Leesburg city leaders revitalize historic depot - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Leesburg city leaders revitalize historic depot

Leesburg's downtown gets new life as the Historic Train Depot gets renovated. (Source: WALB) Leesburg's downtown gets new life as the Historic Train Depot gets renovated. (Source: WALB)
Opal Canon (Source: WALB) Opal Canon (Source: WALB)
Canon dedicated the past 15 years to the depot, even getting it a historic designation on her birthday. (Source: WALB) Canon dedicated the past 15 years to the depot, even getting it a historic designation on her birthday. (Source: WALB)
Where unfinished frames now lay, once housed a library and a police station. (Source: WALB) Where unfinished frames now lay, once housed a library and a police station. (Source: WALB)
Leesburg City Manager Bob Alexander (Source: WALB) Leesburg City Manager Bob Alexander (Source: WALB)
LEESBURG, GA (WALB) -

Leesburg city leaders are breathing life back into their downtown by renovating the Historic Train Depot.

Dozens of cars cross the railroad tracks daily, and off to the right, tucked away in the corner was the rust-colored depot. 

"The trains used to come through and here's the rail closest to the depot," Opal Canon pointed out. 

Canon was one of the matriarchs in Leesburg.

She would like to see it restored to its original state.

"I'm so proud to see it restored because it has a lot of history," said Canon. 

Built in 1895, the building formerly known as Wooten's Station was a gathering place for city and county residents.

Where unfinished frames now lay, once housed a library and a police station.

But the most vivid memory for Canon was the mail, "There was a big post there near where that utility pole is now and it had a big hook out on it, and as the train would slow down somebody on the train would lift that bag of mail and put it up over the hook." 

She also recalled days seeing Al Capone ride his train to Miami.

Canon dedicated the past 15 years to the depot, even getting it a historic designation on her birthday, March 26, 2008.

"Without that energy she's put into it and the leadership, this would've never happened," said Leesburg City Manager Bob Alexander. 

With help from federal and SPLOST funds, the city is spending $900,000 to turn the depot into a visitor's center.

"It shows the soul of our community in trying to bring life back into our downtown," explained Alexander. 

"Hope I live to see it finished," said Canon. 

The depot is expected to be completed by January.

Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved. 

Report an error Submit a tip to WALB News 10

Powered by Frankly