A Little Bit About The Depot
The historic train station was built in 1871 to serve the city. The depot was built by a predecessor of the Southern Railway, part of today’s Norfolk Southern Corp., and was one of several constructed in the area in 1871, according to information provided by the city. The railroad primarily served the cotton trade, which was cultivated on a reported 50,000 acres in the area. Since Forsyth and Milton counties had no rail service at the time, the addition of the passenger station at Duluth made the city a center for shipping and commercial activity.
Rail travel also offered convenient access to Atlanta for conducting business and shopping. The evening arrival of “Belle,” one of the daily passenger trains to and from the city, became a popular gathering time for local residents.
Declines in passenger service and changes in rail freight led to the closing of the Duluth depot by the early 1950s. Eventually, the Southern Railway, which then owned the property, encouraged the city to find a use for the building. The city lacked the resources to do so, and in 1975 the depot building was moved by the late Scott Hudgens, a local developer, to a site on Pleasant Hill Road where the Joan Glancy Rehabilitation Center is located today. The depot was used as an office for a major development project in progress at the time.
In 1986 Hudgens again moved the depot across Pleasant Hill Road to W. P. Jones Park. At this location, the city used the building as a police substation and an office for city parks personnel and related recreation programs.
The depot was moved to the entrance to the Southeastern Railway Museum on Buford Highway in August 2008. Under a lease agreement between Duluth and the museum, the city retained ownership of the depot, and the Southeastern Railway Museum became responsible for restoring the building and operating it as a historic exhibit.
At the end of 2014, The Duluth Historical Society moved into the Depot and it is still operating the Society from this location. It regularly places historic exhibits in the Depot. Operating hours are 10 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.
To make an appointment or to schedule a tour (individual or group), contact any of our Board Members or call Candace Morgan 770-403-1795.
(Information on this page was compiled from an article in the Duluth Patch, By Faye Edmundson (Patch Staff) – Updated September 19, 2011 12:25 am ET)