The first depot that we came to was in Cullman Alabama. This attractive mission style Louisville and Nashville Railway station was built in 1913. Passenger service to Cullman ceased in 1968. CSX, (which started out as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad), used the building as a line office until they donated it to the city in 1990. It now serves as one of the buildings comprising the Cullman County Museum complex. For more on the Museum and the Depot, both of which are listed in the National Register of Historic places, go to http://www.cullmancountymuseum.com/pages_p/museum_grounds.html.
Cullman was founded in 1873 by Johann G. Cullmann, a German immigrant with a bit of a revolutionary past. He emigrated from Germany seeking new opportunities in the United States. After being working out a deal with the Nashville- Montgomery Railroad to purchase 350,000 acres in north Central Alabama, he encouraged immigration from Germany. As the German’s moved in, the railroad’s business improved and the town grew exponentially. The railroad was behind Johann’s honorary title of Colonel. Today this town of about 15,000 stages a big Oktoberfest celebration and Colonel Cullmann’s home is the core building for the county museum. For additional background on Johann (John) Cullmann, you can click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Cullmann.
The next depot that we came across on our drive home was in Albertville Alabama…population 21,000+. This former North Carolina and St. Louis, (Louisville and Nashville), railroad depot is just celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. There is a small museum in an old wooden caboose adjacent to the depot.
The building serves as Albertville’s Senior Center. Free lunches, donations accepted, are served here each weekday. The building is also rented out…$275.00 for 5 hours plus $100.00 if you use the kitchen.
Albertville is home to major fire hydrant maker, the Mueller Company, and it’s sometimes referred to as the ‘Fire Hydrant Capitol of the World’. The town was virtually wiped out by a tornado back in 1908. Fifteen people were killed. Exactly 102 years later in 2010, another tornado swept through the downtown area, destroying many of the older buildings.
In Guntersville Alabama we found this old renovated Louisville and Nashville depot. It was built in 1892and its listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It now houses a miniature train display and displays memorabilia from years past. CSX donated the facility and the property to the community. For information, just click on www.guntersvillehistoricalsociety.org. Based on their website, it’s a very large and active group…
Guntersville is located on Guntersville Lake, part of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s chain of lakes on the Tennessee River. The town, originally named Gunter’s Ferry, is located at the southernmost reach of the river. No surprise but the town was founded by a German immigrant, John Gunter. He was Will Rogers' great grandfather. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Rogers) Also, Guntersville was the last place where Ricky Nelson performed. (TV show ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ and rock roll singer) His plane crashed after leaving town on his way to Texas. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricky_Nelson)
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge it…
Thanks for riding along with us through northern Alabama!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave