DO cover Palmetto’s history with brand-new things being added all the time.

The museum is in the middle area of the depot with the brick walls lined with vintage furnishings, items, clothing and other memorabilia.

The museum likewise owns a large collection of historical photographs.

A few penny-farthing bikes contributed by former Palmetto mayor, Robert Horse are on display screen. A penny-farthing bike gets its name from the high wheel/small wheel that looks like a British penny next to a farthing.

Take a while and find out some regional history. The Palmetto Train Depot Museum located at 549 Main Street (Highway 29/Roosevelt Highway) is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. with complimentary admission.