Restoration of historic Alapaha train depot now complete

Alapaha historic depot restoration completed
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 11:11 AM EST
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ALAPAHA, Ga. (WALB) - With the help of 17 volunteers, city leaders and donations from businesses and donors, its finally complete.

From cleaning up debris to breaking down the building’s foundation to dodging termites, and touching up chipped paint, the Alapaha Depot is now a fully operational standing source for the community.

Joe Dixon, an Alapaha resident, said it’s a dream come true to see the depot come back to life. He’s lived in the community for 84 years.

“I was shocked and surprised that many people were interested in fixing it up and wanting to. We had people who were over 80 years old working and carrying boards and painting and doing things,” Dixon said.

City leaders said it took dedication, consistency and a little elbow grease to make it what it is now. Over the years, several people in Alapaha talked about the restoration work for the depot but had issues with funding and support to begin working on it.

Project Manager Rudolph Smith said this project showed that with the help of community support and involvement, it is possible to accomplish something that will be remembered for years to come.

“I don’t care what you say, they pulled together. It’s like brother and sisters — you fuss but then you come together when you need to do something. This is a testimony to what citizens can do, and not depend on the government to give you money to do things with or wait on them,” Smith said.

Alapaha Mayor Ben Davis said he is deeply rooted into this project because of the historic values it holds. He reminisced on his childhood and said he would look out the window to see and hear the train passing by. Davis also did work through the years loading fertilizer up at the depot. When he was elected, this was on his agenda to restore the depot because as years went by, it started to deteriorate.

Now that it is complete, Davis told WALB News 10 he was extremely happy and thanked all the individuals involved.

The depot will be a space for community-wide events or personal events, like wedding ceremonies or meeting space for those who need it. It also has a veteran’s room that honors current or past veterans that have a tie to Alapaha.

Community leaders are encouraging those who have family members who served to drop off photos of them to be placed inside the building.