Thursday, May 24, 2012

Railway Depots and History Too!

This time I’ve cobbled together a mix of sites, sights and localities from our back roads adventures.  Sometimes I was able to learn quite a bit about the subject of the photo and sometimes, the available references were more general or vague…

This is the former Louisville and Nashville Railroad’s passenger depot in Chatsworth Georgia.  The depot was actually built before the town was…just to serve the interests of the nearby Georgia Talc Company.  The depot was in business in 1905 and the town was incorporated in 1906.  By the 1970’s it was the last depot in operation in Murray County.  It’s now the property of the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society.  They operate a small museum that houses railroad memorabilia and which traces the history of the talc industry.

The origins of the town of Chatsworth’s name are lost in time and memory.  Some sources say that the town was named after a fortified castle in Great Britain.  Others say that it was named for a former Louisville and Nashville Railroad executive…  Still others claim that a sign with the name “Chatsworth” on it fell off a passing freight car back in 1905, someone liked it and nailed it up…and so the town was named.  I like this last story best!

This Seaboard Coast Line/Louisville and Nashville Cupola Caboose sits next to the Chatsworth Depot.  An historical hotel is on the same property.  For more information, go to

Incidentally, the term caboose probably stemmed from the French sailor’s term “camboose”, which referred to the food prep cabin on a ships main deck as well as the stove itself.  The stove on the USS Constitution is officially referred to as a “camboose”.

This is the former Lake Shore and Michigan Southern/New York Central Railroad Passenger Depot in Ashtabula Ohio.  It looks like its slowly falling apart…but there is a sign warning against trespassing and parking…company vehicles only!  The place looks deserted… This attractive structure was built in 1901.  You sure don’t see too many brick pavers any more.

This is another view of the Ashtabula Depot.  This surely isn’t the original depot as rail service to this part of the country started up well before the Civil War. 

Ashtabula was the scene of the worst U.S. railroad disaster in the 19th century…actually the worst before 1918.  On 12/29/1876, the bridge over the Ashtabula River, which was only about 100 yards from the then current railroad depot, collapsed as a passenger train rolled over it in a snow storm.  At least 92 people died in the accident.  For more on this major headline of its day, go to

We were driving along the backroads in southeastern Tennessee and we came across this old building and this beautiful scene on the banks of the Hiwassee River.  Laurie photographed the plaque shown in front of the structure…but there was too much glare on the sign and I can’t read it.  We do know that this was the Hiwassee Union Baptist Church from ca. 1899.  I also know that the sign indicates that the church is on the trail for the Religious Heritage Sites of Southeast Tennessee.  This and other trails are listed for tourists by the Southeast Tennessee Tourist Association.   If you’d like more information , just go to

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a trip along the back roads!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. you guys certainly have fun on your travels!!! good for you.
    i never saw brick pavers for a road before

  2. Interesting that Chatsworth doesn't know the name origin.